Lotte’s defeat completely extinguished the postseason elimination transaction number 1. As a result, Lotte has been confirmed to be eliminated from fall baseball for the sixth consecutive year. Lotte, which advanced to the postseason in the third place in the regular season in 2017 and fell behind NC with two wins and three losses in the semi-playoffs, has never stepped on the fall baseball stage since then.
Expectations for Lotte this year were higher than ever. First of all, Lotte aggressively strengthened its power by signing an FA contract with Yoo Kang-nam for a four-year total of 8 billion won, Noh Jin-hyuk for a four-year total of 5 billion won, and Han Hyun-hee for a three-plus-year total of 4 billion won. Kim Sang-soo and Ahn Kwon-soo, who were recruited in the release market, also rapidly emerged as key players as soon as they came to Lotte, playing a role in fattening the team’s power.
In fact, Lotte jumped to first place alone with a 5-3 victory over Kiwoom at Sajik Stadium on April 30, creating a sensation. At that time, even though Kiwoom put forward “Ace” Ahn Woo-jin in front of a packed crowd, Lotte’s momentum did not stop. In the end, Lotte continued its sensation in May, winning nine consecutive games. 스포츠토토
Until early June, Lotte advanced toward the fall baseball by forming a three-tier structure with LG and SSG. But that was it. There were a number of injuries, followed by a slump in foreign players. On top of that, rumors of internal conflict within the coaching staff broke out and fell out of control. Lotte, which ended the first half without keeping its 50% winning rate, made a winning move to recruit new foreign hitter Goodrum and new foreign pitcher Aaron Wilkerson ahead of the second half, but this did not lead to Lotte’s rebound. Lotte, which broke up with manager Larry Sutton, started anew under acting manager Lee Jong-un, but there was no significant change in the results.
Still, it is not that there was no income at all. Na Kyun-an, who is in his third year as a pitcher, showed the possibility of becoming an ace in the future, being selected as the MVP in April of the KBO League, and new outfielders such as Yoon Dong-hee and Kim Min-seok gained valuable experience that could not be changed with anything as they played a full-time season. In addition, it is clear that Park Se-woong, Na Kyun-an, and Yoon Dong-hee, who competed for the national team at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, resolved the military service issue with the gold medal around their neck, which was also a positive factor for Lotte’s future. Will the “Giant Corps” be able to fly next year. Lotte’s last Korean Series win still remains in 1992.