‘Oh Ji-hwan-Hwang Sung-bin 2nd base collision → both teams’ managers protest → decisive baserunning interference’ Lotte defeats Go Woo-seok, ‘Elotracico’ 2-1 thrilling upset [Jamsil Field Review]

It was “El Lloracico” 토스카지노(a reference to the rivalry derby between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona) between the fierce LG Twins and Lotte Giants. Lotte, who had lost 13 of their last 16 games, staged a dramatic rebound against the ‘big fish’ LG Twins. Hwang Sung-bin’s collision with Oh Ji-hwan on an outfield play in the eighth inning, followed by an interference call, and Park Seung-wook’s game-winning hit in the ninth inning pulled the team out of the hole.

The Lotte Giants pulled off a 2-1 come-from-behind win against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday. With the win, Lotte snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 33-31 with a +2 run differential. After a dismal 3-13 record in their last 16 games, Lotte rebounded by snapping a three-game losing streak. LG, on the other hand, ended their two-game winning streak, leaving them with 41 wins, two draws, and 26 losses. This season, Lotte now leads the head-to-head series against LG with four wins and three losses.

Prior to the game, LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop commented on the decision to remove pitcher Lee Min-ho from the first-team roster, saying, “I think Lee Min-ho will have to do what he did in spring training anyway. I think it’s important to rebuild his body first. His fastball is more than 10 kilometers off. “We need to talk to the training part again and build his body the way we did in camp. I need at least a month. In the end, the most important thing is to get fit. The best scenario is for him to come back in the second half of the season.”

Lotte manager Larry Sutton also commented on the decision to remove first base coach Kim Pyeong-ho from the first team roster before the game, saying, “Overall, the team’s base running and stealing ability has improved compared to last year. However, the team’s cycle dropped in June. We had more walks. We had a lot of issues with stolen bases. We decided we needed a change of scenery, so we switched the first and second base coaches.”

LG’s starting pitcher is Casey Kelly. Lotte’s starting pitcher is Park Se-woong. A luxury pitching matchup took place at Jamsil Stadium. Kelly had been struggling at the beginning of the season, leading to speculation that he would be replaced, but this day was different. He was a perfect ace. In addition, Park Se-woong, who performed well for the World Baseball Classic (WBC) team, also pitched well.

Kelly got things off to a good start in the first inning, striking out the leadoff batter, Ko Seung-min, on a fly ball to center field, then Yoon Dong-hee on a five-pitch 149km fastball and Rex on a five-pitch 131km curveball. In the second, he got leadoff hitter Jeon Jun-woo to fly out to right field and then gave up a deep infield single to Ahn Chi-hong. However, he got Han Dong-hee to ground out to third and Park Seung-wook to ground out to first to end the inning.

In the third inning, he struck out leadoff batter Yoo Kang-nam on a six-pitch, 147-kilometer fastball. He gave up a double down the right field line to Kim Min-seok, but got Ko Seung-min to fly out to center and Yoon Dong-hee to ground out to second. In the fourth, he gave up a single to Ahn Chi-hong two batters later, but induced Han Dong-hee to ground out to shortstop to end the inning. The fifth inning was a triple play (Park struck out, Kang Kang-nam flied out to center field, Kim Min-seok grounded out to second base).

Kelly retired the first two batters of the sixth inning, Ko Seung-min on a fly ball to shortstop and Yoon Dong-hee on a fly ball to right field, before giving up a single to right-center to Rex. However, he struck out Jeon Jun-woo on three pitches to keep the scoreless streak alive. The game was a pitcher’s duel and moved very quickly. It was 7:52 p.m. when the top of the seventh inning began. Six innings had taken just 1 hour and 22 minutes.

The top of the seventh was a little more dramatic. Ahn Chi-hong induced the leadoff hitter to ground out to second base, but gave up a single to right-center field to Han Dong-hee. Lotte then loaded the bases with Jang Doo-sung in place of Han Dong-hee, but Kelly induced Park Seung-wook to fly out to center field. By the seventh inning, Kelly had thrown 91 pitches.In response, Lotte’s Park Se-woong pitched a more complete game until the sixth inning. After starting the first inning with a triple play (Hong Chang-ki to center, Park Hae-min to left, Kim Hyun-soo to ground out), Park retired the side in order in the second (Austin Upple to Austin Ji-hwan to strike out, Park Dong-won to foul out to left). In the top of the third, Moon gave up a single to Sung-joo Woo, but Yoo Kang-nam made a perfect throw to second base and Shin Min-jae got a catcher’s interference strikeout to end the inning.

In the fourth inning, Hong Chang-ki, Park Hae-min, and Kim Hyun-soo all induced infield grounders. The fifth inning required only five pitches. Austin flied out to second base on the first pitch, Oh Ji-hwan flied out to center field on the second pitch, and Park Dong-won grounded out to shortstop on the second pitch. In the sixth, Moon led off with an eight-pitch fly to left field. Rex made a diving catch. Moon then hit a grounder to shortstop that Park Seung-wook made a sliding catch and threw to first base for the out. Shin Min-jae followed with a fastball, but it was flied out to right field.
◆ ‘The day before the storm’ The game started to swing wildly in the bottom of the seventh inning, with Austin’s sprint to first base in the seventh inning and Hwang Sung-bin’s throw to first base in the top of the eighth inning leading to a 1-1 score.
It was the calm before the storm. The game was quiet until the bottom of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Park Se-woong, who was still on the mound, was hit by the leadoff hitter, Hong Chang-ki, with a single to left-center. It was Park’s second hit of the day. After LG loaded the bases, Park Hae-min tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but after two fouls, he struck out swinging. The next batter was Kim Hyun-soo. Here, Kim Hyun-soo lined a five-pitch fastball (147 kilometers) up the middle on a 2-2 count. He rounded second base to score Hong Chang-ki from third.

