The Lotte Giants pulled themselves back from the brink of elimination in the best-of-five series.
The Giants rode a 5⅓-inning, one-run performance from starter Shim Jae-min and an explosion from their bats to an 8-1 victory over the LG Twins in Jamsil on Sept. 9. Lotte, which was facing elimination from the top five with a loss, gave its fans a victory at Jamsil Stadium.
Starting pitcher Shim Jae-min pitched 5⅓ innings, allowing one run on four hits (one home run) with two walks and one strikeout. His third win of the season. He threw 26 fastballs that topped out at 143 mph, but he threw 34 more sliders, 18 curves, and four changeups.
Although LG was missing a number of key players, including Kim Hyun-soo, Oh Ji-hwan, Hong Chang-gi and Moon Bo-kyung, he showed steady pitching and raised expectations for next season as a left-handed starter.
Returning Hangzhou gold medalist Yoon Dong-hee came in as a pinch hitter from the second inning after being left out of the starting lineup and went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI to help the team win. Jeon Jun-woo had two hits and one RBI, including a wedge solo shot, while Han Dong-hee also had four hits and two RBI. Top hitter Ahn Kwon-soo also had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run and an RBI.
LG, which had already clinched the title, lost its third straight game. While the loss doesn’t affect the standings, it was a bit of a disappointment for the many fans who traveled to Jamsil Stadium for the holidays.
It was disappointing that starter Kang Hyo-jong couldn’t make it through the second inning after giving up four runs (three earned) on four hits. We made some defensive mistakes, but we couldn’t finish strong.
One consolation for LG was that Kim Bum-seok, who has been getting playing time since clinching the championship, hit his first home run in his debut against the Kiwoom Heroes on July 7.
LG’s Jung Woo-young, who won the gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games, walks to the dugout with Yoo Young-chan during the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Monday.
LG and Lotte players who won gold medals at the Hangzhou Asian Games, Yoon Dong-hee, Nae Kyun-an, Park Se-woong, Jeong Woo-young, Go Woo-seok and Moon Bo-kyung, pose for a photo with congratulatory bouquets during the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Monday.
LG starting pitcher Kang Hyo-jong pitches during the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Monday. LG designated Moon Bo-kyung for assignment on the day, but he was not in the starting lineup. Ahn Ik-hoon (center field), Park Hae-min (center), Moon Sung-joo (left field), Austin (designated hitter), Kim Min-sung (third base), Kim Bum-seok (first base), Jeong Ju-hyun (second base), Son Ho-young (shortstop), and Kim Ki-yeon (catcher) comprised the starting lineup.
LG head coach Yeom Kyung-yup praised first baseman Kim Bum-seok. Kim Bum-seok joined the team as a catcher, but his right shoulder is still not normal, so he is playing first base. Yeom plans to use Kim as a first baseman next season and then have him play catcher from the final training sessions of next season to serve as a backup catcher for Park Dong-won from next year. “Kim Bum-seok has a good sense. His instantaneous judgment is also good,” he said, adding, “I think he will be fine as a first baseman next season.”
Before the game, the Lotte players gathered in the outfield and clapped vigorously. They congratulated Park Se-woong and Yoon Dong-hee for winning gold medals at the Asian Games. But while they were working hard to win gold in Hangzhou, Lotte was facing the prospect of being eliminated from the top five. If they lost the game, they would be eliminated from the top five.
Acting head coach Lee Jong-woon called up Yoon Dong-hee to the first team. Although he excluded her from the starting lineup, he planned to use her at any time depending on the situation. Park Se-woong was confirmed to start the final home game against the Doosan Bears in Busan on Nov. 11, and Na Kyun-ahn will also make one start this season.
LG shortstop Son Ho-young jumps to catch catcher Kim Ki-yeon’s throw to second base during a sacrifice bunt by Lotte’s Park Seung-wook with no outs in the top of the second inning during the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Monday.
LG’s Kim Ki-yeon makes a throw to first base after Lotte’s Jeong Dae-sun’s sacrifice bunt with the bases loaded in the top of the second inning during the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Monday.
In the second inning of the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on the 9th, with the bases loaded and no outs, Lotte’s Jung Dae-sun’s sacrifice bunt allows second baseman Gudrum to dig into home plate for a safe.
In place of Yoon Dong-hee, Hwang Sung-bin was sent down to the second team. Lee said that Hwang Sung-bin will be sent down to the second team and play in the education league. In 74 games this season, Hwang is batting 2-for-1 with 36 runs (170 at-bats), eight RBIs, 22 runs scored and nine stolen bases. Last year, he batted 2-for-9 (94-for-320) with 16 RBIs, 62 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in 102 games, but hasn’t been the same player this season due to injuries.
Lee said, “I gave Hwang a chance, but he’s not in good shape right now. I think we should give other players a chance and let them compete.” “Hwang Sung-bin will now play in the education league. It’s better for him to play there and get some experience.” The plan is to give the younger players a chance to play in the first team for the rest of the season, while Hwang would rather play in the education league to find his form.
