Monday, June 2, 2008

5/30 - 6/1 Weekend Roundup

Hanhwa vs LG
5/30 - Hanhwa 8, LG 6
5/31 - LG 11, Hanhwa 7
6/1 - LG , Hanhwa 2

On Friday night Hanhwa ace, Ryu Hyeon-jin(3.86 ERA, 5-3, 1.39 WHIP), pitched poorly, but LG's Jeong chan-heon(4.40 ERA, 3-4, 1.40 WHIP) was worse. Ryu allowed 6 runs over 5 1/3 innings(98 pitches, 55 strikes), while Jeong allowed 7 over 5 innings(84 pitches, 54 strikes). This game was all about the long ball. Hanhwa clubbed three of them, while LG's Choi Dong-su, hit a 6th inning grand slam that accounted for most of the damage LG inflicted on Ryu. The game ball goes to Hanhwa's Doug Clark(.314/.398/.604, 14 HR, 58 runs). Clark went 2-4 with a double, a homer, 2 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Saturday's game was tied 7-7 heading into the top of 9th. Hanhwa called on closer, Brad Thomas(3.86 ERA, 11 saves, 1.25 WHIP) to get them to the bottom of the 9th unscathed. Thomas came unravled in short order. He faced 4 base runners and all reached. The knock out punch was a three run homer from LG's Choi Dong-su. Choi homered twice in the game while going 3-4 with a walk, 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. Hanhwa's top hitter was Kim Tae-gyun(.336/.428/.705, 15 HR, 46 RBI). Kim went 3-5 with a double, 2 homers, 5 RBI and 3 runs scored. Woo Gyu-min recorded the save for LG.

LG battered the Hanhwa bullpen again on Sunday. LG scored all 8 runs between the 6th and 9th innings. Ahn Ji-yong(.380/.462/.639, 28 RBI in 31 games) connected for homeruns in the 8th and 9th inning. Choi Dong-su(.288/.369/.532, 9 HR, 35 RBI) added his 4th homerun of the weekend in the 9th inning. Chris Oxspring(4.33 ERA, 6-2, 1.67) was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst. Oxspring picked up the W while tossing 7 1/3 innings(114 pitches, 69 strikes). He allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4.

Woori vs Lotte

5/30 - Woori 8, Lotte 4
5/31 - Lotte 11, Woori 2
6/1- Lotte 8, Woori 3

Friday's game was tied 4-4 in the 7th inning. The tie was broken when Woori's Chang Seong-hoon(.262/.357/.362) struck for a 2-RBI double. Woori added two more runs in the 8th inning and got some strong relief work form Hwang Doo-seong(2.55 ERA, 5 saves, 1.00 WHIP). Hwang tossed 1 2/3 innings, allowing two hits and striking out 3. The only notable for Lotte was Karim Garcia(.267/.338/.561, 15 HR, 45 RBI) who hit a 2-run bomb in the 4th inning.

Lotte dominated on Saturday. 11-2 make the game sound close. It might as well have been 111-2. Woori was facing a 3-0 deficit heading into the 7th. Lotte busted the game open by scoring 8 runs in the last three innings. The 9th inning accounted for 5 of their 11 runs. Woori mounted a pair of fake rallies to get on the scoreboard, but they were never in this game. Lotte leadoff man Kim Joo-chan went 3-6 with 4 RBI and 1 run scored, while Kang Min-ho(.337/.418/.570, 10 HR, 36 RBI) hit a 3-run bomb in the 9th. Lotte ace, Son Min-han(2.03 ERA, 7-0, 1.08 WHIP), worked 7 scoreless innings(89 pitches, 53 strikes). He allowed only 4 hits and one walk, while striking out 1.

The offensive outburst continued on Sunday. Lotte struck for 5 runs in the first two innings of Sunday's contest. Kim Joo-chan(.278/.361/.317) continued to swing a hot bat. He finished the day 2-4 with a double, a walk 4 more RBI and 2 runs scored. Lotte also recieved a nice effort from Jo Seong-hwan(.347/.389/.461). Jo finished the day 3-5 with a double, 2 RBI and 1 run scored. 7 of Woori's 9 hits came from 2 players. Leadoff man Jeon Ju-ho(.369/.420/.475) went 4-4 with 2 doubles and #9 hitter Hwang Jae-gyun(.267/.307/.325) went 3-3. Lotte starter, Lee Yong-hoon(4.09 ERA, 1-4, 1.45 WHIP), worked 8 innings(86 pitches, 53 strikes). He allowed 3 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2.

Doosan vs KIA

5/30 - KIA 10, Doosan 3
5/31 - KIA 8, Doosan 3
6/1 - KIA 6, Doosan 2

When you only score 8 runs over 3 games, you deserve to get swept.

