Resigned LG Electronics on the 9th. Trailing 6-4, the Lotte dugout was bustling with activity. During the game, the captain and other senior players who have been with the team for a long time often call a meeting, and that was the case on this day. However, it was Yoo Kang-nam (31), a catcher who joined the team this year, who called the meeting.
On this day, Yoo started as a designated hitter. It was a day without the hustle and bustle of preparing for the pitchers, putting on and taking off the catcher’s gear, and going out to bat. Instead, he watched the dugout and players closely and read the air currents.
Lotte gave up a run in the first inning against LG, but the bats came alive to take the lead. Yoo Kang-nam also hit a solo shot in the process. By the end of the fourth inning, Lotte had a 6-1 lead, but things started to look bleak for them.
With one out in the bottom of the fourth, Kim Min-seok hit a double over the left field fence. A wild pitch followed, putting runners at first and third. However, he overthrew the ball and was caught off guard when catcher Park Dong-won threw to third base. We were left with two outs and no runners on base. He returned to the dugout in disbelief. Yoon Dong-hee followed with a single to right to make matters worse. However, Yoon was thrown out at first base and the chance for a fourth run evaporated.
The cost of not scoring more runs was steep. In the bottom of the fifth, with two outs, Streeley tried to hold on to a dropped pitch and gave up two runs on a fielding error. They were down 6-4 and barely out of the fifth inning.
Yoo Kang-nam called the younger players back to the dugout. He grabbed the agitated players and calmed them down before the end of the fifth inning. It helped calm the atmosphere. It’s only been half a season since he joined Lotte in a four-year, 8 billion won deal.
However, Yoo has already integrated into the squad and has become a person who can interact with the younger players without hesitation. “It’s like he’s always been there,” he says of the existing players. Affinity led to leadership. The team was lacking a bridge between the younger players and the older ones as the older players became more senior, but within half a season of joining the team, Yoo was able to unite the younger players.
“We had (Kim) Min-seok and (Yoon) Dong-hee on base, and we gave up a run in the next inning,” Yoo said of the meeting. I told the young players, ‘Don’t be shy, get up to bat and be the hero. You will definitely get your chance in the remaining innings, so wait for it and make it yours,'” he said of the meeting.안전놀이터
In the end, Lotte calmly overcame the crisis in the fifth and sixth innings and scored another run in the bottom of the sixth inning on Jeon Jun-woo’s push ball. Hwang Sung-bin made a spectacular catch in the eighth inning when he leapt to catch Kim Hyun-soo’s hit off the foul territory fence. Kim Min-seok continued to be in the right place at the right time, hitting against the league’s best closer, Ko Woo-seok, to fulfil Yoo Kang-nam’s order. Kim Min-seok and Yoon Dong-hee darkened the fourth inning with pinch-hitting, but the pair combined for seven runs as table-setters. Kim Min-seok went 5-for-5 with a home run, one RBI and one run scored, while Yoon Dong-hee went 2-for-2 with a home run, one RBI and three walks. Hwang Sung-bin also went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Son Sung-bin, who wore the starting catcher’s mask in place of Yoo Kang-nam, also made an impact with a double play in the fifth inning and a stolen base in the seventh. “I think it was a game that allowed the young players to grow,” said Yoo Kang-nam, a proud leader.
In July, Yoo’s bat is coming alive with a 3-for-5 record (7-for-20), two home runs, three RBIs and a 1.000 OPS. He has now become a Lotte man to the point where he can play a leadership role and speak out within the team, spreading positive influence. On the 9th, we saw why Lotte signed him for 8 billion won.