Are you a pitcher for the national team in “ERA 13.50”?Is life-changing drama over

Is he the national team pitcher who won the gold medal? Na Kyun-an (26) of the Lotte Giants, who received attention for his life-changing drama, is in a deep slump.

In a game against the Hanwha Eagles in the “2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League” held at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Thursday, Na Gyun-an struggled with 90 pitches, six hits, six strikeouts, and seven runs in three ⅓ innings, and thus ended his seventh loss (one win) of the season. His ERA soared to 8.27 from 7.49 this season. Lotte, the lowest-ranked team, lost 0-15, losing for three consecutive games.

The more seasons we play, the worse the game gets. Notably, May was like a nightmare. In five games in May, he lost three games, 18 ⅔ innings and a 13.50 ERA. Not a single game was thrown more than five innings.

Lotte manager Kim Tae-hyung expected Na Kyun-an to rebound at a time when Charlie Barnes’ injury caused the starting team to loose. Barnes was excluded from the first-team entry on the 27th due to a left adductor injury, and will be away for at least a month. Coach Kim had issued an ultimatum to give Na Kyun-an, who was suffering from severe slump this season, one more chance, but none of Na Kyun-an was disappointed when Charlie left.
“I think (Na Gyun-an) will be able to give me up to three more chances,” coach Kim replied, smiling, “But I think the player who has to throw as a starter will get a little better as (B) Gyun-an throws. If one or two times is bad, I think he throws with more pressure, so I will watch and judge.”

However, contrary to the coach’s wishes, Na failed to throw his own ball properly. In the bottom of the first inning, leadoff hitter Kim Tae-yeon and Jonathan Peraza were allowed to walk, putting them at the risk of being at the first and second bases with no outs. The Lotte bench instructed long relief pitchers Lee In-bok and Han Hyun-hee to warm up in the bullpen, and the two players rushed to the bullpen behind the fence on the left side of the outfield.

Did Na Kyun-an also watch the scene? He bought time to stand on the mound more, overcoming the crisis on his own. Na changed the situation to two outs and a third base by turning the next batter, Roh Si-hwan, into a double play, and struck out An Chi-hong with a swing and miss, ending the inning.

He gave up the first run in the bottom of the second inning. He got off to a shaky start, with leadoff hitter Chae Eun-seong walking again, but took advantage of his wild pitch to run to second base in the next Lee Do-yoon batter’s box, and he threw out Chae Eun-seong, who was running to second base, changing the situation to one out. Lee’s hit made it to second base with one out, and when Choi Jae-hoon grounded out to third base, Lee went to second base. Hwang Young-mook hit a timely hit to the right field, making it 0-1.

Na, who had been holding out, eventually collapsed in the bottom of the fourth inning. She got a hit to left by Chae Eun-seong, the leadoff hitter. The next batter, Lee Do-yoon, hit a fly ball to the second baseman to make it one out, but Chae Eun-seong hit a timely double in the middle of the month, which widened the score to 0-2. 스포츠토토

After allowing more runs, Na collapsed rapidly. With runners at the second base with one out, Hwang gave a hit to the right field, resulting in runners at the first and third bases. When facing the next batter, Jang made a wild pitch, making it to the second and third bases, and Jang was given a walk, leading to a crisis with one out and full base. Then, he allowed a walk to Kim, making the score 0-3. With the bases loaded with one out repeatedly, Peraza hit a timely two-run double to the right wing, which widened the score to 0-5.

While watching, Kim eventually pulled out a replacement card. Han Heon-hee came out first. As soon as Han took the mound, Noh hit a three-run homerun off the right-center wall with one out and runners on the second and third bases, bringing in all of the leading players in Na Kyun-an. As the game widened to 0-8, the team completely lost its will to pursue the team.

The Na Gyun-an pitcher conversion project was evaluated as one of Lotte’s best achievements under former general manager Sung Min-gyu. Na Gyun-an, who had struggled as a catcher, chose to turn into a pitcher, and made his first debut in the first division as a pitcher in 2021, recording a total of 85 games, 10 wins and 18 losses, 294 ⅓ innings, and a 4.28 ERA in three seasons until last year. Although he was very bad with a 6.41 ERA when he faced first-time first-team hitters in 2021, he proved to be on track to some extent as a starter in 2022 and last year when he recorded a three-point ERA.

Last year was the best season of his career. He was once appointed as a second starter and recorded six wins and eight losses, 130 ⅓ innings and a 3.80 ERA in 23 games. He was quite stable in his control, as he allowed only 42 walks while striking out 114. He contributed to the gold medal in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games team, which took place in October last year, and successfully turned his career around.

Kim and Park tried to use Na as the mainstay of the Korean starting lineup, but the team is having a season that fell short of expectations at all. Should Kim give more chances to Na, citing Barnes’ absence? It makes us wonder how long Kim’s patience will last.

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