Lotte won a thrilling walk-off victory against Samsung after a close overtime match.
The Lotte Giants, led by acting manager Jong-woon Lee,토스카지노 won 2-1 in a home game against the Samsung Lions in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Munsu Baseball Stadium in Ulsan on the 7th after a close game that went until the 11th inning. Lotte, which decorated its three-game series against Samsung as a winning series, moved to its enemy, Changwon, from the 8th and won 5 games in 6 games held in September, rising to 3rd place, and a double header (9th) with NC Dinos. A 4-game series will be played (54 wins, 60 losses).
Lotte’s starter Shim Jae-min lasted 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, and 1 run, and 6 relievers who started in the 6th inning allowed 6 scoreless innings. Shin Jeong-rak, who took the mound in the 11th inning and caught one batter, earned his third win of the season. In the batting lineup, Nico Goodrum hit a timely hit to tie the game in the 7th inning, and this player, who had missed a walk-off opportunity as a pinch hitter in the 9th inning, hit a walk-off hit in the 11th inning to atone. The main character is Yoo Kang-nam, the ‘8 billion catcher’ whom Lotte ambitiously recruited ahead of this season.
A catcher position that is difficult to play in many games.
Yang Eui-ji, who returned to the Doosan Bears with the highest free agent fee record of 15.2 billion won in 4+2 ahead of this season, is still in good shape with a batting average of .314 (6th), 10 home runs, and 47 RBIs. is showing off. However, Yang Eui-ji, who only played in 98 games due to various injuries, wore the starting mask for only 69 games. In fact, even during the past four years that Yang Eui-ji played in the NC uniform, there has never been a season in which he appeared as a starter in more than 100 games wearing a catcher’s mask.
‘Living legend’ Kang Min-ho, who surpassed the record of ‘legend’ Park Kyung-wan (LG Twins battery coach, 314 home runs) with 317 home runs, is also appearing in more games as a catcher as he gets older. Kang Min-ho, who showed off his stamina of steel by starting more than 100 games as a catcher for four consecutive years after transferring to Samsung, signed his third free agent contract for up to 3.6 billion won for four years ahead of last year’s season. And Kang Min-ho is under the management of the club, having started 83 games as a catcher last year, only wearing the starting mask in 77 games this year.
Kim Tae-gun (KIA Tigers), who debuted in LG but transferred to NC ahead of the 2013 season, made a name for himself as the league’s leading catcher by wearing the starting mask for more than 120 games for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017. . However, he enlisted in the military after the 2017 season, and NC recruited Yang Eui-ui, the best active catcher, ahead of the 2019 season. Kim Tae-gun, who had been playing as a backup through NC and Samsung, regained his starting position when he transferred to KIA last July.
Park Dong-won (LG), who has been the Nexen Heroes’ starting catcher since 2015, played an active role as the Heroes’ regular starting catcher, playing approximately 1,000 innings per year for two consecutive years until 2016. However, Park Dong-won, whose number of appearances as a catcher had been decreasing since 2017, shared the mask with veteran catcher Ji-young Lee ahead of the 2019 season. Ultimately, Park Dong-won moved to KIA through a trade last year, and as he wore the LG uniform ahead of this season, his opportunities as a catcher increased significantly.
Since the catcher is a position that has many factors that can affect the game, such as pitching leads, checking runners, blocking, and hitting, the presence of a good catcher in baseball is a very important part of a team’s strength. Since it is a position that carries a high risk of injury and requires a lot of physical strength, it is essential for the club to develop and recruit good catchers, and to manage them thoroughly. Lotte, which had been struggling with a catching catcher for five years after Kang Min-ho’s transfer, invested a large amount of 8 billion won ahead of this season to recruit free agent catcher Yoo Kang-nam.
Yoo Kang-nam, who hit a pinch-hit double play in the 9th inning and then hit a walk-off hit in the 11th inning,
was a promising catcher who was selected for the youth national team during his time at Seoul High School, but in the 2011 rookie draft, he was ranked 50th overall in the 7th round. However, the 7th round selection of promising catcher Yoo Kang-nam became an excellent choice that changed LG’s 2010s. This is because Yoo Kang-nam was the player who solved LG’s catcher problems that continued for 2-3 years until 2014 after Jo In-seong (LG’s remaining general coach) transferred to free agency.
Yoo Kang-nam, who only appeared in 16 games in the first team for two years after turning professional, took over the position of LG’s starting catcher as soon as he returned from military service in Sangmu. And he showed off his incredible stamina, appearing in a whopping 1014 games over 8 years from 2015 to last year. During the same period, no catcher played more games than Yoo Kang-nam in the KBO League. In particular, Yoo Kang-nam set a record of playing in more than 130 games for five consecutive years from 2018 to last year, which is not easy for even a field player.
It was natural that a young catcher born in 1992, who had strong stamina and the slugging ability to hit about 15 home runs, was treated well in the free agent market. However, after receiving a ransom of 8 billion won and wearing a Lotte uniform, Yoo Kang-nam is not meeting expectations with a batting average in the low .200s and 7 home runs this season. Moreover, Yoo Kang-nam’s position became even more precarious as Jeong Jeong-geun, who had a weak presence until last year, and promising catcher Son Seong-bin, who completed his military service, performed better than expected.
In the Samsung match on the 7th, Yoo Kang-nam started on the bench after being pushed by Jeong Jeong-geun. In the bottom of the 9th inning, when Lotte was facing Samsung with a score of 1-1, an opportunity came to end the game with one out and the bases loaded, and acting manager Lee Jong-woon brought in Yoo Kang-nam as a pinch hitter. Yoo Kang-nam disappointed Ulsan fans when he retired due to a double play in front of the second baseman, but a second chance came in the 11th inning of overtime with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd base. And Yoo Kang-nam put an end to the long overtime match with a timely strike to end the left-hander against Samsung’s closer Oh Seung-hwan.
Yoo Kang-nam’s batting average of .230, 7 home runs, and 35 RBIs in 93 games this season is still far short, considering his 8 billion won worth and the high expectations of Lotte fans at the time of his recruitment. If a rebound is not achieved during the remaining contract period, Lotte’s recruitment of Yoo Kang-nam will inevitably be remembered as a ‘failed contract.’ This is why Yoo Kang-nam, who provided the opportunity for a turnaround through a walk-off hit in the game on the 7th, must work even harder for Lotte’s fall baseball challenge in the remaining 30 games.