Tue. Sep 26th, 2023

 Lotte Giants’ ‘new faces’ led to victory in the first real game of 2023.

On the 22nd, Lotte had its first exchange match with Chiba Lotte Marines 2nd Team at the Ishigaki Municipal Stadium in Okinawa, Japan. The result was a 3-0 victory with a cold rain in the 8th inning.

Previously, at the Guam camp, I focused on physical strength and conditioning. For Lotte, who has focused on simulation training or live pitching without its own Cheongbaekjeon, it was the first real match since the start of spring camp.

Most of all, the new faces of Lotte, which went through a cataclysm last winter, drew attention. On this day, Lotte went through a prior agreement with Chiba Lotte to allow as many players as possible to participate even if they are replaced during the game. As a result, 17 batters and 5 pitchers were put in to enjoy the first real game.

The biggest change is that ‘Big Boy’ Lee Dae-ho is no longer there. Instead, catcher Yoo Kang-nam and shortstop Noh Jin-hyeok joined the team, and the center line was greatly strengthened. The starting lineup, which had anxiety, also became more solid with Han Hyun-hee’s joining. In addition, he filled the depth by sweeping out influential players such as Cha Woo-chan, Kim Sang-soo, Shin Jeong-rak, Yoon Myeong-jun, Ahn Kwon-soo, and Lee Jung-hoon.

‘8 Billion Catcher’ Yoo Kang-nam played an active role with 1 hit and 1 walk in 1 at-bat. In particular, he properly led 5 pitchers and finished the game without a run.

Na Gyun-an, who was praised by pitching coach Bae Young-soo throughout the camp, pitched well with 3K in 3 scoreless innings as a starter. Kim Jin-wook also threw a scoreless inning well. The highest speeds were 145 km and 143 km, respectively.

After the game, Kyun-an Na said, “I tried to throw strikes at a fast tempo with the mindset of fighting the batter. (Yu) Kangnam led the ball well at the right place at the right time.” Kim Ji-wook also said, “I tried to bring it to the mound as it was in the bullpen. I was in good shape after my first game.”

Yoo Kang-nam praised, 먹튀검증“(Na) Kyun-an has good understanding of pitches, control, and balance since practice. It must have been a burden because it was the first selection, but when I received the ball, I felt that I was well prepared.” He added, “I used various pitches with good balance.”

On this day, Ahn Kwon-soo recorded no hits in 3 at-bats, but showed off his presence as a leadoff candidate by recording one walk and stolen base. Lee Jung-hoon became the second catcher after Yoo Gang-nam, and also hit at bat. ‘Little Lee Jung-hoo’ rookie Kim Min-seok also recorded 1 hit in 1 at-bats in his first real match after joining.

Shin Jeong-rak and Yoon Myung-joon blocked it well with 5 and 6 substitutions, respectively, and one scoreless inning.

It was a game in which the performances of the new faces stood out. It is said that the opponent is the second group, but for Lotte, it is a pleasant victory from the first real game this year. Lotte manager Larry Sutton said, “I am very satisfied with the performance and preparation process today. Our pitching staff attacked the strike zone aggressively from the first inning. Na Kyun-an did not allow a single hit for 3 innings, creating an atmosphere.” He continued to create scoring chances, and he was very satisfied with base play.”

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