The All-Star Game will be held in Busan for the first time in 16 years since 2007. Just in time, the ‘momentum’ at the beginning of the season was good. A warm cheer from the fans followed.

In the case of Dream All-Stars, which Lotte Giants belong to, 7 All-Stars came from Lotte alone among the best 12. Starting (Park Se-woong), middle (Ku Seung-min), and finishing (Kim Won-joong) dominated the mound, and rookie Kim Min-seok also took a spot in the outfield. In addition, free agents and veterans representing the team, including second base (Ahn Chi-hong), shortstop (No Jin-hyuk), and designated hitter (Jun-woo Jeon), were named. Here, Han Dong-hee, who ranked second in the fan vote, will start for the first time in the All-Star Game due to the injury of the first-ranked Choi Jeong. The icing on the cake is that it will be held at Sajik, the home stadium.

It is the first time that Kim Min-seok, Park Se-woong of ‘Glasses Ace’, and Noh Jin-hyeok of ‘Geopo shortstop’ were selected as all-stars by fan vote. Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong are also honored to taste it for the second time. The passion of Busan fans is revealed.온라인바카라

However, Lotte is shaking. On the 13th, in the ‘Nakdong River Derby’ against Changwon NC Dinos, Lotte lost 3 to 13 despite the foreign ace Barnes, and finished the first half with 38 wins and 39 losses, -1 margin.

The joint initiation ceremony of the three free agents last winter. Noh Jin-hyeok, Yoo Kang-nam, and Han Hyun-hee (from left). Sports Chosun DB
From winter to spring, the main character of the KBO League was definitely Lotte. The parent company showed a strong commitment to fall baseball by investing 26 billion won only in FA and non-FA extension contracts.

There was a time when it was once considered that Lotte had grown into a ‘strong fall baseball team’. This is the period between 2008 and 2012, when Royster and former coach Yang Seung-ho stimulated the nostalgia of Lotte fans. At the time, Lotte was in fall baseball for five consecutive years, centered on Lee Dae-ho. He advanced to the semi-playoffs for three consecutive years under former coach Royster and the playoffs for two consecutive years under former coach Yang Seung-ho. Now, the first Korean series since 1999 seemed to be in front of me.

But then came the dark ages. The only time Lotte has entered fall baseball since 2012 is in 2017 (semi-playoff), the return season of Lee Dae-ho. There are teams like the Kiwoom Heroes that make it to the postseason 9 times in 10 years, and there are teams that go to the Korean Series for 7 years in a row like the Doosan Bears. On the other hand, Lotte has only played fall baseball once for 10 years. In the 21st century, he has never tasted the Korean Series stage. Lee Dae-ho, who joined in 2001, took off his Lotte uniform without ever going to the Korean Series he longed for.

Although he did not make it to the Korean Series, former coach Royster led Lotte in its heyday in the 21st century. Sports Chosun DB
It seemed different this year. It went well until April and early May. In April, they took first place overall with 14 wins and 8 losses. I also tasted the joy of winning 9 consecutive wins in the regular season for the first time in 13 years since 2010.

The hearts of the fans were completely connected to the All-Star Game. At the beginning of the vote, Lotte players monopolized all categories. As a result, class veterans such as catcher Yang Eui-ji, first baseman Park Byung-ho, third baseman Choi Jeong, and outfielder Koo Ja-wook-Pirella found their place, but seven of them made the starting list.

However, after that, Lotte began to shake after a good record of 13 wins and 9 losses in May. In June, it seemed to collapse with 9 wins and 16 losses (8th out of 10 clubs), but managed to keep only a 50% win rate. However, in July, it completely collapsed with 2 wins and 6 losses (10th overall), and in the end, it could not keep the 50% mark. In particular, the last NC series was a bad game that was beaten with double-digit losses (2-11, 3-13) for two days in a row. At least, Han Dong-hee’s home run in the top of the ninth was bittersweet comfort.

What mid-level command towers such as Doosan, NC, KIA Tigers, and KT Wiz say in unison is ‘the importance of a 50% win rate’. The mood and motivation of the team vary greatly depending on the win-lose margin of +1, 0, or -1. For this reason, the coaches say in unison, ‘I want to finish the first half with a 50% win rate’ and ‘Even if it becomes a bit unreasonable, I will set the 500% odds ratio and envision the next situation’.

Lotte manager Larry Sutton was the same way. Right before the end of the first half, he released Rex, a foreign batter, and tried to set the mood for the team. However, amidst the sluggish performance of three foreign players, the collapse of the bullpen, which fell to the bottom of the ERA among 10 clubs, and the growth stagnation of next-generation hitters such as Han Dong-hee and Ko Seung-min, they eventually entered the second half with a win rate of 4.994.

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