Doosan Bears big boy first baseman Choi Joon-suk reacts after reading this week's True Stories of Korean Baseball rankings (and stuff).
Rankings for week of April 19 to 24:
1. Doosan Bears (5 wins and 0 losses for week), week sweep, big boy first baseman Choi Joon-suk is on fire bringing home the winning run in 4 of 5 of his team's wins. Doing it with hitting, over 10 hits in 3 games this week, and pitching, only 1 game with an over 3.00 ERA (4.00 against Hanhwa in the Sunday game). Choi Joon-suk, Kim Hyun-soo, Kim Dong-ju, and Oh Jae-won are all hitting over 300. And first year import Dustin Nippert is beating up the KBO with his Major League skills.
2. SK Wyverns (3-2), the only other team with a winning record this week. Didn't lose a series but still only a tie above Doosan now for first in the league. Interesting to see which of these teams will lead the league after this next week is over. SK hosts Doosan in the weekend series for the coming week.
3. Samsung Lions (3-3), pretty non-descript performance but now leading the league in team ERA. But that seems like a fluke when they are second last in the league in team strike outs (116K's to SK's 145 K's, LG is last with 104K's).
4. Kia Tigers (2-3), foreign starters Aq. Lopez and Travis Blackley with "A+'s" in Xsport News' article assessing import arms early season. Both are riding quality starts streaks and sub-2 ERA's. Kia's Korean pitchers are mostly struggling, Yoon Suk-min, Seo-Jae-woong, and Yang Hyun-jong are riding ERA's way over 5.
5. LG Twins (2-4), a losing week and out of first place for the first time in 100,000,007 days but still not too far off, tied for third place in the league with Samsung and Kia. The Twins have definitely not entered Hanhwa/Heroes territory (yet). Bong Joong-gun is scheduled to re-join the team and two series with Lotte and Nexen should get them back to 500 ball after the week.
6. Nexen Heroes (2-4), the best of the bottom three. Hung tough against Kia and managed to beat SK. These two are the winners of the last couple Korean Serieseses. Unfortunately passed by Lotte in team home runs and sitting last in that stat (7 team home runs to Lotte's 8).
7. Hanhwa Eagles (2-2-1), took down Lotte, couldn't take down Doosan. Showing some actual life in Daejon. The Lotte series win was seemingly this team's first series win of the season (I could look it up but I wouldn't be able to say the word "seemingly" here). Lee Dae-soo has 4 home runs and Choi Jin-heng has 3 (tied with many for first and second most in league). Ryu-hyun-jin.. we all know about his slow start.. but check out his ERA's from his last 4 games, oldest to most recent: 10.38, 9.00, 6.00, 2.25.
8. Lotte Giants (1-3-1), would have been 1-4 if they didn't manage that run in their half of the 8th to get a draw against Hanhwa in their Tuesday game. Reliever Go Won-joon pitched a perfect 3.1 innings to keep that game tied. Impressive but not nearly as impressive as if he pitched like say 9 perfect innings and won the game. And still pretty much bottom three in all team offensive stats.. well, pretty much bottom three in all team defensive stats too.
Osen reports on how SK Wyverns chief chief Kim Seung-gun still has faith in Kim Kwang-hyun despite the pitcher struggling early. He'll be facing Kia in a 2009 Korean Series re-match against a red-hot Aq. Lopez. Basically a filler article.
Xports News reports on expansion team NCSoft ________ (no name yet)'s scouting team's activities. Basically, the scout crew has been formed and they are going around different high schools in Korea looking for draft prospects. Article says the scouts will do their best... um yep.
Mydaily discusses Radhames Liz, who is throwing 100 mph fastballs but has allowed a league high 4 home runs. Liz seems to pitch up high, and his speed does not bother batters. He's also given up 3 of the 4 home runs in his home stadium at Jamsil. Jamsil's outfield walls are 100 to 125 meters high, and Jamsil is considered a pitchers park. Other pitchers who have high home run counts have not allowed a home run at Jamsil yet. And also, the article talks about how Liz isn't used to KBO batters yet.
And finally, many reports on Mr. Bong Joong-geun's elbow problems being no more and he is ready for KBO action. He threw in a practice game and pitched 1.1 innings striking out 1 and walking 3. The KBO shivers.