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

The Lotte Giants’ “hairy ace” is back.

Lotte’s foreign-born starting pitcher Dan Streeley pitched a complete-game shutout against the Lotte Giants of the 2023 KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome on April 26, helping the team to a 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 broke a season-long slump and lowered her season ERA to 4.00, putting her in the triple digits.

It was exactly what many expected from Straylor. In fact, when he first signed with Lotte in 2020 and went 15-4 with a 2.50 ERA in 31 games, he was affectionately dubbed the “hairy ace” for his best performance that year. Lotte fans loved him for his bushy-bearded personality and outstanding pitching.

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. 스포츠토토

“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.”

Straylor threw just 93 pitches through the sixth inning, 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 to throw a lot of strikes,” said Staley, explaining that when you throw a lot of strikes, you’re going to get a lot of strikeouts, and that leads to better results.

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

After joining the team during the offseason 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 start 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-inflicted, so I was able to pull through.” Against SSG on Sept. 20, Staley allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings with two batted balls.

When asked about her different pitching strategies and reasons for her success, she repeatedly emphasized the importance of strikes and reiterated her focus on throwing “a lot of strikes” going forward.

The 26 wins also improved Lotte’s record to 25-15 with a +10 win-loss margin. 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 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 fall baseball.”

“Honestly, I don’t know if there’s really a big difference or anything else, but everyone is doing a great job, and the players who didn’t have a lot of expectations are playing above and beyond those expectations,” said Staley. “Also, a lot of the prospects we had on the team are finally coming into full bloom. I also know that since Sung Min-kyu came in, he has been saying, ‘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.

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

Going forward, there is only one goal. When asked if a strong outing on the 26th could be his next big breakthrough, 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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