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Director Kim Taehyung is feeling it

Ahead of the fifth game between the Kia Tigers and the team in the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 23rd, manager Kim Tae-hyung said, "The players seem to have little confidence. First of all, the pitchers are throwing well," adding, "If three players (Park Se-woong, Barnes, and Wilkerson) start, they will block within two to three points, which is a win."

Lotte beat KIA 6-1 on the 21st to start the week with a victory. Barnes, who was the starting pitcher, was able to easily solve the game as he made a perfect pitch with five hits, two walks, seven strikeouts and one run in seven ⅔ innings.

The Lotte Giants defeated the Kia Tigers 4-2 on Tuesday. Starting pitcher Park Se-woong blocked Kia's hitting line by allowing four hits, one walk, two strikeouts and one run in eight innings, laying foundation for its victory. Despite being in crisis due to struggles with ball control by closing pitcher Kim Won-joong in the top of the ninth inning, the team garnered the win based on stellar defense and defense by right fielder Shin Yoon-hoo.

Lotte is currently at the bottom of the standings, but its performance has been clear since May. With nine wins, six losses and one draw, it is ranking second in monthly win percentage after the Doosan Bears (12-4 losses and two draws). As the team trails the Kiwoom Heroes and the Hanwha Eagles by 0.5 game and the KT Wiz in seventh place by one game, it is possible that the team will be eliminated from the standings depending on the results of the game.

What drove Lotte's rebound in May was the shoulder of starting pitchers. He showed stellar performance in four games with two wins and no loss in 26 ⅔, and Park Se-woong with two wins and one loss in 25 ⅔. Wilkerson is also stable with two wins and one loss and a 1.83 ERA in 19 ⅔ innings in three games.

Barnes and Park Se-woong also did their part on the 21st and 22nd, winning the No. 1 KIA opponent. If Wilkerson does his part on the 23rd, it is possible to win three consecutive games and sweep.

"Whether it's the No. 1 team or the No. 2 team, it's better for our team to win every game right now," coach Kim Tae-hyung said. "Park Se-woong also threw really well the day before. As he fought and quickly set the count, he saved the number of pitches and pitched well until the eighth inning."

"I was throwing well when I replaced Park Se-woong from the beginning of the ninth inning, but I thought it would be better to put in a closing pitcher (Kim Won-joong) from the beginning because he might have difficulty sending out runners and increasing the number of pitches," he said. "Kim Won-joong still defended well at the end."

Meanwhile, Lotte formed its starting lineup with Hwang Sung-bin (left fielder), Yoon Dong-hee (center fielder), Ko Seung-min (second baseman), Victor Reyes (designated hitter), Kim Min-sung (third baseman), Na Seung-yeop (first baseman), Yoo Kang-nam (catcher), Shin Yoon-hoo (right fielder) and Lee Hak-joo (striker).