“With his finger injury, ankle injury, and eventually lack of training, it can be seen that it led to his poor performance this season,” Lee said, adding, “I think he can find his old form next season if he prepares well without injuries.” Lotte’s starting lineup for the fateful day was Ahn Kwon-soo (right fielder), Kim Min-seok (center fielder), Lee Jeong-hoon (designated hitter), Jeon Jun-woo (left fielder), Gudrum (shortstop), Han Dong-hee (first baseman), Jung Dae-sun (second baseman), Son Sung-bin (catcher), and Park Seung-wook (third baseman).
LG’s Kim Bum-seok hits a solo home run to left field in the second inning of the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Sept. 9.
Lotte’s Yoon Dong-hee hits an RBI single in the sixth inning during the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Monday.
Lotte’s Shim Jae-min looks at pitching coach Kim Hyun-wook as he comes to the mound to replace him in the sixth inning during the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Monday. Jamsil = Heo Sang-wook 기자wook@sportschosun.com/2023.10.09/
Lotte capitalized on an early LG fielding error to create a big inning. In the top of the second inning, Lotte took a 1-0 lead after Jeon Jun-woo singled to right, Gudrum walked in the fifth and Han Dong-hee singled in the sixth. With runners on first and second, Jeong Dae-sun laid down a sacrifice bunt in front of the catcher in the seventh, but catcher Kim Ki-yeon made a throwing error toward first base. Gudrum, who had advanced to third base, stole home, and second baseman Jung Joo-hyun, who caught the ball at first base, threw home, putting runners on second and third. Then, in the eighth inning, Son Sung-bin doubled to center field to make it 4-0. In the ninth inning, Park Seung-wook laid down a sacrifice bunt, but the catcher’s throw to second base went sideways, leaving runners on first and second again. LG changed the catcher from Kim Ki-yeon to Heo Do-hwan.
With runners on first and third after Ahn Kwon-soo’s sacrifice bunt to first base, Lotte brought in Hangzhou gold medalist Yoon Dong-hee. A bit of an early substitution. LG quickly pulled starter Kang Hyo-jong and brought up Lee Woo-chan. Lee struck out Yoon Dong-hee and got Lee Jung-hoon at third on a grounder to the first baseman to prevent further damage.
In the bottom of the second, LG’s No. 6 Kim Bum-seok hit his first career home run. After a full count, he took a 119-kilometer curveball from Lotte starter Shim Jae-min right down the middle of the plate and sent it over the left field fence. After rounding third base and running home to pick up his own bat, Kim ran into the dugout and saw his seniors making a circle around him and his teammates, who were doing a home run celebration, so he quickly ran over and squeezed in between them to celebrate his first home run.
Lotte’s Jeon Jun-woo shares his joy after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning of the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Sept. 9.
Lotte’s Ahn Kwon-soo hits an RBI single with two outs in the top of the seventh inning during the game between Lotte and LG at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on Monday.
Lotte tried to tie the game in the top of the fourth inning with a sacrifice bunt but failed, and in the top of the fifth, a walk and a hit put runners on first and second with no outs. The 4-1 deficit was starting to get a little unnerving.
But in the top of the sixth, the gold medalists got the run they were waiting for. After a leadoff walk by Son Sung-bin, a sacrifice bunt by Park Seung-wook and a grounder to the first baseman by Ahn Kwon-soo set up a two-on-three situation, Yoon Dong-hee singled to left-center field. 5-1.
In the top of the seventh inning, we drove in the winning run. No. 4 Jeon Jun-woo pulled a 144-kilometer fastball from reliever Park Myung-geun for a solo shot to left field. 6-1. That wasn’t all. A walk to Gudrum and a single to right by Han Dong-hee put runners on first and third with no outs, and Jung Dae-sun singled to left. LG quickly switched pitchers to Yoon Hosol, and after Son Sung-bin struck out and Park Seung-wook flied out to right field to load the bases with two outs, Ahn Kwon-soo singled up the middle to score one more run. 8-1.
Yoon Dong-hee drew a walk to load the bases, and pinch-hitter Yoo Kang-nam hit a big shot, but center fielder Park Hae-min caught it in front of the fence to end the top of the seventh.
After Shim Jae-min, Shin Jeong-rak recorded five outs in the bottom of the seventh, and Lee Jin-ha ended the eighth with a triple play.
Bottom of the 9th inning. Lotte brought up rookie Woo Kang-hoon. After Moon Sung-joo drew a leadoff walk, LG brought up Moon Bo-kyung to bat for Austin in the fourth inning. Moon stepped up to the plate to cheers from the fans, but struck out swinging on a 149-kilometer fastball from Woo. Seo Gun-chang followed with a single to right-center to put runners on first and second. However, 온라인바카라 Kim Bum-seok struck out in front of the third baseman to end the game.
LOTTE acting manager Lee Jong-woon said, “Starting pitcher Shim Jae-min pitched a long inning and didn’t put too much pressure on the bullpen. The batters also capitalized on their chances and converted them into runs. Jun-woo Jeon is also a veteran and he really turned the tide in our favor with a home run when we needed it. It was a well-structured game today, and I’m sure the support from the fans on the field was a great motivator for the players. We are grateful to our fans.”