The only thing I got to say is baseball is more important than soccer.
On with the rankings...
Power hitting their way up to the top with one loss that got away yesterday. The usual suspects (Lee, Hong, Gar) doing their thing but pitching is improving as they did not let in more than 5 runs in any game this week. Lotte had one shutout and 3 games where they let in 3 or less runs. Their two series were with bottom feeders Nexen and Hanhwa, however. Sadwoski's really turning things around winning his most recent 3. Still no dominant pitcher by any means but with Lotte's bats cooperating, Sadowski and the rest of Lotte's pitchers have been doing well.
When does it cease to be lucky weeks and become a good baseball team? 4-2 this week, 4-2 2 weeks ago. LG's got that 6th place under lock and key. Both dominating and grinding their way to wins, and a manager that finally got noticed in the league by arguing a call and getting thrown out. Manager Park Jong-hoon is the quietest, most low key manager in the league and a reason why I personally believe LG can't seem show life a lot of times. Either way they're professional baseball players and they will play pro ball. But Park's outburst this week could be a spark in them getting their stuff together and on the hunt for 5th place.
A winning week with one cancelled game. Last two losses were blowouts losing by 5 or more. Kim Gwang-hyun's getting his act together throwing near no hitters like he should be. SK's usually completing games with nice looking scores like 5-2 or 2-1 showing they are usually able to play good baseball. Katokura's the next SK top pitcher to fall victim to a slump going 3 innings and letting in 5 in his this week outing. Either way, SK's the better team in this league because the other teams get blown out or slump more.
Watch Doug Clark come back to life. 3 home runs in his last 5 games and at least a hit in 4 of those games, his Friday night grand slam signifying his recent re-emergence. But it also underscores this team's ability to provide memorable instances in a non-playoff, almost last place season. The reason why Nexen's not going to make 5th place is because of their ability to lose in different ways. Good pitching with poor pitching often from individual pitchers themselves in subsequent outings make this team very safe to play against. Won their last series with an off task Samsung, will lose or get sweeped in their next series' with SK and Doosan.
Kia, 3, 3
Won a series, lost a series, hitting well against pitchers (Dumatrait, LG, on Sunday) or getting shut down (Bong, LG, on Saturday), take some you give some with this happy go lucky team from the Jeolla provinces. Good news is, with the exception of their 0-11 thrashing from Bong Jeung-guen LG on Saturday, they did not let in more than 5 eared runs this week. You can guess that the "but" half of this observation might involve poor batting in those games, and indeed you'll be right. 188, 219, 167, 267 is what they team hit in their last 4 games this week.
It's funny how this team is first in team batting with 0.293 but it has been pitching that's kept them from being completely destroyed this week: 2.16, 1.00, 1.00, 3.00 being some ER's of games this week. Hanging onto that second place with the same level of intensity as Choi Joon-suk and the last piece of pork belly wrapped in lettuce, 1 half decent week from Kia or Samsung and they've taken 2nd place from Doosan. Doosan's bats are very effective with Lee Jong-ok, Kim Hyun-soo, and Choi leading the way (Choi's hitting accuracy shoots straight up after Sam-Gyeop-Sal night). Doosan plays non-playoffers LG and Nexen this week.
Poor pitching and poor batting is the story over here. Even Ryu Hyun-jin couldn't stop the bleeding losing 0-3 to LG import n00b Uncle Phil Dumatrait on Tuesday. Pretty much got blown out in every other game except for 2 against LG and Lotte which they squeaked by with wins. Jose Capellan is the face of Hanhwa's non-Ryu pitchers with an astounding 11 losses and 8.90 ERA. This record is so bad that I will not even attempt to make a joke out of it. Watch a few Hanhwa games and you will see that this record was a team effort and not just Jose's mis-doing. This is a very weak team and expect more of this for the rest of the season.
In a slump or showing their true colors? There wasn't a whole lot to work with at the beginning of this season but got things going hard winning and retaining their playoff positions. Doing dangerously poorly losing series after series. Managed to let a very mediocre Kia team tie them for 3rd place (and hence final playoff position). Were winning with timely hitting and good pitching performances, let's get right back to that if you don't want to end up like LG or Nexen. Faces a surging Lotte and Sadowski next, but gets a break with Hanhwa in the other series for the week. Make or break week in Daegu.