KBO Standings as of April 19, 2012 is as follows:
SK Wyverns, 7-2
Lotte Giants, 5-3-1
Doosan Bears, 5-3-1
LG Twins, 5-4
Kia Tigers, 4-5
Nexen Heroes, 4-5
Samsung Lions, 3-6
Hanhwa Eagles, 2-7
Chan-ho Park made his second appearance on Korean soil yesterday in a 6-1 loss to the LG Twins at "home" in Cheongju. The 39 year old pitched 6.1 innings while giving up 5 hits and 3 runs.
Chan-ho reached up to 92 mph with his "sharp" cutters and sliders. He was pitching a shutout until he gave up a 2 run home run in the seventh against LG DH Jeong Seong-hoon.
The "Korean Express" is said to be strong only at 80 pitches. He made 93 pitches in his start and that was when it started to unravel.
Defending champions Samsung Lions are, as you can see above, 3-6, and still only above Hanhwa at the bottom of the standings. Samsung fans are, as you may expect, unhappy. Samsung is now in a 3 game slide, losing their final game in the Nexen series and losing their first two games of their current Doosan series.
Particularly troubling is the 8 run Doosan half of the first inning of game 1 of that series. Loser Jang Won-sam gave up 8 earned runs while throwing 53 pitches to 13 batters.
Samsung's slogan this year is "Yes, One More Time." They're either going to win a championship one more time, or they're not one more time, or they will be doing any number of things "one more time."
Nexen on the Rise
Nexen is 4-5 and peaking into the playoff picture early. That's an improvement from the last place finish from last year.
The reason for this improvement is said to be their pitching. Import Brandon Knight was super effective last night going 7 innings and allowing 3 hits and a run. Knight's ERA is at 1.37 and all 3 of his starts were Quality Starts.
Youngster Kang Yoon-gu has also been effective. His 2 losses and 4.26 ERA may not be great, but he did strike out 13 in his start against SK on the 11th and he gave up 2 runs in 6 innings in his start against Kia on the 17th.
Moon Seung-hyun pitched 6.2 innings and gave up 4 in his start against Samsung on the 14th. And on Sunday, Shim Soo-chang went 5 innings and gave up 3 runs.
Weekend Series Previews
Lotte at Kia: Lotte is tied with Doosan for second place and Kia is trying to move into playoff positioning.
Doosan at Nexen: A similar series as above.
SK at LG: SK's pitching is as tight as it can be, and LG has been back and forth.
Samsung at Hanhwa: Never would have thought the battle of the cellar dwellers would be Samsung vs. Hanhwa.