Monday, July 14, 2008

7/11 - 7/13 Weekend Roundup

Well, I didn't want to start with this....buuuuuut, apparently the Donga Ilbo has hired a Swedish third grader to write English language articles about baseball. I really can't make heads or tails of this. The grammar is dreadful and vocabulary is unusual. I'm hoping the editor took the weekend off. I get the impression that this article was written in Korean, shoved into a translation program and then published. There is no other reasonable explanation, other than the writer has never seen a baseball game before. It's made all the more bizarre by including a picture of, I believe, Minnesota Twins outfielder Denard Span??? I thought the article was about Choo Shin-soo? The Indians aren't even playing the Twins.

Lee Seung-yeop is going to play in the Olympics. Well, it has to be better than knocking around in the Japanese minors.

Samsung vs. LG
7/11 - LG 6, Samsung 4
7/12 - LG 3, Samsung 0
7/13 - LG 2, Samsung 0

A fake rally loss and two shutouts to the worst team in the KBO. It was an awful weekend to be a Lions fan.

Friday night's game was a fairly dull affair, but at least the Lions held a lead...for about two minutes. After a 3-run 4th inning(the inning featured a triple from Yang Joon-hyeok. I thought he would need an oxygen mask) gave Samsung a 3-2 lead, they promptly gave in right back in the bottom of the 4th. LG catcher, Kim Jeong-min delivered a 2-run single to give LG a 4-3 lead. LG tacked on insurance runs in the 6th and 8th to have a 6-3 lead heading into the top of the 9th. Samsung offered a 9th inning fake rally just so the visiting fans wouldn't be bummed out.

I can't believe Samsung couldn't score on Saturday. LG starting pitcher, Lee Beom-joon wasn't effectively wild. He was just wild. During his 4 innings of work(73 pitches, 37 strikes) he walked 6 batters, but Samsung couldn't score because they couldn't get any hits. 5 Twins pitchers combined to hold the Lions to 1 hit. It was one of the most pathetic offensive efforts I have ever seen. Moving on...

On Sunday, the Lions got more than one hit. They got 8 of them, in fact, but still couldn't find a way to get on the scoreboard. Samsung's Park Seok-min accounted for 4 of the hits(he finished 4-4), so 8 hits isn't that impressive when half of them came from one guy. LG ace, Bong Jung-geun, worked 7 2/3 innings(91 pitches, 62 strikes) allowing only 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 3. He got the Lions to ground into 12 outs. All the Lions could do is tip their caps.

7/11 - KIA 2, SK 1
7/12 - PPD
7/13 - SK 3, KIA 1

SK held a 1-0 lead heading into the top of the 9th on Friday night. In the top of the 9th, KIA's Kim Won-seop drew a walk to start the inning. SK brought in reliever, Jeong Dae-hyeon to face Na Ji-won. Na was able to work a full count and draw a walk to put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. Then, Jang Seong-ho hit a deep fly ball to right field. Kim Won-seop was able to advance to third. Chae Jeong-beom struck out for the 2nd out. Lee Hyeon-gon ripped a single down the right field line to score Kim and put the go ahead run on third with two out. KIA's Kim Hyeong-cheol punched the first pitch he saw into center to drive in the go ahead run. The next batter, Lee Seong-woo struck out to end the inning. KIA's Han Ki-joo tossed a 1-2-3 9th inning to record his 17th save.

On Sunday, Kane Davis pitched well enough to win, but left with an ND and watched KIA's middle relief self destruct. Davis worked 7 innings(113 pitches, 60 strikes) allowing 1 run on 4 hits and 4 walks with 4 K's. The score was tied, 1-1, in the bottom of the 8th when the Wyverns struck for a 2-run rally off of KIA reliever, Yoo Dong-hoon. Both Park Jae-hong had an RBI sac fly and Choi Jeong hit an RBI single to give SK a 2 run advantage. SK reliever, Jo Wong-cheon tossed a scoreless 9th to pick up his 4th save.

