The only real news was that SK lefty Kim Kwang-hyeon was activated before Thursday's game. I thought he was still at least a week away from a return.
Doosan 5, Hanhwa 4
W - Jeong Jae-hoon (1-0), L - Julio DePaula (0-2), S - Lee Yong-chan (3)
Doosan HR - None Hanhwa HR - None
Well, if we ever wanted to know what a game would be like if the KBO gave Hanhwa 4 free runs, we had our chance last night. Doosan battled back from an early 4-0 deficit to steal a victory from the jaws of defeat. Hanhwa started the scoring in the 2nd inning when left fielder Choo Seung-woo doubled with the bases loaded and plated all three runners. Hanhwa added another run in the 5th inning on a sac fly from right fielder Choi Jin-haeng. Doosan started to chip away at the lead in the bottom of the 5th. They scored their first run on an RBI single from Kim Hyeon-su. Doosan plated two more runs in the 6th inning on a 2-run single from center fielder Lee Jong-wook. Then with runners on 2nd and 3rd and two outs in the 8th inning, DH Lee Seong-yeol hit a line drive to left field. The ball appeared to strike Hanhwa left fielder Choi Jin-haeng in the thigh. It was like he tried to catch the ball with his crotch. I'm really not sure what he was trying to do, but it didn't work and both runners scored easily while Choi tried to find the ball. Doosan closer Lee Yong-chan tossed a 1-2-3 9th inning for the save.
SK 5, KIA 2
W - Kim Kwang-hyeon (1-0), L - Kim Hee-geol (0-1)
SK HR - Park Jeong-kwon (1) KIA HR - None
Kim Kwang-hyeon's return really overshadowed a tight, entertaining ballgame by two of the best teams in the league. I have the impression that a shared start between Gary Glover and Kim Kwang-hyeon was planned in advance, but I haven't been able to dig up any direct quotes. Glover stuck around for 4 innings(60 pitches, 38 strikes) and threw reasonably well. He gave up 1-run on 3 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2. He left the game with a lead, but didn't figure in the decision because he didn't last 5 innings. Kim Kwang-hyeon took over in the 5th inning and looked rusty, but still has the same electric stuff. He just needs to work on his command. Kim tossed only two innings(31 pitches, 19 strikes). He gave up 1 run on 2 hits and struck out one batter. The K came on a nasty 2-2 slider in the dirt to KIA 2nd baseman Ahn Chi-hong. SK broke a 2-2 tie in the 6th inning on an RBI single from 2nd baseman Jeong Geun-woo. SK tacked on insurance runs in the 7th and 8th and the bullpen locked the game down.
Samsung 7, Nexen 6
W - Jeong Hyeon-wook (1-0), L - Son Seung-rak (0-1)
Samsung HR - None Nexen HR - Kim Min-woo (2), Kang Jeong-ho 2 (2)
I want to believe in Samsung, but I need to see them beat someone other than LG, Hanhwa or Nexen before I can decide if this team is any good. They looked solid on Tuesday and Wednesday, but really mediocre on Thursday. I still have no idea what to make of this team. I need to see them against SK or Doosan first.
Samsung appeared to be cruising to a 4-2 victory in the 8th inning of Thursday's game, but a Nexen rally made victory look impossible. Nexen put runners on 1st and 3rd with one out. Samsung called on closer Oh Seung-hwan to put out the fire. Nexen executed a double steal to score their first run. While Doug Clark was running for second base, pinch runner Hwang Jae-gyun took off for home. He was safe before Samsung shortstop Park Jin-man could get the ball out of his glove. After retiring left fielder Song Ji-man, Oh walked 1st baseman Lee Sung-yong to put runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs. Nexen shortstop Kang Jeong-ho promptly blasted his second homer of the evening and gave Nexen a 6-4 lead. Kang finished the game 3-4 with a double, 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Samsung chipped away at the lead in the bottom of the 8th inning with an RBI ground out from Kang Bong-gyu. After a scoreless top of the 9th, Samsung catcher Jin Kab-yong lead off the bottom of the inning with a walk. Samsung shortstop Park Jin-man ripped a line drive into center. Center fielder Jeong Su-sang dove to make the grab. He missed. The ball bounced away from him and rolled to the wall. Jin was able to score the tying run and put the go ahead run on third with no outs. Nexen intentionally walked Lee Yeong-wook and Shin Myeong-cheol to load the bases. Nexen pitcher Son Seung-rak uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the runner to score from third. A walk-off wild pitch. Unreal.
LG 10, Lotte 2
W - Park Myeong-chan (1-0), L - Ryan Sadowski (0-3)
LG HR - Lee Byeong-gyu (1), Lee Jin-yeong (2), Cho In-seong (1)
LG used its high priced lineup to generate some serious power on Thursday night. Left fielder Lee Byeong-gyu, right fielder Lee Jin-yeong and catcher Cho In-seong all took Lotte pitching deep last night. Ryan Sadowski was the victim for most of LG's offensive assault. Sadowski was battered for 5 runs on 4 hits, 4 walks and a hit batsman during his 6 innings of work. The only Lotte offense came from a 2-run homer off the bat of third baseman Lee Dae-ho. LG center fielder Lee Dae-hyeong had a goofy stat line. Lee finished 0-2 with a walk, a run scored, 2 stolen bases and 2 sacrifices. LG pitcher Park Myeong-chan pitched well enough, but he didn't exactly dazzle during his 5 2/3 innings(75 pitches, 46 strikes). Park allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks and 1 hit batsman. Park chipped in 2 measly strikeouts.