Andrew Farrell, Bullpen, Doosan Bears, Gwangju-KIA Champions Field, Hanwha Eagles, Home runs, Jamsil Baseball Stadium, KIA Tigers, Korean baseball, KT Wiz, LG Twins, Lotte Giants, Masan Baseball Stadium, NC Dinos, Nexen Heroes, Power rankings, Samsung Lions, SK Wyverns, Typical KBO game, Wilim Rosario, Yoo Gang-nam

KBO observations form the 3rd week of June.

1. Doosan v NC had just about everything.

Riding the bus home on Sunday night in the Jamsil area, I saw plenty of young Doosan fans passed out in the arms of their parents. And who can blame them? The meeting of 3rd v 2nd was as close to a rollercoaster ride as you’ll ever see in the KBO.

With the series delicately locked at 1-1, the Dinos raced into an 11-6 and you could forgive Doosan fans for taking off early, given that NC have the most reliable bullpen pitchers in the league. But the 7th inning 7 run comeback turned the game on its head and probably gave the champions their most satisfying result of the season thus far.

This game had it all. 3 home runs, a treble, a bunch of doubles, 6 (yes, six!!) errors (4 for Doosan), stolen bases, double plays, a balk and a run scored off a wild pitch.

Doosan managed 27 runs on Saturday and Sunday agaisnt what many to believe is the best all round team in the league. NC don’t suffer too many meltdowns like this. Doosan should enjoy it.

Credit: What a game in Jamsil!

2. LG can pose problems if they rediscover how to hit home runs.

In last week’s article, we wrote about how LG had only managed 31 home runs all season, more than 70 fewer than SK Wyverns. No team in the league seemed to work as hard for their runs as Jamsil’s second club. Fortunately their pitching was more than good enough to sustain a playoff push.

So what happened last week? They hit 10 including 6 in Gwangju against the leaders. Yoo Gang-nam with 2, including a grand slam that was, incredibly, followed by an inside the park home from Son Ju-in. How often do you ever see that? Back-to-back homers, one a grand slam and the other an inside the park. I believe it has only happened 3 times in KBO history.

All in all, the Twins recorded the best WHIP last week, the second best OPS (1.001) and ended it with winning series against Doosan and KIA. Not a bad week.

LG Twins produced a solid comeback on Sunday to clinch the series. This included a grand slam and an inside the park home run in the 6th. How much of it is down to LG’s hitting or Kia’s rubbish bullpen?

3. Wilin Rosario had a week to remember.

In most circumstances, Hanwha Eagles’ 15-14 win over kt wizz would be noted for some absurb batting, pitching, epic innings and a couple of players honoured for reaching significant milestones in their careers.

After all, there were 37 hits and 9 walks during 9 barely believable innings. Kt scored 7 in the 5th, conceded 7 in the 6th and tagged on another 4 in the 7th. But they still lost by the odd run in 29.

However, Wilin Rosario managed 4 home runs himself, and 8 over the 3 game series. The Dominican was responsible for 7 RBIs on Friday but the striking thing about his fence clearers was just how brutal they were. Rosario destroyed the balls each time. Often at a ballpark fans cheer wildly for routine fly balls and don’t stop until the ball is safely in the out-fielder’s glove. But there was never any doubt about Rosario’s savage hits. He murdered the ball every time.

The graph below really illustrates how damaging the Eagles hit man was to kt last week.

They’ll have to come up with a new chant for Rosario now. Credit: 야구친구.

And to the week ahead….

Doosan Bears @ Kia Tigers and NC Dinos @ SK Wyverns has potential playoff match ups written all over them. Whilst this weekend, there is surely no bigger match up than the top 2 fighting it out for tip spot in Masan. Glorious.

The weekend’s match ups.

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