5 wins and 7 losses. This is the current score of Lotte, which has played 12 games. Lotte is aiming to advance to the postseason with a more solid power, but it is not easy to even reach a 50% win rate yet.
It is the mound that is becoming an obstacle to Lotte’s progress. Lotte is currently at the bottom of the team with an ERA of 6.47. The fall of the mound is directly related to team performance. In 2021, Lotte, who stayed in 10th place with a team ERA of 5.37, finished in 8th place with 65 wins, 71 losses and 8 draws. Same last year too. The team’s ERA was 9th with an ERA of 4.45, and the team’s performance was also ranked 8th with 64 wins, 76 losses and 4 draws.
It’s still early in the season, so it may not mean much to argue about the team’s ERA ranking, but the problem is that the pitchers who need to hold the center of the mound continue to be sluggish, which inevitably increases Lotte’s concerns.
In particular, the sluggishness of the foreigner one-two punch, which we believed in, is shocking. Dan Strayley, who started as a starting pitcher in the opening game, is staying at an average ERA of 5.74 with 2 losses in 3 games, and in the Daegu Samsung game on the 14th, the fastball restraint was taken at 138 km while he was struck down by left hamstring pain, giving birth to concerns about his physical condition. Concerns are growing.
Foreign pitcher Charlie Barnes, who is matched with Strayley, is also showing incredible sluggishness with an ERA of 10.80 with one loss in two games. Barnes collapsed with 10 hits and 8 runs in 5⅔ innings against Samsung in Daegu on the 16th. Remembering that Barnes played an active role with 5 wins and an ERA of 0.65 in April of last year, the result is even more painful.
The performance of foreign pitchers who make up the team’s first and second starting pitchers can be said to be an important factor in determining the crop for a year. However, if not one but two people are all sluggish, it is difficult to make up for it in any way.
Currently, most teams are paying for at least one person. In NC, despite Taylor Widener’s injury, Eric Peddy is 2-1 with an average ERA of 0.47, showing pitching equivalent to Woo-Jin Ahn. With an earned score of 1.04, he is showing off the appearance of a top-notch foreigner.
For Doosan, Dylan Pyle has yet to make his debut due to an unexpected injury sustained by a batted ball during live pitching at spring camp. In Samsung, 안전놀이터 Albert Suarez is shaking with an ERA of 7.20 with one loss, and David Buchanan, who has been in his fourth year in the KBO League, is enduring with an ERA of 3.60 with one win, although he has left for the US due to personal circumstances. SSG also has Kirk McCarty holding out with an average ERA of 4.41 with 1 win and 1 loss, even though Annie Romero has left due to a shoulder injury. Same with KIA. Adonis Medina is struggling with 2 losses and an ERA of 8.18, but Sean Anderson is adjusting smoothly with 1 win, 2 losses and an ERA of 2.14.
Of course, Birch Smith, who was expected to be an ace, has been suffering from a shoulder injury since the opening game, and Felix Pena is also 1-1 with an ERA of 5.14. There are cases like Hanwha, but Bossulser is 1-1 with an ERA of 0.69 and Wes Benjamin is 2. There is also a team like KT, which plays evenly with a win average of 3.38, and Kiwoom, where Ariel Furado is 1-2 and 3.63 ERA, and Eric Yokishi is 1 win and 4.24 ERA.
If Lotte fails to recover the competitiveness of the foreign pitching duo, it is expected to suffer a significant blow in the ranking battle. Lotte lost 1 win and 2 losses in 3 consecutive matches against Samsung over the weekend, but they suffered 2 losses on the day Strayley and Barnes started. Lotte is already feeling the pain.