We said we weren’t going to be the enemy, but we became the target…Only one win for a lefty starter, Lotte’s homework has begun

No more targets. Lotte has a homework assignment it can’t afford to put off.

Lotte has formed an internal consensus this year that it should not form a “natural enemy” relationship with certain teams. The idea is that they can only aim for more than autumn baseball if they don’t have an adversarial relationship.

Last year, Lotte won 64 games, lost 76 games, and tied four (a winning percentage of .457). There were only two teams that did not win against a specific team. They went 4-12 against KIA and 5-10-1 against SSG.안전놀이터

While it was disappointing to lose to SSG, who were an absolute powerhouse, the team was more disappointed to lose to KIA. If the team had been able to perform equally well against KIA, a direct competitor for the top five, the top five race would not have ended in vain. Only 4.5 games separated them from fifth-placed KIA.

Trying to overcome nemesis trauma and this year’s Lotte has yet to form any particular nemesis relationships. The 1-3 loss to SSG was disappointing, but it proved that they are competitive. With the exception of SSG and Samsung (1-2), they have the edge in head-to-heads. There are no series sweeps either.

So Lotte was on track to achieve its goal of eliminating the nemesis, but once the nemesis was eliminated, Lotte became a target. Left-handed starting pitchers. This year, Lotte is 1-8 against left-handed starting pitchers.

Lotte’s opponents against left-handed starters (date/game result/starting performance)

  1. 4 April vs. SSG in Incheon / 1-3 loss (cold rain in the 7th inning) / Oh Won-seok 7 innings, 2 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, 1 earned run
  2. 8 April Resignation Against KT / 3-7 loss / Benjamin 6 innings 6 hits (1 home run) 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, 3 runs scored
  3. 19 April Sajik KIA / 0-6 loss / Lee Yi-ri 5⅔ innings 3 hits, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts, no runs allowed
  4. 21 April Changwon NC / 3-2 win (10th inning) / Koo Chang-mo 6 innings 4 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts, no runs allowed
  5. 3 May Gwangju KIA / 2-10 loss / Yoon Young-cheol 6 innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 1 run allowed
  6. 17 May Daejeon vs Hanwha / 1-2 L (10 innings) / Sanchez 5 innings, 3 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts, 1 earned run
  7. 20 May Sasik SSG / 0-5 L / Kim Kwang-hyun 6 innings, 1 hit, 9 strikeouts, no runs allowed
  8. 21 May Resigned SSG / 3-6 L / McCarty 5⅔ innings, 5 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 2 runs.
  9. 24 May Resignation vs. NC / 1-3 loss / Choi Sung-young 5 innings, 5 hits, 5 walks, 4 strikeouts, 1 run.

Failed to hit ace-level pitchers and inexperienced young pitchers alike. Against left-handed starters, he is just 1-for-34 (182 at-bats) with one home run, nine RBI, 16 walks, 49 strikeouts and a .498 OPS. That’s the worst batting average against left-handed starters.

Right-handed hitters have been the strongest, with Yoo Kang-nam going 4-for-1 with a double, home run, and OPS of 1.118 in 17 at-bats and Yoon Dong-hee hitting 4-for-10 with a home run. However, key left-handed hitters such as Kim Min-seok (16-for-4, .250), Ahn Kwon-soo (19-for-4, .211), Rex (14-for-2, .143), Noh Jin-hyuk (15-for-15) and Ko Seung-min (4-for-4) have struggled against left-handed starters.

It’s frustrating for Lotte. It’s an unexpected headache and homework. Last year, LOTTE batted just 2-for-49 (202-for-812) with 19 home runs, 79 RBI, 69 walks, 190 strikeouts, and an OPS of .683 against lefties. His performance against lefties ranks in the middle of the league. While it’s true that historical data resets, it’s easy to get frustrated with the current slump simply because the roster is slightly skewed toward lefties.

“We’re having a lot of conversations,” Sutton said. I think there are definitely adjustments that need to be made batting-wise. We need to adjust our approach, we need to adjust our game plan, and we’re having a lot of discussions,” Sutton said, adding, “Obviously, we had some success against left-handed pitching last year. We’re not too worried because we have some injuries and our hitting cycle is going down, but we’re discussing it,” he said nonchalantly. However, if this situation continues until the end of the season and they don’t solve their homework, Lotte’s autumn baseball journey is bound to be a thorny one.

Currently, the top teams have left-handed starters at the centre of their rotations. SSG, in particular, has four out of five starters who are left-handed, from Kim Kwang-hyun to McCarty to Oh Won-seok to new foreign pitcher Elias. They could face left-handed starters in all three games. LG’s Kim Yun-sik, NC’s Koo Chang-mo, and KIA’s Yang Hyun-jong and Lee Yi-ri Yoon-young-chul. With the current poor performance, there is no avoiding targeted starts.

Homework shouldn’t be put off. You can only complete it if you do it little by little. Lotte still has a lot of homework to do. Will Lotte be able to solve her homework and avoid being targeted?