’10 Losses & 5.77 ERA’ Painful First Year of Free Agency… Why Did the ‘King of Home Runs’ Say “Hitting is Hard”?

Lotte Giants manager Larry Sutton is a “big gun” who won the 2005 home run title with the Hyundai Unicorns, hitting 35 home runs.

Now that he is in charge of Lotte, Sutton has a problem.

메이저놀이터 The up-and-down pitching of Han Hyun-hee, who became a free agent after the end of last season and signed a 3+1 year deal with Lotte for up to 4 billion won.

He won 11 games in 2015 and 2018, then 24 in 2019. Her record shows that she can be used in both the starting rotation and the bullpen.

This season, she has a 5-10 record and a 5.77 ERA in 30 games. She has a 5.27 ERA in 14 games as a starter and a 7.88 ERA in 16 games as a reliever.

At times, he performed as well as expected, but at other times, he fell apart at key moments. His struggles have become more frequent, making for a painful first year of free agency.

Against Kiwoom on April 18, he gave up a walk-off home run to Lee Joo-hyung in the eighth inning. He became the first player in the league to lose 10 games.

For Lotte, which is busy fighting for a top-five finish, Han will need to secure a spot in the pitching staff. Sutton also emphasized that “my confidence and faith in Han Hyun-hee hasn’t changed.”

It’s not a vague belief. He gave her some homework to do.

“She’s had a successful career in Kiwoom, where she played both a starting role and a role in the rotation,” Sutton said. Since joining Lotte, he’s been able to do well as a starter and out of the bullpen,” Sutton said, adding, “He has good command and can use his pitches effectively.”

The 2023 KBO League game between the Kiwoom Heroes and the Lotte Giants was held at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 10th. Lotte’s Han Hyun-hee is pitching. Gocheok = Park Jae-man 기자pjm@sportschosun.com/2023.08.10/
The problem is the difference between a day when you can beat a hitter and a day when you can’t. Sutton pointed to “mental” as the reason. “His confidence and belief in his pitches is down a bit. It’s important to get that back,” Sutton said.

The ‘reigning home run king’ also talked a bit about baseball as a hitter. “One of the things that I hope he understands is that hitting is very difficult. It’s hard for a hitter to make good pitches. As you know, baseball is a game that favors the pitcher. I think it’s a lot more helpful if you’re not trying to throw perfect pitches, but you’re trying to make pitches that are in your favor.”

Sutton also has his own challenges as a manager. Closing the gap between the quality of the closer and the rest of the bullpen. “It’s something that we’ve been working on all season,” Sutton said. “As you go through the season, you’re going to have injuries and you’re going to have gaps (between the best and worst), but we’re trying to close those gaps as much as we can.”

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