Monday, May 23, 2011

Week 7 Rankings and Things

Choi Hyung-woo of Samsung Lions celebrates success by cleaning helmet with sock puppet while being violently slapped by team mate.

First: Samsung Lions (5-0-1) (week 7 records)

You can't go wrong by not losing any games. Climbing back into the thick of the late early season playoff picture with a lot of help from Choi Hyung-woo's batting prowess, Samsung is beginning to start to match its successes from a year ago. Sweeping Nexen was no problem, but beating Doosan and keeping that team out of the top four might have been more satisfying. Doosan is still a contender of a team on paper, but Samsung did not lose to them in their weekend series. There aren't many individual standouts on this team, and they are winning through good baseball and management, which is good to know for Lions fans.

Second: Hanhwa Eagles (4-2)

Won both series against Doosan and Kia. But got pounded (8-1 and 13-1) in the games to begin and end this week. Either way, Hanhwa is finally out of the standings basement and sitting pretty at second last. Next series is against SK and this will test whether Hanhwa is ready to stay out of the basement for the foreseeable. There isn't much hitting over here. Jeong Won-suk leads the team with a .301 and while Choi Jin-heng's second in the league in home runs with 9, his average is only .237. All they have besides Ryu Hyun-jin is a bit of hustle and I believe they'll be back at 8th by this time next week.

Third: SK Wyverns (1-3)

SK's 3.00 team ERA is the best in the league. Jeong Woo-ram, Gary Glover, and Song Eun-bum are helping this pitching staff maintain this average. Kim Kwang-hyun is not easing back into his role as a super pitcher as Ryu Hyun-jin has been. He is still nursing a shoulder injury and let in a staggering 5 runs on 4 hits in .2 innings in a practice league game. Manager Kim Seung-geun's decided Go Hyo-jun is the ace of the squad, despite very mediocre stats for the season (0-2, 3.67). Seems a little odd but this team is still #1 in the standings and should stay there after a mid week series against Hanhwa.

Fourth: LG Twins (3-2)

A break out team this year with a comparatively mediocre weak. Their 0.278 team BA is still good for best in the league and Park Hyun-jun is leading the Organization with 7 wins. While the main man Matt D's got advanced stats proving Park is not the dominant pitcher he looks like (balls in play average = .315, K/9 = 7ish, fielding independent pitching = mid 3ish), I still believe when a pitcher's on a roll, the team will respond positively and rally around him. Just as the Eagles seem to rally when it's Ryu starting a game. Im Chan-gyu is also cruising with a 1.85 ERA after 24 and a third innings.

Fifth: Kia Tigers (3-3)

Kia had a pretty testy week but are still in a playoff position and should contend because of some good performances we've observed. Yoon Suk-min hasn't let in a run in 28 innings. And Kia's bats are alive hitting well over .250 in all games this week except in their Friday loss to Ryu Hyun-jin and Hanhwa (0.069). Kia's bats are second best in the league with a team BA of 0.274. Pitching is the issue as their 4.02 team ERA is thoroughly mediocre.

Sixth: Lotte Giants (2-3)

Rough week in an up and down season for first year manager Yang Seung-ho's Giants. Their 2 wins against SK is definitely the highlight. Game 1 of that series displayed some power Lotte batters had been known for as they drove in 8 runs including a grand slam and Hong Seoung-heun's long awaited first home run of the season. Game 3 of the SK series is how Lotte might be needing to win games this season as their 3-2 victory with a team BA of 0.172 is more indicative of Lotte's modest team batting this year (24 home runs ~ 5th in the league, 0.258 team BA ~ 5th in the league). Lotte's a small ball team now and must play accordingly.

Seventh: Doosan Bears (1-4-1)

Disastrous season for the Bears so far. Losing a series against Hanhwa is embarrassment enough, but getting beaten by Samsung, the team that took them out in the second round of last year's playoffs, insured that Doosan stay out of a playoff spot for the week. Doosan now has only 1 more win than Hanhwa and 2 more wins than Nexen, the two teams below them in the standings. Doosan is still a decent team, their 0.265 team BA is good for third in the league and Kim Sun-woo are Dustin Nippert are still a dominant 1-2 in the rotation. Doosan is only losing by a run or two a game and thus being beaten by teams playing better all around baseball. Doosan should do the same.

Eighth: Nexen Heroes (0-4)

"Ace" Geum Min-chul threw a tantrum in his Tuesday start. I'm guessing there's a lot of unhappiness in the Heroes dressing room with such mediocrity across the board. Geum's "leading" the rotation with 2-4, 4.55 stat line and Kim Seong-hyun has been equally ineffective with a 2-2, 4.54. There is literally nobody in Nexen's batting order worth discussing. Nexen will be neck and neck for second last place with Hanhwa all season, and it will either be Nexen's stunning lack of baseball prowess or Hanhwa's incompetence that determine who "wins" this battle of the basement.


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