Friday, October 1, 2010

Lotte Takes a 2-0 Lead, Look to Sweep

Lotte 4, Doosan 1 (10)
W - Lim Kyeong-wan, L - Jeong Jae-hoon
Lotte HR - Lee Dae-ho Doosan HR - None
Lotte leads the series 2-0

Lotte broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning when catcher Kang Min-ho was drilled in the leg with the bases loaded. Lotte held a 1-0 advantage until the bottom of the seventh. Doosan put runners on first and second with no outs. Infielder Oh Jae-won sacrificed the runners to second and third with a bunt. Lotte called in reliever Lim Kyeong-won to put end the threat and Doosan sent Lee Seong-yeol in to pinch hit for second baseman Goh Yeong-min. Lee hit a sharp grounder back up the middle that deflected off the Lim's glove and bounced into no man's land. The runner on third was able to score and tie the game at one.

Tied is where the score remained until the top of the tenth inning. First baseman Kim Ju-chan lead off with a base hit and pinch hitter Jeong Bo-myeong sacrificed him to second. Lotte second baseman Cho Seong-hwan was intentionally walked to put runners on first and second with one out for slugger Lee Dae-ho. Lee blasted a Jeong Jae-hoon fastball over the left field fence to give Lotte a 4-1 lead. I understand the strategy, but was it that great of an idea to walk Cho to face Lee Dae-ho? If Doosan really had to walk batters, why not walk Cho AND Lee to face DH Hong Seong-heun? Hong only finished the game 0-5.

Lost in this one was a gutsy performance by Lotte starter Ryan Sadowski. Doosan loaded the bases in the first inning and looked like they were going to break through, but Ryan settled down and pitched out of the jam. Sadowski tossed six scoreless innings(114 pitches, 67 strikes) Ryan only gave up three hits, four walks and two hit batsmen while striking out seven.

Doosan starter Kim Sun-woo also threw a great game. Kim pitched seven innings(102 pitches, 62 strikes) of one-run baseball. Kim allowed only four hits, one walk, and two hit batsmen while striking out four.

Lotte reliever Lim Kyeong-wan deserves a mention as well. Lim did allow the tying run to score in the seventh, but he stuck around and threw 3 2/3 big innings in a close game to earn the W. Lim allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out two.

The series shifts to Busan on Saturday. Lotte will send Lee Jae-gon to the mound as they try to win their first playoff series under Jerry Royster. Lee started the season in the bullpen and earned a starting job over the summer. Lee finished the year 8-3 with a 4.14 ERA and 1.27 WHIP over 124 innings. He struck out 44 and walked 41. Lee will be opposed by "The Human Victory Cigar" himself, Hong Sang-sam. Hong made a splash in the KBO last year by winning 9 games as a rookie. He's struggled mightily this year and is a surprising choice for a must-win game. Hong went 4-3 with a 6.42 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 96 2/3 innings. He's the "Human Victory Cigar" because he was essentially a mop up guy/guy who started a bunch of games after Doosan clinched a playoff spot.


feld_dog said...

Huh? Intentionally putting the go-ahead run on third with only one out? Nobody would do that. Hong Seung-heun has struggled, but he's much less likely to strikout or hit into a DP than Lee. Clearly the move was to go after Jo, walk Lee, then pitch to Hong.

Anyway, the amazing thing was that Lee hit a pitch that was WAY low, about halfway down his shins, and golfed it over the fence.

Ryan said...

Really, pitching to Lee at this point in his career reminds me of pitching to Barry Bonds in 2001. More often than not you are going to come out of it worse than when you started.

Lee is a special player and I think that Lotte is a dangerous team as a result.

Matt said...

If you're going to walk the big bats, go all the way. Walking Cho to get to Lee was suicide.