No ‘DTD’ for Lotte One of the baseball myths is that teams that go down go down. It means that a team that performs well beyond its capabilities in the early stages will eventually fall back to the bottom.
This was the case for Lotte last year. Lotte came out of the gate with a bang, but faltered in May with a 9-17 record and ultimately finished the regular season in eighth place, missing the postseason.
This year, there were mixed feelings when Lotte finished April in sole possession of first place. They didn’t have a reliable starter outside of Na Kyun-ahn, and their bats, while focused in the scoring column, didn’t have a ton of overall firepower.
However, Lotte is still on a roll as June approaches. With a 25-15 record and a +10 win-loss margin, Lotte has been cruising through May with an 11-7 record. That’s right. Lotte isn’t a team that’s going down, and they aren’t going down. 토토사이트
So, why are they doing so well in May? First, it’s because they have a solid starting pitching staff and a solid mound. Lotte’s 2.96 team ERA in May is by far the best in the league. They are the only team with an ERA in the double digits.
Eight of Lotte’s 11 wins in May have come in the first inning. While “April MVP” Na Gyun-an has cooled off in May with a 1-1 record and a 4.22 ERA, Park Se-woong (2-1, 1.99), Dan Streeley (2-2, 2.31), Charlie Barnes (1-1, 2.41), and Han Hyun-hee (2-1, 1.13) have collectively rebounded to complete a very strong starting pitching staff.
That’s not to say the bullpen hasn’t been strong. Lotte’s winning formula of Kim Sang-soo in the 7th, Koo Seung-min in the 8th, and Kim Won-joong in the 9th is now fully in place. The best example of this is the game against Gochuk Kiwoom on the 26th. After starting pitcher Straily pitched six scoreless innings, Kim Sang-soo in the seventh, Koo Seung-min in the eighth, and Kim Won-joong in the ninth came out and completely shut down Kiwoom’s rally with one scoreless inning. In particular, Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong surpassed 10 holds and 10 saves, respectively, and Lotte is currently the only team in the league to have pitchers with double-digit holds and saves at the same time.
In fact, the offense has been in jeopardy since foreign hitter Jack Rex was sidelined with a knee injury, and Lotte’s team batting average in May ranks seventh at .248, but it’s been offset by Noh Jin-hyuk’s .321 average with two home runs, seven RBIs, and four doubles in May, and the consistently good hitting of youngsters like Yoon Dong-hee (.310), Kim Min-seok (.306), and Han Dong-hee (.305). In addition, backup infielder Park Seung-wook (.313) has provided a spark whenever he has started. In particular, Yoon Dong-hee has a .556 slugging percentage in scoring position in May, while Han Dong-hee and Park Seung-wook are both over .500. Ahn Chi-hong and Yoo Kang-nam also have a .308 batting average with runners in scoring position in May.
As for Lotte’s team chemistry, Na Kyun-ahn explains the secret to their success in May: “First of all, we don’t lose. Even if we’re losing, we don’t feel like we’re going to lose. Also, my pitching brothers are pitching so well in the bullpen, and the hitters are focused and fighting well in the late innings, which is why we are doing so well in May.” Park Se-woong also said, “When any team wins a game, the mood is bound to be good,” and simply said, “The reason for the good mood is that we are winning games well.” This is why this May is so different from last May.