Which team will have the last laugh in the season’s second ‘elotracico’ with the lead at stake?
The Lotte Giants and LG Twins will play a midweek three-game series at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 30th. This will be their second clash of the season, following a three-game series at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan from April 11 to 13, and Lotte was the hero of the winning series.
This three-game series is also very important for both teams. Third-place Lotte (26 wins, 16 losses) and first-place LG (30 wins, 1 draw, 16 losses) are currently in a “three-way tie” with second-place SSG Landers (28 wins, 1 draw, 16 losses). They are separated by just one game. The outcome of this series will make a big difference in the standings.
Especially for Lotte, this is a golden opportunity to close the gap on LG, as it is a direct head-to-head matchup. If they sweep the three-game series, they could potentially move into first place.
Lotte has been on a roll lately. Last week, they took two of three from the NC Dinos and Kiwoom Heroes. On the 28th, a bullpen collapse led to a 5-7 upset loss to Kiwoom, but things are still looking good.
As of the 29th, Lotte is ranked seventh in team ERA (4.04) and fifth in team batting average (0.259), and the team’s “team-first” mentality is one of the reasons for this upswing.
After the game, Yoo Kang-nam, who went 2-for-4 with the game-winning hit and one RBI in Lotte’s 6-5 victory over Gochuk Kiwoom on April 27, said, “Ahn Chi-hong called a meeting when we were struggling a little bit in the game, and he told us that everyone wants to get a hit, but we should try to bat as a team to advance one more base. The juniors also recognized that. I think the players are focused and playing baseball as a team, and it’s paying off.” 메이저놀이터
Lotte also relies on the support of the away fans. “Of course, many Lotte fans come to the other eight stadiums and cheer us on,” said Lotte manager Larry Sutton before the game against Gochuk Kiwoom on the 28th, “but I think it’s different to play at Sajik Stadium and Jamsil Stadium. The meaning is also different. There are more Lotte fans and the sound is different. I want to reward the fans with a good game, and I’m looking forward to the Jamsil series,” he said, adding, “That’s the goal,” when asked by reporters if a good performance could lead to a first-place finish.
Lotte will send right-handed sidearm Han Hyun-hee to the mound for Game 30. He is 4-3 with a 4.58 ERA in eight appearances this season. A concern is that he hasn’t been able to go the distance in his previous outing, giving up two runs in four innings against the Busan NC on April 24 (1-3 Lotte loss), and in his most recent outing against LG on April 13, he gave up five runs in five innings.