Monday, April 20, 2009

4/17 - 4/19 Weekend Roundup and News

No real news of any kind to report on. I guess Park Chan-ho didn't start this weekend.

KIA vs. LG

4/17 - KIA 14, LG 0
4/18 - LG 7, KIA 2
4/19 - LG 9, KIA 2

On Friday night KIA absolutely battered LG pitching while Senor Smoke, Aquilino Lopez, cruised to an easy victory. Lopez tossed 7 strong innings(101 pitches, 66 strikes) of shutout baseball. He allowed only 5 hits and 2 walks with 3 K's. KIA catcher Kim Sang-hoon exploded at the plate. Literally. Boom! He walked up to the plate, started sweating and burst into a fireball.* Before he blew up, he mashed 2 homers while driving in 6 runs. KIA's Rookie infielder Ahn Chi-hong was able to keep himself in one piece and hit another homerun. Outfielder Na Ji-wan also went deep for KIA.

* = did not actually happen, except in the blogger's mind. Sometimes Matt gets a little restless and his mind wanders.

KIA ace Yoon Seok-min struggled on Saturday. He only lasted 4 innings(59 pitches, 40 strikes). Yoon was knocked around for 5 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks before making his early exit. He failed to strike out a single batter. The only offense KIA could muster was a solo homer from Kim Won-seob and a SAC fly from Lee Jong-beom. Both LG 2nd baseman Park Kyeong-su and Shortstop Kwon Yeong-kwan drove in a pair. Kwon finished the game 2-4 with a homer and 2 runs scored.

It was KIA's turn to get a solid pitching effort on Sunday. KIA starter Yang Hyeon-jeong tossed 5 innings(90 pitches, 53 strikes) of 2-run baseball. Relievers Yoo Dong-hoon and Yim Joon-hyeok combined to throw 4 innings of shutout baseball. They kept LG off the bases and off the scoreboard, but didn't earn so much as a save or a hold while Yang got a W. When I say Choi Hee-seop had a big day at the plate I don't mean that he went to an All You Can Eat Buffet. He FEASTED on LG pitching. Actually, he went 4-4 with a pair of solo homers, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored. Happy?

Lotte vs. Seoul Heroes

4/17 - Lotte 13, Heroes 8
4/18 - Lotte 5, Heroes 0
4/19 - Heroes 6, Lotte 2

Lotte battered Heroes pitching for 6 homeruns on Friday night. Karim Garcia lead the way with a 2-run bomb in the 7th and a solo shot in the 9th. Lee Dae-ho, Kim Joo-chan, Kang Min-ho and Lee In-gu also went deep for the Giants. The Seoul Heroes foreign guys also did well on Friday. Clark and Brumbaugh combined to go 4 for 10 with 5 RBI and 4 K's. This was just an ugly, long game.

On Satuday, Lotte Giants starter Kim Il-yeob was pulled after only 2 2/3 innings of work. He didn't appear to leave because of injury. I'm guessing he reached a set pitch count. 4 Lotte relievers combined to finish the shutout. Lee Jong Min notched a 3 inning save. At the plate, the homers continued. All 5 Lotte runs were hit via the longball. Cho Seong-hwan and Karim Garcia both hit 2-run bombs in the 4th inning. Lee Dae-ho added a solo shot in the 8th inning.

The Heroes finally got some pitching on Sunday and got themselves a W. Lee Hyeon-seung worked 6 solid innings(94 pitches, 63 strikes) of 2-run ball. He allowed only 5 hits and 1 walk with 4 K's while earning the W. It's still early in the season, but Lee is quietly among the league leaders in most pitching categories. Hwang Doo-seong struck out 3 of the 4 batters he faced to nail down his 4th save. At the plate for the Heroes, 3rd baseman Hwang Jae-gyun delivered a key 2 RBI double to give the Heroes a 2-1 lead in the 3rd inning. He would later score what would prove to be the winning run in the same inning on an RBI single from Doug Clark.

Hanwha vs. SK

4/17 - SK 10, Hanwha 9
4/18 - SK 9, Hanwha 4 (10)
4/19 - SK 8, Hanwha 2

Friday night's game was a typical 2009 KBO slugfest. The two teams combined for 6 homers. Hanwha was down 9-1 heading into the bottom of the 6th inning, but managed to rally for 4 runs in the 6th and again in the 7th to tie the game at 9. After finishing the 8th inning, Hanwha closer Brad Thomas stayed on for the 9th. He was more than a little wild. He loaded the bases with one out. SK 3rd baseman Choi Jeong hit a fly ball to deep right. The throw from Victor Diaz wasn't even close to home plate. The winning run crossed easily. SK ace Kim Kwang-hyeon had a rough outing against the Eagles. Kim threw 5 1/3 innings(107 pitches, 64 strikes) before exiting. Kim allowed 5 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks with only 4 K's. SK outfielder Park Jae-hong had solid night at the plate, but he had to exit the game in the 9th inning after he was drilled in the leg by a Brad Thomas fastball. Park finished 2-5 with a homer, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored.

