BUSAN, South Korea – The Lotte Giants finally get back to the field after a ten day rest tomorrow, as they open their semi-final best-of-five series against SK.
The Giants have home field advantage for the series, and hope to win their first Korean Baseball Organization title since 1992. They are back in round two of the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
Lotte will send their ace Jang Won-joon on the mound for Game 1, which starts at 2 p.m. at Sajik Stadium. Jang finished the season with 15 wins and a 3.14 ERA. SK will be countering with their ace, 23-year-old Kim Kwang-hyun.
According to some experts, Lotte has a better shot against SK as they match up better than against KIA, who were eliminated a few days ago. The Giants submitted their final roster for the series, which contained 12 pitchers, two catchers, eight infielders and four outfielders. Players left off the squad were pitcher Jin Myung-ho, and players Lee Seung-hwa, Jung Hoon and Jeong Bo-myung.
The Giants will be looking to celebrate again soon
The most notable absence from SK is foreign player Gary Glover. Glover, who has struggled recently, was demoted to the bullpen but was not effective, so the SK coaches decided to sit him for this series, which could be a good sign for the Lotte hitters.
Game 1 starts tomorrow at 2 p.m., followed by Game 2 on Monday at 6 p.m., both at Sajik. Game 3 will take place Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Incheon, followed by Game 4 if necessary on Thursday at 6. If a Game 5 is necessary, it will take place in Busan next Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Giants finished the season two games ahead of SK with a 72-56-5 record.
The winner of the series will play for the championship against the first place Samsung Lions.
You can check out Haps Lotte Giants page here.