The next batter was Austin. After a fastball, he was hit by a two-pitch slider (139 km) that went straight to the second baseman. But Austin didn’t give up. As soon as the at-bat was over, he threw his bat and sprinted to first base. First, Ahn Chi-hong’s throw to second base was a force out. Shortstop Lee Hak-joo then made a strong throw to first base, but by a narrow margin, Austin took first base. Lotte requested a video review, but the call was not overturned. The LG fans on first base cheered and the Lotte fans on third base sighed. The next batter, Oh Ji-hwan, struck out swinging. The inning ended.

However, Lotte did not go down without a fight. In the eighth inning, with Kelly on the mound, leadoff hitter Yoo Kang-nam singled to left. Lotte then brought in pinch-hitter Hwang Sung-bin. The next batter was Kim Min-seok. After an initial foul ball, he laid down a sacrifice bunt toward first base on the second pitch. The runner was out. However, a situation arose at second base. Hwang Sung-bin was rounding second base when he collided with LG shortstop Oh Ji-hwan and fell to the ground. A trainer from Lotte came out and checked on Hwang for a moment.

Manager Larry Sutton protested the collision, and the umpires called for an overthrow, allowing Hwang to advance to third base. The umpires believed that the third base had been vacated when the bunt was fielded, and that Hwang could have reached third base if he hadn’t collided with Oh Ji-hwan. In response, the umpires took the microphone on the field and explained, “Oh Ji-hwan and Hwang Sung-bin collided at second base, and since there was no one on third base, we declared an obstruction of the base and allowed Hwang Sung-bin to advance to third base.” This time, LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop immediately rushed out of the dugout to protest, but the call was not overturned. Eventually, Go Seung-min hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to tie the game at 1-1. Yoon Dong-hee followed with a single to right, but Rex grounded into a double play to end the threat.

◆ Game-winner: Lotte’s focus against LG closer Go Woo-seok in the top of the ninth inning
Park Se-woong took the mound in the bottom of the eighth inning. He got Park Dong-won to ground out to shortstop and Moon Bo-kyung and Moon Sung-joo to ground out to first base to end the inning. Instead of pulling Kelly in the top of the ninth, LG brought in “closer” Ko Woo-seok, but he looked shaky. After leadoff hitter Jeon Jun-woo drew a five-pitch walk, Ahn Chi-hong lined a single down the left-field line to put runners on first and third with no outs. Lee Hak-joo struck out swinging on five pitches. However, Park Seung-wook drove a 152-kilometer fastball from Ko Woo-seok in the fourth pitch, and the ball landed just inside the left-field line. This allowed Jeon Jun-woo, the third baseman, to cross the plate with time to spare. The Lotte fans on the third base side went into a frenzy, but Gowseok was no longer shaken. He struck out Hwang Sung-bin on a seven-pitch catcher’s strikeout and Kim Min-seok on a five-pitch swinging strikeout.

Lotte then brought in “closer” Kim Won-joong in the bottom of the ninth. After getting the leadoff hitter, Shin Min-jae, to fly out to left field. However, Hong Chang-ki singled up the middle to keep the spark alive, but that was it. Park Hae-min singled in front of the second baseman to end the game.
For Lotte, Park Se-woong pitched eight innings of three-hit ball, striking out five and allowing one run (one earned) to improve to 4-2 on the season. Kim Won-joong followed with one inning of scoreless relief. In the nine-hit lineup, Ahn Chi-hong led the way with three hits.

LG starter Kelly also pitched well, allowing one run (unearned) on seven hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in eight innings. Ko Woo-seok followed with one inning of two-hit ball, one walk, three strikeouts and one run (one earned) to take the loss (2-3, 4-1). The offense was limited to four scattered hits.

After the game, manager Sutton said, “It was a must-win game, and I’m glad we got the result and gave ourselves a chance to bounce back. Se-woong Park pitched a fantastic, all-star performance. Our defense really helped him pitch well. The batters didn’t give up and tried to create chances, but when it mattered most, Park Seung-wook came through with a hit to win the game. I am happy that our players showed their willingness to repay the fans’ tremendous support with a victory.”

Park Seung-wook, who hit the game-winning hit, said, “Defensively, Seung-woo threw really well today, so I think I was more focused and made good plays. In the offense, I had a strong feeling that when I had a chance, I had to take it. Even though it was two strikes, I was confident and I think that led to a good result. I’m really happy that I was able to contribute to the team’s victory,” he said, enjoying the win. Lotte will now take the field at 5 p.m. on April 24 at Jamsil Stadium, with Barnes and LG’s Plutko in the lineup.

LOTTE Giants vs LG Twins Starting Lineup (June 23, Jamsil Baseball Stadium, 21,809 fans in attendance)

  • LOTTE GIANTS: Ko Seung-min (first base), Yoon Dong-hee (right field), Rex (left field), Jeon Jun-woo (designated hitter), Ahn Chi-hong (second base), Han Dong-hee (third base), Park Seung-wook (shortstop), Yoo Kang-nam (catcher), Kim Min-seok (center field). Starting pitcher Park Se-woong.
  • LG Twins: Hong Chang-ki (right fielder)-Park Hae-min (center fielder)-Kim Hyun-soo (first baseman)-Austin (designated hitter)-Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop)-Park Dong-won (catcher)-Moon Bo-kyung (third baseman)-Moon Sung-joo (left fielder)-Shin Min-jae (second baseman). Starting pitcher Casey Kelly.

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