“We’re a team that thrives in the heat. It would be a shame to miss fall baseball.”
Lotte Giants’ best player, Jeon Jun-woo, expressed his determination to reach the postseason. The competition is tougher than ever, but he has a firm belief that the team can do it if they stick together.
Lotte defeated the Doosan Bears 9-1 in the 11th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on Sunday at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. With their second straight win, the team took a three-game midweek series and jumped from sixth to fifth place.
Not only the result, but also the content of the game was satisfying for Lotte. After giving up a leadoff double to Doosan’s Kim Jae-ho in the bottom of the second inning, they responded in the top of the next inning with an RBI double by Ahn Chi-hong.
With two outs and two runners on base, Jeon Jun-woo definitely set the tone. Jun-woo exploded a three-run home run off Doosan starter Choi Won-jun to make the score 5-1.
On a two-ball, two-strike pitch, he took a perfect swing at Choi’s eight-pitch 138-kilometer fastball and launched it over the left field fence for a 120-meter shot.
After hitting his seventh home run of the season in the first game of the second half against Kiwoom on the 21st and his eighth home run of the season against Kiwoom on the 23rd, he continued his good hitting form by hitting his ninth home run of the season just five days later.
After the win over Doosan, Jeon said, “I trained a lot during the All-Star break. In the first half, I was checking the ball too much, so my timing was constantly off,” he said. “In the second half, I prepared to be more aggressive and hit the ball in front of the hitting point, and it’s leading to good at-bats.”
Lotte has won three of its first six games in the second half. They dropped two games to Kiwoom in Sajik last weekend, but set the stage for a turnaround with a winning series against Dusan. They are one win away from restoring their five-game winning streak.
Jeon Jun-woo also attaches a lot of importance to the winning series against Doosan in Jamsil. He believes that the winning streak has restored some of the players’ confidence after a slow start to the second half.
“The team was a bit down after the back-to-back losses last weekend,” said Jeon Jun-woo, “but the winning streak seems to have boosted everyone’s confidence a bit.” “I was telling the juniors that we need to shrug it off, so I’m glad we did,” he emphasized.
The race for the top five this season is expected to be the “biggest” since the 2015 season, when the 10-team system began. Only 3.5 games separate fifth-place Lotte from ninth-place Kiwoom. In September, the national teams will be called up for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which could result in the loss of two or three key players from each of the 10 clubs.
As for Lotte, they cruised through May with a 27-17 record and a sole possession of third place, but since June, their win-loss margin has dropped to “-1” amid a two-way tie. To avoid repeating the disgrace of failing to reach the postseason for the fifth consecutive year, the team made bold investments such as signing outside free agents last winter, but they are not guaranteed to make it to the fall baseball season.
“I don’t think the current standings are meaningful because there are so many teams in the middle of the pack. There are more than 60 games left, and we need to focus on winning every game with our best effort,” he said. 메이저사이트
“We’ve always been a team that pushes a little bit harder when it’s hot and the players are more focused, so I think we’ll probably end up with a good result,” he said. “This season should end on a good note and everyone is working hard. “We started so well and then we fell off in the middle and now we’re climbing back up, and if we don’t make it to the top five, it will be a shame and a waste of what we’ve done so far. I’m going to work with the players to make sure that we can climb again,” he promised.