Baseball is said to be a pitcher’s game. Especially in the KBO, they say that a foreign one-two punch is enough to get the job done.
The Lotte Giants have the strongest one-two punch in the league as of late. Charlie Barnes (28) and Aaron Wilkerson (34), who replaced Dan Straily in the lineup, have been on a roll in the second half. In particular, the duo has made the most of a four-day rest rotation before the recent spate of rainouts.
Barnes is part of the best one-two punch in the second half and one of the best pitchers in the league in the second half. On March 3 against the Doosan Bears at Sajik Stadium in Busan, he pitched seven innings, 93 pitches, five hits, no walks, four strikeouts, and one run (unearned), but didn’t get much help from his offense and defense.
However, he showed off his “unhittable” side in the second half, posting his third Quality Start Plus (7+ innings and 3 earned runs or less). Including this game, his ERA in the second half of the season is 1.43 (8 ERA in 50⅓ innings). He’s turning his first-half struggles into a second-half turnaround.
And Wilkerson has been dominating the KBO with his aggressive pitching since joining the team as a replacement. He’s not far behind Barnes. In seven games, he has a 1.69 ERA (8 earned runs in 42⅓ innings). He’s been even better since joining the team as a substitute.
Their combined second half ERA is 1.55 (16 ERA in 93 innings). They’ve both paved the way for their team’s wins with excellent innings pitched. In 15 games in the second half, they combined for 11 quality starts (six or more innings and three or fewer earned runs) and five quality starts plus. None of them have been pulled before the fifth inning. Teams are 10-5 with a .667 winning percentage in the duo’s starts.
With a powerful one-two punch that dominates the league, the record shows that Lotte is in the midst of a late-season surge. With a narrative like that, Lotte should be in the top five, or at least making a big push in the second half. However, the reality is different.
Despite having the best foreign pitching staff in the second half, Lotte is only 13-20 with a .394 winning percentage. They rank seventh in the second half of the season and seventh overall. The team has not been able to integrate and maximize the abilities of its foreign pitchers.안전놀이터
Outside of the two players, the team is 3-15 (.167 winning percentage) when using other starters. Park Se-woong (4.66 in seven games), Na Kyun-an (5.63 in three games), Han Hyun-hee (5.21 in three games), and Lee In-bok (6.10 in three games) have had poor second half ERAs and have not been able to support the foreign one-two punch. The defense also failed to support the pitching staff with 37 errors.
The game against Doosan on the 3rd was a microcosm of Lotte’s second half. Despite Barnes’ strong pitching, the defense’s mistakes and the bats’ silence led to an 0-2 loss. Without their foreign one-two punch, Lotte showed why they are still not in the top five and have not gained any momentum.