KT’s Lee Ho-yeon effect, will Lotte end its trade spree with Shim Jae-min?

The Lotte Giants found small consolation in the form of a strong performance from a transfer student in their third straight loss.

Lotte fell 2-4 in the 12th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against KT Wiz at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on April 22. They dropped all three games of the midweek series to KT, dedicating the sweep to their knees.

Lotte was hampered by a lack of focus from its bats on this day. They had the bases loaded in the top of the first inning, but were unable to capitalize as Ahn Chi-hong fouled out to the catcher and Yoo Kang-nam grounded into an infield single.

Trailing 0-2 in the top of the third, Ahn Chi-hong’s RBI double with runners on second and third brought in a run, but the next batter, Yoo Kang-nam, flied out to center field, ending the comeback. They were stranded with two outs in the top of the fourth and one out in the top of the fifth.

In the top of the seventh inning, with the bases loaded, Yoo Kang-nam hit an outfield sacrifice fly to make it 2-4, but that was it. In the next at-bat, Han Dong-hee was thrown out at second base on a fielder’s choice.

Right-hander Lee In-bok, who returned from rehab after undergoing bone chip surgery on his elbow earlier this year, also fell short of expectations in his first first-team start of the season, allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and one walk in 4 1/3 innings.

Lotte dropped to 32-31 on the season, putting their five-game winning streak in jeopardy. With only two games separating them from the fifth-place Kiwoom Heroes and the sixth-place Doosan Bears, their fourth-place finish is no longer assured.

If there was a bright spot in the loss, it was left-hander Shim Jae-min. Shim took the mound in the bottom of the sixth inning with Lotte trailing 1-4 and pitched ⅔ innings of scoreless relief with one strikeout and one walk. It was his first time on the mound in a Lotte uniform after being traded after the opening day. Coincidentally, it was against his hometown team KT.

Shim got off to a good start by striking out the first batter, Ahn Chi-young. On a two-ball, two-strike count, he induced a five-pitch, 139-kilometer fastball for the first out.

He walked Kim Sang-soo on a full count, but quickly settled down. He induced a grounder to shortstop with a 139-mph fastball to end the inning without allowing a run. Facing three batters, he threw 19 pitches and touched 140 mph on his fastball. He was replaced in the bottom of the eighth inning to start the defense.

Lotte made a one-for-one trade on May 19, sending steady backup infielder Lee Ho-yeon to KT for Shim Jae-min. Aside from third-year player Kim Jin-wook, Lotte lacked a left-handed bullpen option, so they took a chance on Lee, who had proven himself in the first team.

Shim was criticized for his lack of command and velocity at the time of the trade, but he pitched well in his first appearance in a Lotte uniform. After steadily improving his velocity in the Futures League, he appears to have reached a point where he is ready for the first team.

Lotte is in its biggest crisis since opening June with a 3-12 record. There are a number of factors, but the collective struggles of the bullpen have been the culprit, especially Kim Jin-wook, whose command has plummeted with six runs on seven hits, one walk and one strikeout in ⅓ of an inning this month, leaving the left-hander without a game-day card.

KT has benefited from the acquisition of Lee Ho-yeon, even though he was hit in the face by his own foul ball in a game on May 21 and will be rehabbing for the time being. Lee has been a big part of their 13-5 record in June, which is the best in the league for monthly wins.메이저놀이터

For Lotte to rebound, they’ll need Shim to play the role they’ve been hoping for out of the bullpen. They need to put an end to the atrocities that have plagued their trades in recent years.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *