With the Lotte Giants holding a 6-4 lead over the LG Twins in the top of the sixth inning, they gathered in the dugout. With catcher Yoo Kang-nam leading the conversation, the determined expressions on the Lotte players’ faces as they listened was enough to make you wonder.
A day earlier, Lotte had lost 3-12 to LG in front of 20,000 fans in Anbang. They had snapped a three-game losing streak against Hanwha in Daejeon, and were tied at 3-3 on the day, but they collapsed midway through and hung their heads in shame. The hope of not repeating the nightmare from a day earlier was high.
Lotte showed great concentration on the day, fending off LG’s relentless pursuit. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the bases loaded, veteran Jeon Jun-woo got a pushing dune. He showed a solid performance for the first time in a long time and completed the three-run comeback to delight the home fans.
After the game, Yoo Kang-nam explained the reason for the meeting. 안전사이트
“We had (Kim) Min-seok and (Yoon) Dong-hee on base (in the fourth inning), and we gave up a run in the next inning,” Yoo said. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Kim Min-seok, who singled and stole second and then moved to third on a wild pitch, was tagged out at home plate by Park Dong-won’s throw, and Yoon Dong-hee, who singled in the ensuing play, was thrown out at first base on a throwing error. “I told the younger players, ‘Don’t be afraid to come up to bat and be the protagonist, and you’re going to get this chance in the middle of the inning, so wait for it and make it yours,'” Yoo said. “After that, (Hwang) Sung-bin’s defense was good, and (Kim) Min-seok also showed that he could handle it. I think it was a game where the young players were able to grow up.”
Lotte, which at one point had a +11 win-loss margin, is struggling to protect its five-point lead at the end of the first half. “Coach Yoo always tells us to have fun and not put any pressure on ourselves, and I think it’s having a positive effect on the whole team,” said Yoo Kang-nam. Regarding his solo shot in the third inning, Yoo said, “Yesterday and today, both my home run situations were after two strikes. I was in a bad count and I was like, ‘I’m going to finish my swing,’ and it worked out well.”