Lotte’s resurgence is becoming a reality, but did setting a KBO League record spark the rebound?

Lotte swept a three-game midweek series against SSG in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ with a 15-4 victory at Sajik Stadium in Busan on Sunday. Pajuk’s four-game winning streak. Even more surprising is the fact that the team is on an incredible pace, going 8-2 in their last 10 games.먹튀검증

When Lotte suffered another three-game losing streak with a 6-9 defeat at Sajik SSG on the 5th, it looked like they might not be able to realistically challenge for a top-five spot as their win-loss margin dropped to -7 with 42 wins and 49 losses. At that point, it was hard to see any hope for Lotte, as they had hit rock bottom with a 1-7 record in their last eight games.

However, Lotte pulled off an unbelievable feat in the Sajik SSG game on the 6th: a team no-hitter.

Starting pitcher Aaron Wilkerson went seven innings, throwing 95 pitches and shutting down the SSG lineup without allowing a hit, walking one and striking out six. In fact, he didn’t even walk a batter until the top of the seventh inning. That means he pitched a perfect sixth inning. Wilkerson gave up a walk to leadoff hitter Choo Shin-soo in the top of the seventh, followed by a sacrifice bunt to third by Choi Ji-hoon to put runners on first and second, but he got Choi Joo-hwan to fly out to center field and Choi Jung to strike out to end the inning without allowing a run.

Lotte sent Koo Seung-min to the mound in the top of the eighth inning with the score tied at 0-0, and he struck out Park Sung, Choi Jun-woo, and Han Yu-seom to keep the team’s no-hitter alive. The Lotte bats then responded. Lee Jung-hoon, who came in as a pinch hitter, singled to right and Go Seung-min laid down a sacrifice bunt in front of the pitcher to put runners on first and second, and Yoon Dong-hee, who also came in as a pinch hitter, hit a two-run double to right to give the team a valuable 1-0 lead.

With a narrow 1-0 lead, Lotte brought in closer Kim Won-joong in the top of the ninth. He gave up a walk to Choo Shin-soo two batters later, but got Choi Ji-hoon to ground out to first base to end the game. Lotte won 1-0 and became the third team in KBO history to complete a no-hitter.

In fact, it was a turning point for the team. Wilkerson pitched a perfect game on four days’ rest. Lotte’s decision to space out the starts of their foreign pitching duo, Wilkerson and Charlie Barnes, by pitching them after four days of rest, was a successful move. Moreover, Lotte, which had lost 6-9 to SSG the previous day due to bullpen struggles, was able to end the week on a high note, not only holding on to a one-run lead but also completing a team no-hitter.

At the time, Lotte manager Larry Sutton praised Wilkerson, saying, “Wilkerson pitched very unpredictably, with different pitches for each rotation of the opposing batting order,” and added, “It was a difficult three-game weekend, but Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong came out and played a game that showed mental toughness and focus.” The win meant more than just one point.

Lotte has been on an incredible pace with an 8-2 record, starting with a KBO League record. With a season record of 50 wins and 51 losses, the Giants are on the verge of getting back to .500 and are only 0.5 games behind fifth-place KIA, putting them in a position to make a run at the postseason.

In the starting pitching staff, the adjustment of spacing out the appearances of Wilkerson and Barnes has been successful so far, and Pil-Seung-jo seems to have found some stability. The bats are coming alive. Despite Yoo Kang-nam’s side injury, Lee Jung-geun has been hitting like crazy, and there are plenty of players with hot bats, including Jeon Jun-woo, Ahn Chi-hong, Lee Jung-hoon, and Yoon Dong-hee.

Lotte will play a three-game weekend series against Kiwoom at Gocheok Sky Dome starting on the 18th. Losing the momentum here would be devastating for Lotte. On the 22nd, Lotte will face top-ranked LG at Jamsil Stadium, and on the 25th, they’ll take on August powerhouse KT at Sajik Stadium. This could be the toughest stretch of the schedule. I don’t know how many people expected Lotte to sweep the three-game series against SSG, but with their current form, they shouldn’t be afraid to face anyone.

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