Prior to the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against KT Wiz at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 27th, Lotte said, “Coach Larry Sutton will not be able to play today due to health reasons,” adding, “He returned home immediately after arriving at the baseball stadium, and senior coach Lee Jong-woon will replace him from the pre-game briefing.”
This is the second time this season that Sutton has failed to lead the players due to health problems. On the 17th, he complained of dizziness ahead of the home game against the SSG Landers, and in the end, Lotte had to play under the acting Lee Jong-woon system.
At the beginning of the season, Lotte remained at the top of the list based on its well-organized power, and its dream of autumn baseball gradually grew. Many fans cheered for Lotte’s winning streak by filling the stands at Sajik Baseball Stadium at the beginning of the season. From the coaching staff’s point of view, they were able to run the team without much concern.
However, Lotte, which had endured well for two months, gradually fell from early June, and the ranking began to fall one step at a time. In the end, as it fell below the 50% winning rate, a “red light” was also turned on for the competition for the semifinals. Not only the players but also the coaching staff, including Sutton, were under considerable stress.
In particular, Lotte recorded 9 wins and 12 losses in 21 games in August before the match, raising the possibility of finishing the month’s schedule with a winning rate of less than 50%. Even if the remaining game schedule remains after September, it is currently not certain whether Lotte will be able to leap to the upper middle.
Lotte has not won a single game since the match against Gocheok Kiwoom Heroes on the 18th, and is aiming to escape six consecutive losses in the final game of the series against KT on the 27th. With Na Kyun-an in charge of starting, Lotte is facing KT 0-0 as of the second inning. The R-up is in the order of Ahn Kwon-soo (center fielder), Jung-hoon (1st baseman), Junghoon Lee (nominated hitter), Ahn Chi-hong (2nd baseman), Jeon Joon-woo (left fielder), Yoon Dong-hee (right fielder), Yoo Kang-nam (catcher), Park Seung-wook (3rd baseman), and Noh Jin-hyuk (shortstop). 토토