Woori vs. Hanhwa
7/11 - Hanhwa 7, Woori 4
7/12 - Woori 11, Hanhwa 5
7/13 - Hanhwa 7, Woori 6

Hanhwa held a 4-2 lead heading into the 8th inning on Friday night, but Woori was able to tie the game at 4 thanks to a 2-run bomb from outfielder Song Ji-man. Hanhwa mounted it's own rally in the bottom of the inning to take the lead back. Doug Clark swatted an RBI single and Kim Tae-gyun crushed a 2-run homer of his own to give Hanhwa a 7-4 advantage. Brad Thomas allowed a single and a walk, but he was able to retire the side in the 9th inning to record his 21st save.

Saturday night's game was actually closer than the 11-5 score indicates. Woori was only leading 6-5 in the 8th when they tacked on an insurance run and then struck for a 4-run rally off of a trio of Hanhwa relievers in the 9th. Woori centerfielder, Lee Taek-gun finished the night 2-4 with a 3-run homer in the 5th inning and a stolen base in the 8th. Shingo Takatsu worked two scoreless innings to record his 5th save in only 2 weeks. Shingo-mania has yet to grip the country, but I'm legitimately excited. Hanhwa scored 5 runs, but 4 of them came on solo homeruns. This team went into "Rex Grossman-screw-it-we're-going-deep-or-nothing mode" and stayed there for the whole game.

Hanhwa jumped out to an early 5 run lead thanks to a 3-run bomb in the 1st inning from Lee Beom-ho and a 2-run jack from shortstop, Kim Min-jae, in the 2nd. Woori clawed its way back into the game, but a 9th inning rally fell short. They got to within one run thanks to a 2-run homer from pinch hitter/backup catcher, Kim Gui-tae, so I can't give the 9th inning official fake rally status, but it was close. Despite giving up the homer, Brad Thomas still earned his 22nd save. I'm not giving out game balls, but a tip of the cap goes to the Woori bullpen. They kept this team in the game after starter, Hwang Doo-seong, hit the showers early.

Doosan vs. Lotte
7/11 - Doosan 8, Lotte 3
7/12 - Doosan 1, Lotte 0
7/13 - Doosan 3, Lotte 2
Wow. How the mighty have fallen. 5 runs in 3 days is not what these guys are used to. If any team could use a series of days off because of monsoon season, it's the Lotte Giants. These guys need a break.

On Friday night, Doosan starter, Matt Randel, picked up his 6th win of the season. Randel gutted his way through 6 1/3 innings(91 pitches, 59 strikes) allowing 3 runs(2 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks with 3 K's. Lotte starter, Jo Jeong-hoon, ran out of gas in the 6th inning and Doosan clobbered him for 5 runs. Doosan's Lee Dae-su swatted a 2-run double that accounted for a good portion of the damage. Lotte's 3-4-5 hitters were a combined 0-the night. Again, these guys need a day off.

Saturday was a 0-0 tie until the top of the 9th. Lotte ace, Son Min-han, was the tough luck loser. Son worked 8 innings(120 pitches, 75 strikes) allowing 1 run on 8 hits and 2 walks with 3 K's. In the 9th inning, Doosan mounted a rally that ended in Ahn Kyeong-hyeon driving in pinch runner Min Byeong-hoon with a base hit. Lotte was able to get two baserunners in the bottom of the 9th, but Doosan reliever, Im Tae-hoon, shut the door on the rally and recorded his 3rd save. The game ball goes to Doosan starter, Lee Hye-cheon. Lee worked 7 shutout innings(92 pitches, 61 strikes) allowing 3 hits and 2 walks while recording 9 punchouts.

Sunday was more of the same for these struggling offenses, but Doosan was able to hang on to a slim lead thanks to some excellent relief work from Im Tae-hoon, Geun Min-cheol and closer, Jeong Jae-hoon. Doosan knocked around Lotte starter, Marty McCleary, in the 3rd inning for a 3-run rally. Ko Yeong-min recorded an RBI single and Kim Hyeong-su drove in two runs with a single. Jo Seong-hwan was the Lotte offense. He hit two solo homeruns to account for Lotte's only runs on the day.

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