The abuse controversy erupted. Behind the scenes, there was a sense of player responsibility.
Lotte Giants right-handed starting pitcher Na Gyun-an made his first start against the Sajik NC on the 12th. He pitched six innings of 11 hits, one walk, eight strikeouts, and three earned runs in a quality start (six or more innings and no more than three earned runs). Lotte lost the series 3-4.
The bullying controversy against Na reared its head. Na threw 110 pitches in his last start against Sasik KT (7 innings, 2 runs) on March 27. He threw 115 pitches against Samsung Electronics in Ulsan on June 6 (6 innings, 1 run, no-hitter). It was his highest pitch count in a single game.
On the 12th, he threw 122 pitches against the NC. He broke the record for most pitches in a single game again. He had already thrown 104 pitches by the fifth inning when he took the mound in the sixth. With the score at 0-3, the Lotte coaching staff was criticized for using Na Kyun-ahn for no good reason.
On the 13th, before the game against the Gwangju KIA, acting Lotte manager Lee Jong-woon spoke out. “After five innings, the pitching coach informed me of the substitution. (Na) Gyun-ahn said, ‘I’m in good shape, so I’ll pitch one more inning,'” said Lee Jong-woon. “I think he wanted to finish the game and didn’t want to come off the mound. Even the catcher (Yoo) Gang-i asked for one more chance, so we decided to respect his wishes.”
“He asked twice, and I think he wanted to take charge (of the inning). The pitching coach also asked him for the ball to make a change, but he didn’t give it to him, so he seemed confused.” “There is no reason for us to make him throw like that in a losing situation. Nowadays, it’s not like players go out just because the coaching staff asks them to throw more.”
Na gave Kyun-ahn a thumbs-up. “He’s a good pitcher. He has good control and endurance,” Lee said, adding, “He has a very positive mindset. I want to praise him,” Lee smiled.
Pitching coach Kim Hyun-wook also described the situation. “I tried to take the ball away from him, but he wouldn’t give it to me. “If the player was struggling and I asked him to pitch for the team, I would admit that it was a hardship, but he wanted to pitch until the sixth inning and expressed that he still had energy. But he wanted to do it, and he expressed that he had some energy left. I felt the ball was good until the end.”
Some have pointed out that the coaching staff should have been more decisive in replacing Na Kyun-ahn. “Of course, there are some things we should have cut,” said Kim. “But before the sixth inning, he said, ‘I’ll take responsibility and stop it,’ so I wanted to trust him,” Kim said. “There is also the issue of trust between players and coaches. If I had hit Park Gun-woo (the last batter of the sixth inning), I would have changed him, but I thought he would stop it, and he did,” he reflected.
On the morning of the 13th, he went to Lee and bowed his head. “I told the manager, ‘I should have made the decision, and I’m sorry,'” Kim said. “I told him, ‘I’m sorry, I should have made the decision.’ He said, ‘We recognized you,'” Kim recalls.
Finally, Kim concluded, “I think it’s a little controversial because every game is a total war. “As a pitching coach, I realize the responsibility,” he said. “The coach and staff have daily discussions about the direction of the team. All of our pitchers are dedicated and work hard to prepare. I hope people will look at it in a positive light.”먹튀검증
Na joined Lotte with the third overall pick of the 2017 Secondary First Round from Yongmago. Initially a catcher, he switched to pitching in 2021. As a hitter, he batted .123 (45-for-366) with five home runs and 24 RBIs in 216 games over four seasons, including one in 2021. On the mound, he has appeared in 83 games and 284 innings over three seasons with a 10-16 record, three shutouts and one save with a 4.15 ERA.
This season, he is 6-6 with a 3.45 ERA in 21 games and 120 innings pitched. His performance earned him a spot on the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games. He will take part in the team’s first training session on March 23.