One $9 billion free agent wasn’t enough. The Hanwha Eagles are struggling at the plate.
Hanwha’s pitching staff has been strong in May. Their 2.98 ERA through 16 games is the best in the league. Obviously, they should be performing well, but with 7 wins, 2 ties, and 7 losses, they have a 5 percent winning percentage. For a team in ninth place, a 5% win percentage is good, but it’s disappointing to see that they’ve been shut out so often.
Out of their 16 games, they’ve only conceded more than five points in three of them, and they’ve lost all three. The other four losses were two by three runs and two by two runs. Not winning close games
Hanwha played very well last week against the top three teams, the Lotte Giants and LG Twins, but only managed to win one, draw one, and lose four. In the three-game series against Lotte, the team went 1-2 with a 1-3 loss (16th), a 2-1 win (17th), and a 3-7 loss (18th), and in the three-game weekend series against LG, the team went 1-2 with a 1-3 loss (20th), a 1-1 tie (20th), and a 1-4 loss (21st).
They conceded 19 runs in six games, or 3.2 runs per game. It was a close game every day, especially against LG, the No. 1 hitting team, where they only gave up eight points.
Baseball is a game where you can’t win if you don’t score, no matter how well you block. That was the case for Hanwha. In six games against Lotte and LG Electronics, they scored just nine runs, or 1.5 runs per game.
Hanwha’s team batting average in May is 2 for 3. Tied for last with Samsung. They are 3-for-4 with a .648 OPS with a 3-for-5 on-base percentage (8th) and a 3-for-3 slugging percentage (9th).
In the six-game series against Lotte and LG, the team batted just 1-for-7. Something they couldn’t overcome against the good mounds of Lotte and LG.
Only Oh Seon-jin (4-for-8) and Lee Do-yoon (2-for-6) batted above .300 during that time. Chae Eun-sung was just 2-for-6, Jung Eun-won was 2-for-8, Kim In-hwan was 9-for-5, and Noh Si-hwan was 0-for-24 with no hits.
Hanwha signed Chae Eun-sung, LG’s No. 4 hitter, for a total of $9 billion over six years, and added Japanese slugger Brian O’Grady to bolster the center field lineup.
The signing certainly paid off. Chae is batting 2-for-9 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs, and he’s certainly carrying the load as Hanwha’s No. 4 hitter.
The problem is that O’Grady hasn’t been able to break out of his slump. Noh Si-hwan, who was the centerpiece alongside Chae Eun-sung, has also slumped, and Hanwha’s offense has plummeted. The bottom of the order can’t even be expected. The top of the order needs to hit and score runs, but all indicators are down right now 안전놀이터.
At this point, the mound is too good. It’s even more frustrating for Jeon that he can’t score runs.
As of the 22nd, Hanwha is in ninth place with 13 wins, 3 draws, and 24 losses, with a winning percentage of 3.351. They are 2.5 games behind the eighth-place Kiwoom Heroes (18 wins, 24 losses, 0.429 winning percentage). They are one game behind the 10th-place KT Wiz (12-2, 0.324 winning percentage).
The pitchers are pitching well, and this is an opportunity for Hanwha. If the bats come alive a little bit, they can get a win and ride the momentum. The bats have been missing too much.
Hanwha will play a three-game midweek series in Daejeon against the KIA Tigers this week, before traveling to Changwon to face the NC Dinos on the weekend.