It is Monday, April 23, 2012 in Korea. It is the 17th day of the 2012 KBO season. There have been 45 games played this season, unless I counted wrong (yes, I counted). And the Lotte Giants lead the KBO with a impressive 7-3-1 record (a clean .700 winning percentage).
Before we get into the topics of the day, I'd like to announce on behalf of our blog a new partnership we have agreed upon with our friend Dan K and his MyKBO group of KBO related online resources. His main website www.mykbo.net contains a lot of foreigner friendly KBO info (in English!) and he also has a Facebook group, Twitter account, and a YouTube channel (all links on his main website).
Please take a look at his material if you've found our blog first. I think it is great we are creating an English speaking Korean pro baseball following community.
Lee Seung-yup is getting right back into his groove in Korean baseball. His 9th inning 2 run home run in the Sunday game against Hanhwa padded his team's lead enough to secure Samsung's second win a row against last place Hanhwa.
Lee's numbers place him as the current second best hitter on the Samsung batting line up. His current slash line reads 356/463/689 with 3 home runs and 16 hits. The only batter better than Lee is third baseman Park Suk-min, who has the same number home runs and hits but sports a loftier 390/509/659 slash.
Samsung's mini sweep of the rained out 2 game set against Hanhwa has them on a 2 game winning streak after emerging from a 4 game losing streak.
A number of aces are still winless (or recently winless) 17 days and 45 games into the 2012 season.
Hanhwa's Ryu Hyun-jin is as dominant as ever. In 3 starts, he has pitched 23 innings and has only let in 3 earned runs (4 total). But his team has not come through to get him that elusive first win.
Kim Sun-woo has been Doosan's ace for a number of years and he is still winless in the season. It's still early but we wonder when Sun-woo is going to settle down and stay Doosan's ace. In 3 starts Kim has a bloated 7.04 ERA helped by the ugly April 8 outing against Nexen when he was responsible for 9 eared runs in 4 and a third.
Jang Won-sam and Yoon Suk-min had been winless until recently despite strong performances. Jang grabbed his first dub coming in in relief in Samsung's Sunday win against the birds. You'll remember him in his infamous April 17 outing against Doosan when he let in 8 in the first inning.
Yoon Suk-min finally grabbed a win despite owning a .53 ERA on the season.
He did it in fine form as you can see from MyKBO's YouTube upload above striking out 14 on the 17th. Doosan's super season starter Lim Tae-hoon is the only pitcher with a lower ERA so far: 0. Lim has only pitched 11 innings however (Yoon has pitched 17 and Ryu has pitched 23).
Week 2 Power Rankings
1. Lotte Giants (3-1 on the week)
- Lotte and Doosan are offensive powers early.
2. LG Twins (3-1)
3. Doosan Bears (3-1)
- Swept defending champions Samsung and lost a game to Nexen.
4. SK Wyverns (1-3)
- Average offense, stellar defense.
5. Nexen Heroes (2-2)
- Improving: especially the rotation.
6. Kia Tigers (2-2)
- Scoring at nearly the bottom offensively and defensively as a team.
7. Samsung Lions (2-3)
- Got swept then swept. Too bad the swept series was only 2 games.
8. Hanhwa Eagles (1-4)
- Started the week strong with a win but lost the rest of their games.