7/31 - KIA 5, Samsung 2
8/1 - KIA 7, Samsung 3
8/2 - KIA 4, Samsung 3
This is the first time since I've been following Korean baseball that a team other than SK or Doosan has been in first place for more than 24 hours. The turnaround in Gwangju has been remarkable. It's amazing what finding a pair of foreign innings eaters can do for a team.
All 3 games had the same recipe for success. Solid starting pitching, good defense and timely hitting. This isn't exactly rocket surgery. Starting pitchers Yoon Seok-min, Rick Guttormson and Aquilino Lopez all threw quality starts against the Lions. Yoon started the party right by tossing 8 innings of 2-run baseball. Yoon allowed only 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 hit batsmen while striking out 6. Guttormson followed suit on Saturday. Rick tossed 7 innings of 1-run baseball. Rick gave up 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. Guttormson doesn't miss many bats, but he keeps teams off-balance. Lopez wanted in on the party too. Senor Smoke threw 7 innings of 3-run ball on Sunday afternoon. He surrendered 8 hits and 3 walks while striking out 9.
The Lions never stood a chance. On Saturday human pinata Bae Yong-su got the start for the Lions. I'm giving Bae a new nickname. I hereby name him, "The White Flag." I thought about going with "Captain France," but that's not very PC. If ever there were an act of surrender, starting Bae Yong-su in 2009 is it.
3rd baseman Kim Sang-hyeon lead the KIA offense. He drove in a run in every game and homered on Saturday and Sunday. He finished the weekend 10-14 with 6 RBIs and 3 runs scored.