Ryu Hyeon-jin is the best pitcher in the KBO. We've got a Steve Carlton situation in Hanhwa. Could Ryu win the MVP this year? It's possible. He'll likely keep Hanhwa out of 8th place, but does it really matter? Is there that much more shame in an 8th place finish than a 7th place finish? Ryu struck out nine Nexen Heroes last night during a three-hit, one-walk complete game shutout victory over the Heroes. Hanhwa managed to scratch out a 2-0 victory. The way Ryu was pitching, that makes it sound like Nexen was in the game. Nexen almost found a way to score negative runs last night.
The shallow end of the SK bullpen is really, really shallow. SK dropped last night's game to Samsung 14-1. Samsung starter Jang Won-sam tossed six shutout innings. Jang gave up six hits and two walks while striking out eight. Samsung DH/RBI machine Choi Hyeong-woo drove in four more runs while going 2-3 with a walk, a double, a homer and two runs scored. Samsung shortstop Kim Sang-su finished 3-5 with a pair of RBIs. SK ace Kim Kwang-hyeon looked awfully human last night. Kim was battered for four runs on seven hits and three walks during his five innings of work. He did manage to strike out five batters before getting the hook.
Lotte proved that it's okay to give up six runs in the first inning as long as they score seven. Lotte beat Doosan 10-7, but 13 of the 17 runs came in the first inning. Oh and neither team homered in the first. Both kept the line moving. Only three Doosan Bears starters DIDN'T have at least two hits last night. Giants shortstop Park Ki-hyeok drove in three runs thanks to a double with the bases loaded. Giants DH Hong Seong-heun did hit a 3-run homer in the 2nd inning that proved to be the difference on the scoreboard. Hong finished 2-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Lotte Reliever Lim Kyeong-wan recorded his third save. He might have found himself a job as the Lotte closer...until he blows a save in horrifying fashion.
KIA is going to let Aquilino Lopez throw until his shoulder flies apart. Lopez tossed an 8-inning complete game in a losing effort. He was battered for five runs on twelve hits and two hit batsmen. He only needed 122 pitches to finish the game. LG broke a 4-4 tie in the bottom of the 8th inning on an RBI double from 2nd baseman Kwon Yong-kwan. The worst part wasn't that the double came with two outs, the worst part was the wild pitch that came right before it to move the runner into scoring position. Kwon went 3-4 with two RBIs. Someone wants to move out of the #9 slot!