LG 15, Lotte 2
W - Lee Hyeon-jong (1-0), L - Kim Dae-woo (0-2)
LG HR - Park Yong-geun (2), Park Byeong-ho (1), Cho In-seong (5) Lotte HR - Kang Min-ho (7)
This game got out of hand quickly. If I hadn't seen Lotte hold a 2-1 lead in the 3rd inning, I wouldn't have believed it. LG scored at least 1-run in each of the next 5 innings, including a 6-run rally in the bottom of the 3rd. LG starter Lee Hyeong-jong really didn't pitch that well, but hey, run support. Lee tossed 5 innings(74 pitches, 42 strikes) of 2-run ball. He gave up 5 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. Every LG starter either scored or drove in a run. LG 3-4-5 hitters DH Son In-ho, left fielder Lee Byeong-gyu and 1st baseman Seo Dong-wook combined to go 6-13 with 7 RBIs and 4 runs scored. Lotte catcher Kang Min-ho homered in his 2nd consecutive game and finished 1-3 with a walk, 2 RBIs and 1 run scored.
Nexen 9, Samsung 8
W - Adrian Burnside (3-5), L - Jang Won-sam (3-2), S - Son Seung-rak (6)
Nexen HR - Kang Jeong-ho (5), Song Ji-man (7) Sasmung HR - Cho Dong-chan (3), Choi Hyeong-woo (8)
9-8 makes this game sound closer than it was. If it weren't for a lot of fake rallies in the late innings, the Nexen Heroes would have blown out the Lions. Heroes starter Adrian Burnside really didn't pitch that well, but the Lions didn't get to him nearly as much as the Heroes got to poor Jang Won-sam. Burnside allowed 5 hits and 5 walks during his 5 1/3 innings, but still got the W. After Nexen trailed early they got back in the game with a 3-run rally in the 2nd inning. Struggling non-Korean center fielder Doug Clark hit a seeing-eye RBI single and
shortstop Kang Jeong-ho hit a 2-run bomb. After Samsung tied the game in the 3rd, Nexen put together two more 3-run rallies in the 4th and 5th innings to take a 9-3 lead. Nexen DH Song Ji-man blasted a 2-run homer in the 5th inning and finished 3-4 with 3 runs scored on the afternoon. Samsung did battle back to make the final look respectable, but Nexen closer Son Seung-rak recorded the final outs before they could plate the tying run. I feel I need to mention the camaraderie on this Nexen squad. These guys have each other's backs. Lots of high fives, hugs and pats on the back with this bunch. They might not have the best record, but they seem to lead the league in happiness. Damn, that's the queerest sentence I have ever written.
SK 6, Doosan 4
W - Jeong Woo-ram (4-1), L - Kelvin Jimenez (7-2), S - Lee Seung-ho (13)
SK HR - Kim Jae-hyeon 2(3), Park Jae-hong (5) Doosan HR - Kim Dong-ju (7), Choi Joon-seok (6), Lee Seong-yeol (7)
I was smiling when I watched this game last night because 1. Doosan lost and 2. Only one run didn't come via the homer. I could recap that in my sleep. This game was scoreless through 5 innings. SK starter Kim Kwang-hyeon and Doosan starter Kim Sun-woo had dueling no-hitters for a while. Kwang-hyeon is showing a lot more energy on the mound than in year's past. I get the impression that he's growing into his role as a team leader. Kwang-hyeon tossed 5 1/3 innings(102 pitches, 65 strikes) of 2-run baseball. He allowed 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 with about a half dozen or so fist pumps and yelps. Kim Sun-woo threw 6 2/3 innings(106 pitches, 59 strikes), but gave up 3 runs. Sun-woo surrendered 5 hits, 1 walk and 2 hit batsmen while striking out 2. SK was facing a 4-2 deficit in the 7th inning when Doosan called on starter Kelvin Jimenez to relieve Kim Sun-woo. Jimenez promptly served up a 3-run homer to SK DH Kim Jae-hyeon to give SK a 5-4 lead. The Wyverns added an insurance run in the 8th when center fielder Lee Jong-wook essentially fell asleep in the outfield. I understand occasionally losing one on in the lights, but this ball landed 30 feet away from Lee while he stood their with a shocked look on his face. SK 1st baseman Park Jeong-kwon was given a triple and scored on a sac fly from 3rd baseman Choi Jeong.
Hanhwa 6, KIA 1
W - Ryu Hyeon-jin (6-2), L - Aquilino Lopez (1-3)
Hanhwa HR - Jeong Won-seok (3), Choi Jin-haeng (9) KIA HR - None
The K-Monster followed his KBO record 17-K game with...3 K's. Ryu pitched well enough to win, but he was due for a correction after his awesome performance. Ryu threw 7 innings(103 pitches, 63 strikes) of 1-run baseball. He gave up 4 hits, 3 walks and 1 hit batsman. I think it's fairly safe to say that Ryu is the best pitcher in the KBO right now. I don't think he could be a regular starting pitcher in MLB, maybe in Japan, but not in the US. I think he could make a lights out reliever in MLB, but I'd question his durability in starting role. I think he can pitch once a week during a 133-game KBO season and make it through unscathed. I'm not sure he could pitch EVERY 5th day in a 162-game season. Hanhwa started the scoring in the 2nd inning. 3rd baseman Song Kwang-min hit a ground rule double. Song clubbed a fly ball that got stuck in between the fence and the wall padding. It was a billion to one shot. Song scored on a single from 1st baseman Jeong Hee-sang. Hanhwa added two more runs on 2nd baseman Jeon Won-seok's home run. That rally wound up being all the runs the Eagles would need with Ryu on the mound.