‘All-star’ Kim Soo-hyun’s presence is key to Lotte’s second-half rebound

The Lotte Giants’ second-half rebound depends on the performance of Yoo Kang-nam, who stood out at the All-Star Game.

On the 15th, at the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) League All-Star Game held at Sajik Stadium in Busan, ‘Sajik Kim Soo-hyun’ appeared. In the top of the eighth inning, Yoo Kang-nam of the Dream All-Stars stepped into the batter’s box wearing a shirt and tie, with a bag on his back. Yoo Kang-nam, a parody of Kim Soo-hyun from the drama “You from the Stars,” attracted the attention of fans by hitting a home run on his birthday.온라인바카라

In the eve event, the Home Run Race, he showed his presence as a batting ball pitcher who helped Chae Eun-sung win. Chae Eun-sung announced that she would split the 5 million won prize money 6-4 with Yoo Kang-nam, who offered to pitch first.

After finishing the All-Star Game on a high note, Yoo Kang-nam is looking to rebound in the second half of the season. He joined Lotte as a free agent ahead of this season for a four-year, 8 billion won contract, but his first-half performance was disappointing, as he batted just .233 with five home runs in 74 games.

The team’s ranking fluctuated depending on the performance of An Bang-manim Yoo Kang-nam. After struggling with a 0.186 batting average in the opening 14 games, Yoo came alive with a 0.276 batting average during Lotte’s nine-game winning streak that began on 20 April against the KIA Tigers. At the same time, the team’s ERA stabilised at 2.41, and the team’s ranking jumped from eighth to first.

Lotte Giants’ Yoo Kang-nam talks to starting pitcher Na Kyun-an during their game against the Kiwoom Heroes at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on 28 May. Yonhap News1
The problem came in June. Yoo was batting just .211, failing to contribute to the team’s offence, while the battery-bound foreign one-two punch of Dan Streeley and Charlie Barnes collapsed into a four-run ERA. Lotte also faltered in their sixth consecutive losing series, starting against the LG Twins on the 6th.

The encouraging part is that Yoo’s bat has been coming alive lately. After hitting his first career grand slam against the Samsung Lions on 27 June, he has improved his batting average to .292 with two home runs in eight games in July.

Lotte, which finished the first half in fifth place, is just three and a half games behind the ninth-place Kiwoom Heroes. Currently, Lotte’s bats have stagnated, ranking last in the league in team home runs (35) and RBIs (303), and ninth in on-base percentage (0.346) and slugging percentage (0.327). The bullpen also has the second-highest ERA (4.52) in the league behind Samsung, so they’ll need both arms to come alive if they want to contend for the top spot. That’s where catcher Yoo Kang-nam’s role in the second half comes in.

In the final series of the first half, Lotte manager Larry Sutton said, “Yoo Kang-nam is a player with great leadership. “When he’s in his zone, he can hit a lot of hard pitches, which is why we signed him,” he said. He hasn’t made many changes recently, but he’s been hitting to his strengths.”

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