“Grades?? It’s a bakery.”바카라사이트
Lotte “Anbangmanim” Yoo Kang-nam, 31, gave his team a dramatic victory. He smiled broadly as he executed a come-from-behind two-run arch. His post-game remarks are priceless. “I really don’t understand baseball,” he said.
Yoo Kang-nam started the first game of the Classic Series against Samsung in the 2023 KBO League regular season at Sajik Stadium on Nov. 27 as the No. 6 hitter in the outfield and hit a single.
The hit was a golden one. Trailing 2-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Ahn Chi-hong hit a tying grounder to make it 3-3. With two outs, Yoo Kang-nam stepped to the plate and took a six-pitch high slider from left-hander Lee Seung-hyun over the left field fence. It was a two-run shot to make it 5-3.
In his first three at-bats, Yoo grounded out to third, struck out and grounded out to the pitcher. But in his final at-bat, he hit a home run to erase all the bad luck. Lotte snapped their losing streak and swept the series.
After the game, Yoo Kang-nam said, “I went into the batter’s box thinking only about timing. I spun the bat, and it went high. At first, I thought it was going to go over, but the fence was far away and high. So I ran with all my might. I don’t remember what happened after that. I don’t remember what I did,” he said.
“I’ve hit a walk-off hit before. I did it in 2019 against KT. It’s the first time I’ve hit a walk-off home run. I wasn’t thinking about a home run at all. When I went to bat, I saw (Park) Seung-wook behind me. I thought I would connect unconditionally,” he explained.
It was the seventh home run in the league this season, the 359th of his career, and his first solo shot. Yoo’s last game-winning hit came on March 31, 2019, against KT in Jamsil.
“I had a good feeling last weekend against LG, but it didn’t come out today. I was thinking a lot. I thought about only two things, balance and timing, but something didn’t work out. It’s like real baseball. I had a good feeling, but it didn’t work out,” he laughed.
“Honestly, if I had a feeling from last weekend, I should have gotten one from my first to third at-bat today. I didn’t get one. This is baseball. You can’t help it. You have to do your best, you have to stay focused. I’m just glad I was able to get it done today.”
In the end, it was a victory of will. The team never gave up. “We were winning, it was fast-paced. We had a lot of pitchers coming up. We had to win. We couldn’t give up, and we were focused on the idea that we were going to get a chance. We didn’t give up a run in the eighth inning, and the tide was turning in our favor.”
In fact, the atmosphere was chaotic. There was a coaching staff change, with Bae Young-soo, the first-team pitching coach, leaving for the Futures. It was unusual and controversial, but the team was unwavering.
Lotte’s Yoo Kang-nam hits a two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning against Samsung Electronics in the 2023 KBO League at Sajik Stadium on July 27. Photo courtesy of Lotte Giants
“The team talked about it. “They said, ‘Don’t worry about it. ‘ (Ahn) Chi-hong-i gathered the players and gave them a message, and (Jeon) Jun-woo also told them not to worry. We just wanted to do our best for one game today,” he emphasized.
He also said, “This is the beginning. We have to forget the past. Yesterday is yesterday. I hit the game-winning home run, but it’s a reset. You have to focus on the next game,” he added.
When I asked him how he felt about his performance so far in June, he was quick to say, “Bread and circuses.” “I’ll use today as an opportunity to try again. I have zero points now, but I’ll get them in the future. You have to show up. I have a responsibility. I will show you,” he emphasized.
Yoo Kang-nam was acquired by Lotte last November for a total of 8 billion won over four years. Lotte had a weak catcher, so reinforcement was a necessity. That’s why they invested so much.
In his first season, Yoo didn’t put up terrifying numbers. A .229 batting average is all he has. But he has one home run and a good catcher’s lead. Jung Sung-jong’s four innings of no-hit ball today was made possible by Yoo Kang-nam. Now, the offense is looking to do the same. Lotte’s bullpen will be stronger.