Monday, April 28, 2008

4/25 - 4/27 Weekend Roundup

First up, an article from the Korea Times about Kim Byung-hyun. He can't understand why Korean teams want him and American teams don't.

Also from the Korea Times is an interesting feature on SK ace, Kim Kwang-hyun. The writer claims there's a rivalry between Kim and Hanhwa ace Ryu Hyun-jin, but this is the first I've heard of it. The writer also mentions that Hanhwa is limiting Ryu's workload and giving him six days between starts. Probably a good idea.

On to the roundup....

Lotte vs. Samsung

4/25 - Lotte 4, Samsung 3
4/26 - Samsung 4, Lotte 3
4/27 - Samsung 17, Lotte 3

On Friday night, Samsung t00k a 3-2 lead into bottom of the 10th and handed the ball to closer, Oh Seung-hwan(2.61 ERA, 7 saves). Oh was walked off on a ringing double by Lotte's Cho Seong-hwan(.357/.410/.457). Cho was 2-3 with 3 RBI, a double, a walk and two stolen bases. Samsung catcher, Jin Kab-yong(.313/.387/.578) continued his success at the plate on Friday. He went 3-3 with a two RBI and a walk. Lotte ace, Son Min-han(2.34 ERA, 3-0) was razor sharp on Friday, but the Giants couldn't get him enough runs for another W. Son worked 8 2/3 innings(113 pitches, 70 strikes), allowing 2 runs on 6 hits and three walks. He also struck out 4.

On Saturday, it was the Giants bullpen turn to pitch poorly. The Giants held a slim 3-2 lead in the 7th, but allowed Samung to tie on an RBI single from Samsung 1st baseman Jacob Cruz(.319/.396/.396). Samsung took the lead in the 8th on an RBI double from Choi Hyeong-woo. This time, Oh Seung-hwan redeemed himself with a 1-2-3 9th inning for the save.

It felt like Lotte couldn't record an out on Friday. Everything left over the plate was hit hard during Samsung's 17-3 route. The only Samsung regular that didn't record an RBI was Kim Jae-geol and even he went 1-3 with a run scored. Samsung starter, Jeong Hyeon-wook(2.67 ERA, 2-1) cruised to an easy victory. Jeong tossed 6 innings(69 pitches, 48 strikes) while allowing two runs on three hits and two walks. Jeong also added 4 punchouts. Choi Hyeong-woo continued his hot hitting. Choi went 3-5 with a double, three runs scored and three RBI.

LG vs. Woori

4/25 - LG 4, Woori 3
4/26 - Woori 1, LG 0
4/27 - LG 8, Woori 7

On Friday night, LG scored four quick runs off of Woori starter, Ma Il-yeong and carried a 4-1 lead until Woori mounted a fake rally in the 6th to cut the deficit to 4-3. Foreign sensation, Chris Oxspring(3.07 ERA, 4-0!, 1.40 WHIP), notched another W. Oxspring tossed 5 2/3 innings (107 pitches, 64 strikes) allowing three runs on 4 hits and three walks. He also struck out two.

I was in attendence in Seoul on Saturday. I came away with three real impressions. 1. Lee Dae-hyeong(.297/.350/.324, 15 SB's) is an exciting player. 2. Bong Jun-gyun(2.66 ERA, 2-3, 1.25 WHIP) is awfully good. 3. The rest of the LG Twins are absolutely brutal. Bong was the tough luck loser on Saturday. He tossed 8 strong innings(114 pitches, 66 strikes) allowing one run on 3 hits and 4 walks. He struck out 2. He allowed an RBI single in the 2nd inning and that was all she wrote for LG. The game did go by remarkably fast, so bonus for few thousand brave souls that went.

On Sunday, LG scored 5 quick first inning runs, but allowed Woori to actually take a 7-5 lead after 6 innings. LG came back with a three-run rally in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead back for good. LG's Ahn Chee-yong went 2-4 with a double, 4 RBI and a run scored, while Woori's Kang Jeong-ho went 3-5 with a homer, 4 RBI and a run scored.

Hanwha vs. Doosan

4/25 - Doosan 4, Hanwha 3
4/26 - Hanwha 3, Doosan 2
4/27 - Hanwha 4, Doosan 3

Friday night's game was tied 3-3 at the end of 9 and went into extra innings. Hanwha essentially left Brad Thomas out to hang himself. The Hanwha closer tossed 43 pitches during his 2 2/3 innings of relief work. He appeared to run out of gas in the 11th and coughed up the lead on an RBI single. Well, they already burned out Ryu, why not burn out the foreign guy. Poorly managed game by one of the worst managers in the KBO. That's right, Kim In-sik, I'm calling you out!

Saturday was more of the same. A tight, reasonably well played ballgame, the only differences were that it didn't take extras and the outcome. Hanwha was staked to a 3-1 lead thanks to a two run blast by slugger, Kim Tae-won(.300/.387/.588, 7 homers and 20 RBI on the season). Doosan mounted a fake rally in the 5th, but the door was essentially shut after that. Hanwha reliever, Yoon Gyu-jin tossed three scoreless innings to put the final nails in Doosan's coffin.

Doosan carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the 9th on Sunday, but their closer, Im Tae-hoon, coughed up the lead. He surrendered a walk off two-run homer to Hanwha first baseman, Kim Tae-gyun(.264/.382/.611, 7 homers, 22 RBI). Hanwha centerfielder, Doug Clark(.320/.415/.650 8 homers, 20 RBI) also hit a two-run bomb during the game. His came in the 4th inning.

SK vs. KIA

4/25 - SK 9, KIA 7
4/26 - SK 4, KIA 1
4/27 - SK 4, KIA 3

Break out the brooms!

It's a sweep for SK! You couldn't have two teams headed in directions that were more different than these two. SK, a well-run team that developed into a contender and KIA a poorly run club that attempts to solve problems by throwing large sums of money at mediocre to bad ballplayers.KIA never had a chance this weekend.

SK took an early 4-1 lead on Friday night, only to have KIA pull within a run. SK then piled five runs onto an awful KIA bullpen, while KIA mounted a fake rally to make the score look respectable in the papers. SK's Choi Jung(.380/.462/.481 16 runs scored) offered the line of the night on Friday. Choi went 4-5 with a double, 3 RBI and two runs scored.

Kim Kwang-hyeon(1.75 ERA, 5-1, 1.22 WHIP) was the story on Saturday night. He went 7 strong innings(104 pitches, 70 strikes) while allowing only 1 run on two hits and 3 walks. He struck out 10. SK managed to score 4 runs while only getting 4 hits. KIA pitching was in a charitable mood on Saturday. They surrendered 8 walks to SK batters.

Sunday was more of the same, except KIA actually held a lead in this game. They scored 3 first inning runs and lead until SK tied the game in the 2nd inning. SK starter, Lee Han-jin, faced 4 batters in the first inning. He gave up hits to all 4. He was pulled after throwing only 16 pitches(12 strikes). Song Eun-beom tossed 6 innings in relief of Lee. He allowed only 3 hits and one walk while his teammates scratched out enough runs to get back into the ballgame. Solid team effort from SK all weekend. SK cleanup hitter, Lee Jin-yeong(.297/.381/.419) went 3-4 with 1 RBI and 1 run scored.

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