The return of Lotte’s furry ace -> “I shot myself in the foot” -> Dan ‘Strike’ dreams of autumn baseball

The Lotte Giants’ “hairy ace” is back.

Lotte’s foreign starting pitcher Dan Streeley pitched a complete-game shutout against the Lotte Giants of the 2023 KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 26th, contributing to the team’s 2-0 victory.

The right-hander pitched six innings of three-hit ball with two walks and eight strikeouts to pick up his second win of the season. The win, which broke a season-long slump, lowered her season ERA to 4.00 and pushed her into the triple digits.

It was exactly what many had hoped for from Straylor. In fact, after signing with Lotte for the first time in 2020 and going 15-4 with a 2.50 ERA in 31 games, Straylor was affectionately dubbed the “hairy ace” for his best performance that year. Lotte fans loved him for his bushy beard, but also for his outstanding pitching.

And after returning to the KBO and Lotte as a substitute foreign pitcher last year, Straylor has struggled this season, making his no-hitter all the more meaningful.

“It was a really good game,” said Straylor after the game. I had a little bit of a bad first inning, and obviously I couldn’t let them see that, but I pitched through it and kept the momentum going, and I think that’s why I got a good result.”메이저놀이터

On the day, Straylor threw just 93 pitches through six innings, mixing in a variety of pitches – 41 fastballs, 19 changeups, 17 sliders and 16 curves – while striking out eight.

“The theme I set for myself this month was ‘throw a lot of strikes,’” said Staley of his game strategy against Keum, “because if you throw a lot of strikes, you’re going to get a lot of strikeouts, and that’s going to lead to better results.”

“I didn’t throw enough strikes in April, and that’s why I didn’t have good results, and then in May I started throwing a lot of strikes,” Staley said.

After joining the team midseason last year and going 4-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 11 games, Straylor struggled mightily in April, going 2-2 with a 5.82 ERA, before settling down in May. He attributed this to “not throwing as many strikes as I wanted to.

“The biggest difference from my last outing was that I didn’t have a ball in play after the second strike,” he said. “The last game was a game where I shot myself in the foot. This time, I had a crisis, but I didn’t do anything self-defeating, so I was able to pull through.” In the SSG game on the 20th, Staley gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings while being hit by two balls to the body.

When asked about her different pitching strategies and reasons for her strong performance, she repeatedly emphasised the importance of strikes and reiterated that she will continue to focus on throwing “lots of strikes”.

Lotte also improved to 25-15 with their 26th win, bringing their win-loss margin to +10. Now that Lotte is well on its way to becoming a “winning team,” what are their roles and goals?

“When I first came, we were the last team in the standings,” said Staley, referring to the team’s 10th-place finish in 2019, “and I’ve watched them improve over the last four years. “To be 10 games ahead of the pack means a lot.

“This isn’t the end of our goal,” Staley said. Our goal is to finish the regular season and do well in autumn baseball.”

“Honestly, I don’t know if there’s really a big difference or anything else, but everyone is playing really well, and even the players who didn’t have a lot of expectations are playing above and beyond those expectations,” he said. “Also, a lot of the prospects we had on the team are finally coming into full bloom. I also know that Sung Min-gyu has been saying since he arrived, ‘Trust our process’. I think we’re seeing the fruits and results of that process now.”

There were 11,692 fans in attendance at the Gocheok Sky Dome, with many Lotte fans filling the stands, and it was especially impressive to see them cheering throughout the game as if it was Lotte’s home instead of Kiwoom’s home.

“Today’s game felt like a home game,” said Straylor. The same was true for the game against KT Suwon on the 14th,” he said, adding, “Over the past few weeks, Lotte fans have been coming to our away games, so it’s been a lot of fun.”

He has only one goal going forward. When asked if a strong outing on the 26th could be the start of something new, Straylor said, “It’s really simple. Throwing a lot of strikes is the most important thing,” he said, before reiterating his commitment to pitching aggressively in the future.

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