KIA was actually behind on Friday night. They trailed 3-0 after 5 innings of play. KIA tied in the 6th. An RBI double from Jang Seong-ho helped the Tigers to break through. Then, KIA pounded Doosan relief pitching for 7 runs during the 8th and 9th innings. Cha Il-mok(.260/.325/.375) struck for a bases clearing double in the 8th inning that proved to be the difference in the game. Doosan starter Kim Myeong-Je(3.19 ERA, 4-1, 1.29 WHIP) earned the right to strangle his teammates. Kim tossed 7 good innings(119 pitches, 79 strikes). He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8. Then he had to watch 5 different relievers crap the bed.

On Saturday, Justin Lehr(In Korean, 레이어, awesome) made his debut for the Doosan Bears and it was one he'd probably like to forget. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings. He allowed 6 runs, all in the first inning, on 9 hits and two walks. He did manage to sneak one strikeout in there. The first three hitters in KIA's batting order were a combined 6-13 with 2 walks, 3 RBI, and 4 runs scored. KIA's Yoon Seok-min(2.84 ERA, 7-3, 1.20 WHIP) was able to cruise to an easy W. He threw 6 innings(104 pitches, 64 strikes) while allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and 1 walk. He added 3 strikeouts.

Sunday was LIMA TIME! Jose Lima(5.22 ERA, 3-3, 1.40 WHIP) had his finest outing to date. He worked into the 7th inning before being lifted. He allowed only 1 run on 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3. KIA's Jang Seong-ho(.372/.496/.596) and Lee Jae-joo(.330/.429/.556) both homered during a 4-run first inning. KIA's Lee Hyeong-gon(.284/.336/.376) added a 4-5 day with 1 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Samsung vs SK

5/30 - Samsung 7, SK 6
5/31 - Samsung 4, SK 0
6/1 - SK 18, Samsung 0

I was worried about this series. Samsung had looked competent against Woori during the week and I know how wildly inconsistent this bunch can be. I feared the worst and hoped for the best. The first good news Samsung got was the return of aged slugger, Yang Joon-hyeok, from the minors. I guess he feels he's worked out his issues and is ready to contribute again.

Things looked bleak in the first inning on Friday. SK struck for two quick runs, but Samsung answered right back in the bottom of the first with a 4-run outburst that chased SK starter, Lee Sung-ho(first appearance), from the game. Samsung held a 6-2 advantage heading into the 7th inning until the Samsung bullpen allowed SK to tie the game. Samsung answered again by scoring the go ahead run in the bottom of the 7th. Then, it was up to the Samsung bullpen. Could these guys keep the Wyverns off the scoreboard for two innings? How many cigarettes would I smoke while watching this? The answers are "yes," and "0," I had a case of bronchitis and didn't want to aggravate it, but I wished I could smoke the whole time. Kwon Woo-won(1.47 ERA, 3 holds, 1.08 ERA) tossed a 1-2-3 8th inning and Oh Seung-hwan(2.14 ERA, 15 saves, 1.05 WHIP) tossed a roller coaster 9th to hang on for the W and the save. Yang Joon-hyeok had a triumphant return to the lineup. He went 3-4 with 2 RBI and 1 run scored.

Saturday night's game was a pleasure to watch after the 19 hour grind fest I had to endure on Friday. SK ace, Kim Kwang-hyeon(3.07 ERA, 6-2, 1.36 WHIP), and Samsung starter, Yoon Seong-hwan(3.49 ERA, 3-5, 1.36 WHIP), both worked quickly and this game took just under 3 hours to complete. Yoon got the better of Kim on Saturday. Yoon tossed 7 innings of 5-hit ball. He allowed two walks and struck out 3. Kim lasted 6 2/3 innings allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. He added 3 strike outs. Yang Joon-hyeok(.216/.320/.318) was hitless, but he did sacrifice in Samsung's first run for an RBI.

After Friday and Saturday's W's, I almost attended Sunday's game, but I thought the better of it. No way this Lions team sweeps the Wyverns. No way. I couldn't have been more right. Already losing 7-0, things got officially out of hand in the 8th inning. Samsung's Kim Ki-tae, Kwon Woo-jun and Baek Jeong-hyeon were battered for 11 runs! SK's Choi Jeong(.333/.425/.420) was 2-3 with a homer, 2 walks, 4 RBI and 4 runs scored. Na Joo-hwan(.295/.335/.376) was 2-5 with a double, 5 RBI and 1 run scored. Park Jae-hong(.391/.474/.669) was 4-4 with a double, a walk and 2 runs scored. I couldn't imagine watching this game live. It went from annoying to comical to sad. Lost in the 18-run barrage was a fine effort from SK starter, Chae Byeong-yong(2.30 ERA, 6-1, 1.27 WHIP). Chae worked 7 innings(104 pitches, 67 strikes) of 7 hit ball. He allowed one walk and struck out 6.

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