I just got back from a glorious 18-day vacation in Chicagoland. I'm not going to lie. I've been totally half-assing the KBO blog during this month. I'm refreshed, back in Daegu and totally ready to finish the stretch run of the season and blog into the playoffs.... At least until I go on vacation in September during Chuseok.
First order of business. News.
The KBO held their rookie draft last week. Hanhwa took Gwangju high-schooler Yoo Chang-sik with the first overall pick. I really wouldn't be surprised to see him pitching in the rotation next year. The only problem I have with this kid is, well, he sounds like a dick. I also have a hard time believing that he had a $1 million dollar offer from anyone. That's a huuuuge bonus for an international signing and he'd be insane to turn it down. "A million bucks to actually have a chance to develop my talents? Nah. I'd rather slave for seven years with a rotten ball club, make 1/10th of what I'm worth and then, if I'm lucky I haven't blown out my shoulder, possibly get a chance to play overseas."
Hanhwa signed a new foreign guy. Cuban national Francisley Bueno made his KBO debut last Thursday and got completely lit up. Welcome to the KBO, Francisley.
Finally in Hanhwa news, Ryu Hyeon-jin broke the world record for quality starts when he recorded his 23rd consecutive quality start. The previous record of 22 was held by Cardinals' pitchers Bob Gibson and Chris Carpenter.
Nexen 5, LG 4
W - Oh Jae-yeong (1-1), L - Lee Dong-hyeon (5-1), S - Son Seung-rak (20)
Nexen HR - Song Ji-man (13) LG HR - Park Yong-taek (8)
LG held a slim 4-3 lead in the eight inning, but Nexen right fielder Song Ji-man clubbed a two-run homer to put the Heroes on top. Song finished the game 2-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Nexen closer Son Seung-rak recorded the final four outs in order for the save. LG DH Park Yong-taek lead the Zombies offense by going 2-5 with a homer, one RBI and two runs scored.
Hanhwa 5, SK 4
W - Yang Hoon (4-5), L - Lee Seung-ho (6-3), S - Park Jeong-jin (7)
Hanhwa HR - Choi Jin-haeng (27) SK HR - Choi Jeong (17), Lee Ho-joon (5), Park Jeong-kwon (16)
Ken Kadokura threw the ball as well as he has in a while for SK on Thursday. Ken tossed seven innings(104 pitches, 72 strikes) of one-run baseball. Ken allowed four hits and one walk while striking out eight. He left the game with a 4-1 lead in the eighth and had to watch the SK bullpen lose it. The first run of the inning scored on an RBI single from first baseman Jang Seong-ho. Left fielder Choi Jin-haeng hit a two-run bomb to tie the game at four. DH Kim Tae-wan singled, stole second and scored on a single from right fielder Lee Sang-hoon to give Hanhwa their first lead of the game. Oh, I forgot to mention. All of this happened with two outs. Hanhwa reliever Park Jeong-jin threw a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
Samsung 9, KIA 5
W - Jeong Hyeon-wook (8-1), L - Yang Hyeon-jong (14-5)
Samsung HR - Shin Myeong-cheol (7), Choi Hyeong-woo (21) KIA HR - Cha Il-mok (7)
Samsung pummeled KIA starter Yang Hyeon-jong on Thursday. Yang has been one of the few bright spots for KIA this year, but he's also been insanely erratic. He'll either throw seven innings of one-run ball or he'll throw three innings and give up five runs. The best part is, there's really no pattern. Samsung reliever Jeong Hyeon-wook came into the game during the fifth inning after starter Jang Won-sam was pulled due to a high pitch count. Jeong stuck around for 3 1/3 innings. He only allowed one hit batsman and struck out five. The Samsung offense was lead by left fielder Choi Hyeong-woo. Choi went 2-4 with a walk, a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored. Second baseman Shin Myeong-cheol chipped in with a 3-5, one homer, two RBI, one run scored effort.
Lotte 8, Doosan 6
W - Kim Il-yeop (2-1), L - Jeong Jae-hoon (6-4), S - Kim Sa-yul (3)
Lotte HR - Lee Dae-ho (40), Jeon Joon-woo (13) Doosan HR - Lee Seong-yeol (19), Kim Dong-ju (19), Choi Joon-seok (18), Yang Eui-ji (16)
If Doosan could've had a few guys on base when they homered, they probably would have won. Doosan had opportunities to put the game away, but no lead is really safe against the Lotte Giants. Doosan held a 5-3 advantage in eighth inning, but Lotte rallied for five runs. Center fielder Jeon Joon-woo blasted a three-run homer during the rally. At some point, KBO teams have to start walking Lee Dae-ho. Lee homered again and finished 1-3 with a walk and two RBIs.