It truly is a midsummer’s nightmare. ‘Defending champion’ SSG Landers is having a gloomy August. Even the second place, which had been maintained for a long time, was at stake in the play that lost its basic skills.
SSG lost 4-15 in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO league away game against Lotte Giants held at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 17th. As a result, SSG gave up all three matches during the week against Lotte. The three-game losing streak against Lotte is the first time in five years and two months since June 15-17, 2018 (literature), when the former SK Wyverns were in the game.
Until this series, SSG recorded 7 wins and 3 losses against Lotte, gaining an advantage in the ‘distribution rival’ confrontation. In the recent matchup, August 4-6, in three consecutive away matches, although the team allowed a no-hitter on the last day, they achieved a 2-1 winning series.
However, the three-game series against Lotte, who came back, was like a nightmare for SSG. From the first game (15th), SSG’s starter Loenis Elias went down the mound in 4 innings, and no one hit base during the first lap of the other line. At least in the second half of the game, they pursued, but in the end, 4 runs in the 7th became a fatal blow and they lost 6-10.
The next day, they gave up the game 4-7. On this day, starting pitcher Park Jong-hoon showed a difficult pitching game by giving away as many as 9 four balls in 5 innings. The batting line was not able to run away coolly despite the opponent’s successive mistakes. In the end, after allowing Jeon Jun-woo a come-from-behind 3-run home run in the 5th inning, he gave up 3 runs in the 6th and 7th innings and was defeated as it was.스포츠토토
‘Park Jong-hoon’s 2nd Army’ Director Kim Won-hyung, who sent a warning message to many 4th pitches, but there was no improvement
Accordingly, SSG excluded Park Jong-hoon from the first team entry before the game on the 17th. He also gave up 7 four balls against Lotte on the 4th, and in the two games, he recorded a whopping 16 four balls. SSG coach Kim Won-hyung said, “I will try not to walk and throw,” but left a bitter voice saying, “(Park) Jong-hoon sometimes has a lot of situations where he is staring at it, so (beasts) lose concentration.”
Next, coach Kim diagnosed the overall team, saying, “Before coming here (Busan), the pitchers threw well and there was stagnation in the batting line.” He said, “Even if the power is not perfect overall, if you score a small number of points, the pitchers should be able to win the game by blocking it.” I wanted to do it,” he said.
However, on this day, SSG’s game flow was not very good. Rather, it was the worst result of the three matches. Starter Oh Won-seok gave up 7 hits and 4 walks in 3⅓ innings, scored 5 runs and was knocked out early. At the beginning of the 8th inning, when they were trailing 2-6, Kang Jin-seong’s timely hit and Choi Jeong’s sacrifice fly set out to chase after two points.
However, the defense at the end of the 8th inning was a nightmare for SSG. After sending out lead hitter Ahn Kwon-soo, Park Seung-wook hit 2 RBIs and 3 bases on 1st, 1st and 3rd bases, and vomited the score following the previous inning. After that, Ahn Kwon-soo, who returned to bat, sent eight batters to first base in a row until he scored another hit. Lee Jung-hoon, who came out as a pinch hitter in the 6th batting order, also got 2 RBIs and a timely hit, and SSG scored a whopping 9 points only at the end of the 8th inning. It was shocking that the mound collapsed even though Pil Seung-jo and Noh Kyung-eun were put in.
On top of that, the SSG defense team also made mistakes one after another that day. From the first inning, when Jeon Jun-woo hit right fielder, right fielder Oh Tae-gon’s throw was not caught by catcher Kim Min-sik, so he gave up a point, and in the third inning, Park Seong-han made an error on the throw and allowed him to advance. In the 7th, Seong-Hyun Kim and Seong-Han Park made an error, and in the 8th, the center fielder’s throw missed, and the runner on first base advanced one base for free.
SSG, who spent ‘3 consecutive matches of nightmares’, caught up with 3rd place and 8 games in 44 days
With this, SSG recorded a total of 25 four balls and six errors in the three consecutive matches of resignation, and as a result, they gave up 32 points. That’s like giving up 10 or more points in every game. The other line struggled with 14 points in 3 games, but could not reverse the situation where the conceding continued.
At the same time, SSG was in danger of giving up the second place it had held for three months. SSG, who last fell to 3rd place on May 19th, won the game the next day and returned to 1st place, and since then, it has consistently maintained second place after the LG Twins. As of July 4, they made an eight-game gap with NC and Lotte, who were tied for third place. It was only a 1.5 game difference from the leader LG.
However, for 44 days since that day, SSG has been crashing with a record of 10 wins and 16 losses, with an odds ratio of 0.385. It is the second lowest win rate after Kiwoom Heroes (0.194 win rate), which virtually entered rebuilding mode after center hitter Lee Jung-hoo was injured during the same period. In the meantime, KT Wiz, who had been in 7th place by 10.5 games with SSG, swept a whopping 23 wins in 31 games, fiercely chasing and rising to 3rd place. After beating Doosan 9-8 in the game on the 17th, the ride of both teams eventually became ‘zero’. It was only a difference of 0.002 in the win rate, but it is a situation where the ranking can change according to the result of one game.
The problem is that there are too many walks. Coach Won-hyung Kim has a theory that usually favors aggressive games. Accordingly, in the winning season last year, the number of walks by the team’s pitching staff was 457, the third lowest among 10 clubs. However, this year, it ranked first with 434. As coach Kim said, when the number of four balls increases, the concentration of the fielders decreases, which leads to a decrease in performance.
SSG will now have a three-game series against the leader LG at home from the 18th. The two teams are currently separated by 7 games, but it is not easy to predict as there are still more than 40 games left in the season. However, in such an atmosphere, producing good results is not expected to be easy.