Poor Lee Seung-yeop. He skips part of spring training to play in the Olympic Qualifying Tournement and now he gets demoted to Japan's minor league. I get the impression it's more for scapegoating purposes, but Lee has looked lost at the plate since torching international competition in March. He could use a week or two to find his swing. I really have to wonder if anyone in the MLB would take a chance on him now. I get the feeling any chance he had to come to America is probably over now.
SK 4, Samsung 1
SK was simply the better team last night. Samsung couldn't do much at the plate and they couldn't keep SK off the scoreboard.
SK starter, Kim Kwang-hyeon was the big story last night. He silenced Samsung bats until the 7th inning. The only run he allowed was on a solo homerun from Shim Kwang-ho. The final line for Kim was 7 innings pitched(103 pitches, 63 for strikes) while allowing one run on 5 hits and 3 walks. He also struck out 6.
At the plate, infielder, Na Ju-hwan came up big from the #8 slot for SK. Na was 2-3 with two doubles, two RBI and one run scored.
Doosan 10, Lotte 4
At one point Doosan was up 10-0. It wasn't until Doosan warm bodies, Lee Won-jae and Lee Hye-jeon started giving up runs that Lotte could do anything offensively.
The KBO's most potent offense was handcuffed by Doosan starter, Gary Rath last night. Rath tossed 7 effective innings(99 pitches, 59 strikes) while allowing 5 hits, two walks and striking out 7(!).
Lotte starter, Jang Won-jun was a human Christmas tree last night. He was absolutely lit up. In his 1 1/3 innings of work, he allowed 7 runs on 8 hits. He wasn't helped in this field though, Lotte committed two errors while he was on the bump and three on the day.
Hanhwa 5, Woori 4
Hanhwa was cruising to a 5-0 victory, but the Hanhwa bullpen decided the game wasn't interesting enough and cough up 4 runs before recording the final outs.
Hanhwa starter, Yang Hoon, kept Woori hitters off balance for his 6 2/3 innings(89 pitches, 52 strikes) of 2-hit baseball. He also allowed two walks and struck out two while facing 22 batters. Deuces wild!
Hanhwa infielder, Lee Beom-ho, went 3-3 with a double, a homer, 1 RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base.
LG 10, KIA 9
This was the wildest 4 1/2 hour game I've ever seen. KIA battled back from an 8-0 deficit to actually take the lead in the 9th....only to lose the game on a walk-off HBP!
Jose Lima suffered through his worst outing of the season last night. During his 3 2/3 innings he allowed 8 runs(all earned) on 8 hits and one walk. Most of the damage came during a 7 run 4th inning.
The real fireworks didn't come until KIA's 5-run 9th inning. The inning featured a pinch hit, two-run homer from struggling slugger Choi Hee-seop and two runs scoring on a botched fielder's choice to give KIA a 9-8 lead.
The KIA bullpen completely collasped in the 9th inning. Reliever Han Ki-ju allowed the tying run on 3 hits and one walk. Then he plunked LG warm body, Kim Yeong-woo, to allow the winning run to cross the plate.
KIA outfielder, Kim Ju-hyeong, went 4-5 with a double, a homer, two RBI and one run scored. LG leadoff hitter, Lee Dae-hyeong also went 4-5 with a double, a stolen base, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.