The rise of the Hanwha Eagles in May is unusual. But the real test is coming.
Hanwha sacked manager Carlos Subero immediately after the game against Samsung on the 11th, and appointed Futures manager Choi Won-ho as the new first-team manager. At the time, he drew his sword even though he was running for two consecutive wins.
And in three consecutive matches against SSG Landers, the first place team under coach Choi Won-ho, they did well with 1 win, 1 draw and 1 loss. On the 12th, the first day of the three-game series, Jang Min-jae’s strong pitching and Chae Eun-seong’s 3-point lead led to a 5-2 victory. However, after winning 3-2 the next day, they allowed a turnaround and lost 5-8, and the atmosphere seemed to be broken.
However, on the 14th, the last day of the three-game series, the flow was given to SSG. Hanwha, who was trailing 0-2, worked on a pinch-hitter in the top of the 7th inning. In the first and third base opportunities, manager Choi Won-ho sent pinch hitter Lee Jin-young, and showed his potential to tie the score 2-2 against Noh Kyung-eun.
Hanwha’s concentration was demonstrated in the 메이저놀이터extra game. At the beginning of the 12th inning, Kim In-hwan hit a timely hit on 1st and 3rd base, turning the game around. At the end of the 12th inning, the game was tied again and ended in a 3-3 draw, but it is meaningful that the team played a tight game against the first place team for 3 days. Instead of a helpless appearance, Hanwha also showed the strength that it can play a pitcher’s battle.
Hanwha’s performance in April, the first month of the opening, was the last among 10 clubs with 6 wins, 1 draw and 17 losses in 24 games. But in May, things changed drastically. 6 wins, 1 draw and 3 losses in May. This is the third place after SSG (8 wins and 3 losses) and LG (7 wins and 2 losses). He was on the rise by writing a 2-1 winning series against Doosan. After that, they won 1 win against KT, 2 wins and 1 loss against Samsung, and 1 win each against SSG, raising the winning rate.
While KT fell to the bottom, Hanwha, who succeeded in getting out of last place, is recording a two-game gap with Kiwoom Heroes in 8th place.
The background of Hanwha’s improved performance in May is the good pitching of the mound. The team’s average ERA in May was 2.97, the lowest. If you look at the bullpen alone, it is 2.41, second only to SSG (1.70).
Selection isn’t bad either. The average ERA of the starting team was 3.42, which was second, and the starting pitcher won 5 of the team’s 6 wins in May. Felix Pena won 2 wins, Jang Min-jae, Kim Min-woo and Moon Dong-ju each won 1 win.
As the mound stabilizes, the batting line seems to be improving. In May, the team finished third with a batting average of 0.263. Chae Eun-seong hesitated for a while, but Noh Si-hwan came back to life. His batting average is good at 0.458, hitting 4 home runs in May alone.
Now, Hanwha faces another test. The key is when we can continue the current upward trend.
Since the SSG match has passed, this week we will meet the Lotte Giants and the LG Twins in turn. Lined up, we meet the top teams. Depending on how well they perform in this six-game series, they will have the strength to break out into the middle ranks. Attention is focusing on whether Hanhwa will change the mid-ranking game. [Hanwha coach Choi Won-ho is sharing a high-five with the players, Eun-seong Chae, Si-hwan Noh, and Felix Pena.