Lotte Giants' 8-0 thrashing by their less celebrated opponents Nexen Heroes meant much more than just one bad game. It was Lotte's 9th loss this month and drops them to 4th place. They were, of course, the best team in the league at the beginning of the season.
Last night, Lotte's Shane Youman pitched by far his worst outing so far. He went 6 innings giving up 7 but he did strike out 4 and only walked 3. His 3-2, 3.35 ranks him as one of the leaders on Lotte's rotation after 7 starts.
Back to Lotte's woes, Lotte started May with a 2-1 series win against Nexen, but managed to win just once in their last 9 games. The team has scored an average of 2.7 runs a game during this span. And they have let in an average of 6.1 runs. The team has been shut out 2 times this month and have only scored more than 6 runs in a game 3 times.
Kia: A Fork in the Road
Kia Tigers find themselves at a fork in the road. Are they a team with playoff aspirations, or will they go full steam towards a re-build.
Sitting at second last place 2 years removed from their 2009 Korean Series win, manager Sun Dong-yul is said to be deciding whether to push his players to the brink or move towards shedding and re-building. Sun is said to be a quick decider and fast mover, and Kia's results from the next few series' will determine his moves.
The Tigers are currently 12-14-2 on the season and have been sputtering along in the month of May with a 4-4 record in their last 8 games. Their .244 team batting average represents the worst of the league and their 4.55 team ERA is the second from the bottom in that category.
Kia's Yoon Suk-min goes against Samsung's best non-import pitcher Jang Won-sam at 6:20pm tonight.
Suprise! It's a Party!
Hanhwa Eagles pitching top brass Park Chan-ho, Ryu Hyun-jin, Son Shin-young, and other team members surprised youngster Yoo Chang-shik with a surprise birthday party May 15.
Mr. Yoo had other reasons to celebrate his 20th as he was the starter on this day against league leaders Doosan Bears. For a last place team, his 5 innings and 5 hits and 4 earned runs in a no decision may actually have been a good accomplishment. Hanhwa didn't fall in the standings after this loss after all (they're already last).
Hanhwa's Ahn Seung-min reportedly notified Yoo that the "seniors are calling for him" and Mr. Yoo hopped to it like a good junior. When he entered the room, the above and other team members surprised him with a cake and a lot of congratulations. Chan-ho reportedly told Yoo "happy birthday, pitch well today and let's do well in the future."
This story was making waves because it was Chan-ho that bought the cake. And this team is coming together despite it being last place.