Hanwha will face Lotte with ‘one win’ in seven games

Hanwha will play three consecutive games against the Lotte Giants at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon from the 2nd to the 4th.

The mood of the two teams is completely opposite. Hanwha has been on the rise for the past seven consecutive games, while Lotte has had only one win in seven games since the opening of the season.

Hanwha, which had not been evaluated as a candidate for the championship before the opening of the season, is creating a sensation in the early days of the season. It lost only in its opening game against the LG Twins on April 23, but has since lost seven games.

Hanwha, which avenged LG on the 24th, the next day, won all three consecutive games against SSG Landers from the 26th to the 28th of last month and three consecutive games against KT Wiz from the 29th to the 31st.

It is the first time in 10 years that Hanwha ranked No. 1 during the season since March 30, 2014. It is the first time in 15 years that Hanwha ranked No. 1 after playing seven or more games since the season opened on April 14, 2009.

It is the first time in 18 years that the team has swept three consecutive games twice. It has never won three consecutive games since May 12-14 (against Daejeon Lotte Giants) and May 16-18 (against Incheon SK Wyverns) in 2006.

The foundation for their winning streak in consecutive games can be said to be solid starters, led by “return ace” Ryu Hyun-jin. The starting lineup, which includes Felix Peña, Kim Min-woo, Ricardo Sanchez, and Moon Dong-ju, is flawless. All starting pitchers except Ryu have won the starting lineup.

He is also displaying perfect performance as a substitute starter. While Kim Min-woo was vacant due to his complaints about gallbladder disease, Hwang Joon-seo, a rookie player who started the match against KT in Daejeon on April 31, laid foundation for his team’s 14-3 victory by displaying quality pitching of three hits (one homer) and five strikeouts, two walks and one run in five innings.

The batting line looks more organized.

Moon Hyun-bin, a second-year professional who was selected as the No. 1 hitter this season, is playing a role as an offensive spearhead, recording a batting average of 0.346 and an on-base percentage of 0.471.

The central batting line, which was joined by Roh Si-hwan, the home run king, and Ahn Chi-hong, the veteran slugger Chae Eun-sung last year, is also boasting of its destructive power. Jonathan Peraza, a foreign hitter who entered the KBO League for the first time this year, is playing a “blessing” role with a batting average of 0.517 with four home runs and seven RBIs and an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.617.

Ryu Hyun-jin, who has yet to report his first victory since returning to the KBO League, will make his third appearance since returning to Lotte on the 4th if there are no variables such as cancellation of rain.

Ryu Hyun-jin, who became a losing pitcher by allowing five runs (two earned runs) in three ⅔ in the opening game against LG on March 23, his first appearance since his return, pitched well against KT in Daejeon on the 29th with eight hits, nine strikeouts and two runs in six innings, but failed to win.

Lotte, which ambitiously started the 2024 season by recruiting “winning contractor” Kim Tae-hyung after the 2023 season, is struggling early in the season. It lost all six of its remaining games except its 3-1 victory over the Sajik NC Dinos on April 29.

Lotte’s performance was good in the spring, early in the season, but gradually fell in the ranking, earning an unwelcome nickname of “Spring Day,” but this year, it has not been able to ride even the spring breeze.

The biggest concern is that the batting line is hardly gaining strength. Lotte remains in ninth place with a team batting average of 0.252. The batting average for the scoring area is the lowest at 0.194.

Lotte, which is having a hard time, will meet Hanwha and then face the Doosan Bears at Sajik Stadium.

Coach Kim Tae-hyung will meet his former team, which has built a stellar career, for the first time. As the Doosan manager between 2015 and 2022, Kim advanced to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years and won three titles (2015, 2016, and 2019).

The Samsung Lions, which lost all three consecutive home games against SSG from the 29th to the 31st of last month, will try to escape consecutive losses against the Kiwoom Heroes.

Kiwoom, however, has strong momentum. It gained momentum by finishing its three consecutive games against LG, the defending champion, with two wins and one loss over the weekend.

Samsung, which has the lowest team batting average of 0.233, has a significant gap in its lineup as its main second baseman Ryu Ji-hyuk left due to injury, and foreign hitter David McKinnon went on maternity leave.

Samsung will meet the Kia Tigers, who are currently ranked second in the league, this weekend.

SSG left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun will try to win his 161st career victory this week.

Kim won consecutive games against Lotte (three runs in five innings) on April 23 and Samsung (one run in six innings) on April 29, marking the fourth time that he has won a total of 160 games. If he adds one more win this week, he will tie for third in the overall multiple wins list with Jung Min-cheol.

BY: 스포츠토토

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