It's not everyday you see a 9-4 final in 10 innings. SK absolutely battered Kim Baek-man. Actually, I'm convinced that Yang Hoon convinced Kim to switch jerseys. Yang threw 2 innings of relief without allowing a run and in fact looked like a competent pitcher, while Kim threw BP. When the dust settled, Kim was charged with 5 runs on 3 hits and 1 walk in only 2/3 of an inning. Wait. That can't be right. Either I'm wrong or the box score and highlights are. Whatever. This game also featured the KBO debut of Ken Kadokura. Kadokura threw 7 innings in relief of Lee Seung-ho. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 hit batsmen and 3 walks. He also recorded 5 K's during his 117-pitch relief appearance. I'm guessing he starts his next game.

On Sunday, SK rode a 3-homer offensive outburst and a solid start from Song Eun-beom to victory. Song threw 7 solid innings(108 pitches, 71 strikes) of 1-run ball. He allowed only 3 hits and 1 walk with 8 K's. After being limited to part-time duty on Saturday, Park Jae-hong returned to the lineup with a homer in the 1st inning. SK 2nd baseman Jeong Geun-woo also had a solid day from the lead off spot. Park went 4-4 with 2 doubles, a walk, a stolen base and 1 run scored. DH Victor Diaz was the lone bright spot for the Eagles. He homered for the 2nd time in as many days on Sunday.

Samsung vs. Doosan

4/17 - Doosan 13, Samsung 4
4/18 - Samsung 12, Doosan 3
4/19 - Samsung 5, Doosan 4

Doosan absolutely hung one on Samsung on Friday. The score was 12-0 before the 3rd inning was over. 13-4 makes this game sound close, but that didn't stop Doosan from using 7 different pitchers. Doosan exploded for a 4-run 2nd and a 6-run 3rd inning. Kim Dong-ju, Choi Joon-seok and Son Si-hyeon all delivered 3 RBI efforts for Doosan. Francisco Cruceta was awful again. Only 38 of his 78 pitches thrown went for strikes. He allowed 8 runs(5 earned) on 5 hits and 6 walks. Somehow, he struck out 5 batters. The lone bright spot for the Lions was outfielder Woo Dong-gyun's grand slam in the 4th inning. Woo's homer accounted for all of Samsung's offense in this game.

Samsung got some measure of revenge on Saturday with their 12-3 trouncing of the Bears. Samsung 1st baseman Chae Tae-in exploded with a 2 homer, 4 RBI effort, while Yoon Seong-hwan provided solid pitching. Yoon worked 6 innings(94 pitches, 65 strikes). He allowed 3 runs on 7 hits with 6 K's. Yoon really has emerged as the staff ace for this Samsung team. Here's hoping it continues. Samsung 3rd baseman Park Seok-min also had a nice night at the plate. Park finished 3-3 with 2 doubles, a homer, 2 runs scored and 2 RBIs. It's nice to see him heating up after a rough start.

Kim Sun-woo wasn't able to continue his solid start on Sunday. He was battered for 5 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk in only 1 2/3 innings of work. Samsung and Doosan scored all 9 runs in the first 4 innings and watched the bullpens put up 0 after 0 for 5 innings. Veteran Samsung infielder Shin Myeong-cheol went 3-4 with a first inning homer, 3 RBI's and 2 runs scored while left fielder Kim Hyeon-su and 1st baseman Choi Jun-seok both clubbed solo homers for Doosan. Samsung closer Oh Seung-hwan notched his 3rd save with a 1-2-3 9th inning.


Anonymous said...

In the last game Matt Watson played for Doosan, he was able to drive in the winning run in a 5-4 win for Doosan. He hasn't played since. He's sat for 5 or 6 games and now I understand is being sent to the minors. He doesn't have a great batting average, but he has homeruns and RBI's which are respectable. What's up??? This is one of the few sites where American's can "read" in English what's happening in baseball in South Korea. Can anyone explain or "interpret" what American players experience over there. Last year, Justin Lehr was sent home (released) abruptly by Doosan. Why should American players even go over to South Korea to play when things like this happen and no one explains or "interprets" even to them the rationale. Communication needs to exist between managers and players. I understand, some South Korean interpreters aren't good communicators or liasons because of the language barrier. I believe in American, a foreign player is made to feel welcome by the team and also the managers. You would think that the Doosan Bears manager would reach out to ALL players if he wants his team to be successful.
Any response would be appreciated.

Mike said...

Well I have an idea about Diaz. So far his hits have been great looking, but they have been empty and his OF skills are horrible.

I made the comment to a friend of mine that Hanwha has their version of A-Rod.

I hope that I am wrong about my early season look at him. We will see in a few months.

Anonymous said...

P.S. You would think that ALL managers would reach out to ALL players if they want the team to be successful. Maybe other managers do! (despite the language barrier)

Anonymous said...

From the Doosan's point of view (according to some korean newspaper articles) they needed more strength on their pitching, so in order to add one more pitcher to the roster, they had to let go of the hitters, and when there's just too many good hitters in Doosan right now (even Koh Young Min got his swings back). So yeah, it sucks, but usually the foreign players, are an easy target at this chance. I saw on the other day when the korean reporters are trying to interview Brumbaugh(sorry if i misspelled) of the heroes. and not a good communication was done from the interpreter, Brumbaugh, and the reporter. Reporter tries to question something about the game nicely, the interpreter (i'm guessing he was pissed off at something or someone) makes a poor/rude translation, and Brumbaugh was acting like he just want to get out of there.