Lotte’s fear’s ‘early vacation’ for 1-3 first-round picks ‘nucleus’ gain for last-place Hanwha?
Lotte’s foreign pitchers and homegrown ace’s early exit, a ‘nucleus’ gain for Hanwha?
The 2023 KBO season is nearing its conclusion. But the battle for the top spot is far from over. Only the LG Twins and KT Wiz are locked in atop the standings, but the third through 10th spots are up for grabs.
While the battle for third through sixth place, with a spot in fall baseball on the line, is of primary interest, the “league of their own” is also very interesting. The battle between the 8th-place Samsung Lions, 9th-place Hanwha Eagles, and 10th-place Kiwoom Heroes is far from over. Hanwha’s six-game losing streak has shaken up the bottom of the table, and now only 1.5 games separate 8th-place Samsung from 10th-place Kiwoom. Hanwha and Kiwoom are separated by only half a game.
The story of why they shouldn’t be in last place is also poignant. The storied Samsung team hasn’t finished last since its inception. A first-place finish would be too much of a shock, even though they are in the most favorable position. Kiwoom reached the Korean Series last season. A steep fall could tarnish their reputation as an emerging powerhouse. If Hanwha finishes last, it will go down in history as the first team to finish last four years in a row in the 10-team system.
In the meantime, Hanwha will play its final three-game series against Lotte starting on the 14th. For both teams, these three games are the end of the season. Hanwha must somehow break the losing streak and win a lot to avoid falling victim to the last place war.
However, the conditions are favorable. Lotte, already locked into seventh place, will finish the season without any of its key starters. Foreign starters Barnes and Wilkerson, as well as homegrown ace Park Se-woong, are all out of the lineup. Lotte gave the start to Woo Kang-hyun instead of rookie Barnes, who was available to pitch on four days’ rest against the KIA Tigers on April 12. Park needed one more win to reach 10 wins for the third straight year. 먹튀검증 Since he pitched against the Doosan Bears on the 11th, he could have gotten to 10 wins with four days of rest before the final game on the 16th. However, they gave up the record, possibly due to the aftermath of the Hangzhou Asian Games.
For Hanwha, not facing Lotte 1-3 will definitely improve their chances of winning. But don’t let your guard down. Against KIA, Woo Kang-hyun threw well early on and the game was close until the end. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Lotte is preparing a rotation of Han Hyun-hee, Na Kyun-an, and Shim Jae-min for the three-game series. There is room to change the order and players depending on the situation.