Lotte is cruising to a 23-15 record this year, good for third place in the league, but there’s one thing that’s bothering them. Their winning percentage drops dramatically when they face left-handed starters.
Oddly enough, it’s not just against left-handed starters. Lotte’s record against left-handed starters is just 1-8. Even against Sajik NC on April 24, 토토사이트 Lotte was unable to capitalize on left-hander Choi Sung-young’s pitches, falling 1-3. Choi, on the other hand, pitched five innings of one-run ball and earned his first win of the season.
Is there really no solution? Lotte manager Larry Sutton is well aware of this. “I think we definitely need to make some adjustments in our hitting, and we’re talking about it a lot,” Sutton said of Lotte’s struggles against left-handed starters before his resignation on Friday.
“But we’ve done well against lefties in the past, and we’ve got some injuries on the team right now. And our overall hitting cycle is going down. We’re not too worried about it, but we’re talking about it,” Sutton said.
Currently, Lotte’s team batting average is .253, which ranks seventh in the league. One of the reasons for the drop is their batting average against lefties. Lotte’s batting average against lefties is .219, which ranks last in the league. A solution is urgently needed.
Lotte’s latest acquisition, switch-hitter Kook Hae-sung, could be the spearhead of a “breakout lefty” offense. Lotte tried to make a breakthrough by using Kook Hae-sung as the No. 6 designated hitter on the 24th, but he failed to produce a hit in three at-bats with a walk and a strikeout. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, he hit a big fly ball to the outfield, but it ended up in the glove of center fielder Jason Martin.
“If he hadn’t hit that first pitch, it could have been a different game,” Sutton said. “He had good at-bats yesterday (Thursday) and showed a mature approach. I was impressed with the way he swung at pitches that were in his strike zone and didn’t miss them,” Sutton said, noting the process rather than the result. Sutton also said that he is open to the possibility of starting Hae-sung if he sees a left-handed starter in the future. When will Lotte be able to break free of their “lefty phobia”?