As the KBO enters the two games series stretch of the season, and we enter the final two months, this is the first of a hopefully continuous set keeping track of the series results, and the standings, as each team battles it out towards the playoffs.
Hanwha Eagles vs Doosan Bears – Jamsil Stadium, Seoul
<Game 1> Hanwha 1 : 8 Doosan
Dustin Nippert came out in form on Tuesday night, pitching seven innings on 122 pitches to earn himself the win. He gave up only 1 run on 5 hits, and only really got into trouble closing out the seventh inning. Kim Jae Hwan set the tone early for the Bears with a two run shot in the first, and the team blew the game open with six runs in the third.
On the Hanwha side, An Young Myeong only made it 2.2 innings, but the 8 runs given up on 8 hits was enough to saddle him with the loss. Other than the early run for Hanwha, not too much offense to be found.
<Game 2> Hanwha 12 : 6 Doosan
Hanwha managed to split the series, thanks in part to a combined bullpen shut-out over four innings. Eagle’s starter Alexi Ogando got the win despite giving up 6 runs on 8 hits over five innings. In a game that saw a lot of singles, Hanwha managed 21 hits, Song Gwang Min knocked in 3 runs, including a two run homer. Kim Tae Gyun also had himself a night going 4/5 with 2 RBIs.
Although Doosan scored 6 runs off of the Hanwha starter, they couldn’t find a way to score on the Eagle’s bullpen. Despite this, the game was still within reach until Doosan relievers Lee Yong Chan and Jeong Yong Hoon combined to give up 5 runs in the 9th. Bears starter Yoo Hee Gwan got the loss giving up 7 runs over five innings.
Despite wining game one, the Bears would have to see this as a blown opportunity to win two games off of a struggling team. For Hanwha, it has to feel good to at least play the spoiler.
kt wiz vs Lotte Giants – Munhak Stadium, Busan
<Game 1> kt 4 : 5 Lotte
Lotte starter Park Se Woong managed a quality start, 6.1 innings pitched and 2 runs conceded, but was only rewarded with a no-decision. Song Ah Seop had himself a night, going 3/4 with 3 runs scored, and Choi Joon Seok hit well, going 3/3 and 2 RBIs. It was not until the bottom of the 8th that the Giants managed to hold on to a lead. So, Bae Jang Ho got the win, and Son Seung Rak earned the save.
Meanwhile, kt starter Kim Sa Yool retired the first batter he faced, then gave up an infield hit and was pulled for Om Sang Baek. A strange call, but kt’s offense managed to keep it close until the 8th, when Lee Sang Hwa let two runners score (one inherited), earning him the loss.
<Game 2> kt 6 : 7 Lotte
The wiz did all they could to win this one, despite their starter Ryu Hee Woon only going 3.2 innings and giving up 5 runs (4 earned). Mel Rojas Jr. did his best offensively smashing a 3 run homer in the 7th. However, ultimately, Kim Jae Yoon was saddled with the loss after a series of mistakes led to two Giants crossing the plate in the 8th.
Lotte starter Kim Won Joong pitched fairly well, going 5 innings and allowing 3 runs on 7 hits. However, kt’s 3 run bomb in the 7th left Kim with a no-decision. Perseverance paid off for the Giants in the 8th when Shin Bon Gi tried to steal 2nd. A bad throw and catch allowed Lotte to tie, and shortly after Choi Joon Seok hit a sac-fly for the go ahead run. Son Seung Rak earned himself his second save in as many days.
kt has to feel a little disappointed coming away empty handed from this series, but they can hold their heads high knowing they battled hard. As for the Giants, the two game sweep has to feel good, and bodes well for a team looking to get into a playoff spot.
LG Twins vs Samsung Lions – Lions Park, Daegu
<Game 1> LG 10 – 8 Samsung
Ryu Jae Guk did just enough to qualify for the win for LG, going 5 innings on 91 pitches. He gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, but the Twins offense did enough to keep them ahead throughout a game that saw plenty of hits. Park Yong Taek, Lee Cheon Yong, and James Loney all knocked in two runs, allowing LG enough breathing room to survive Samsung’s attempt at a rally.
Samsung’s Darin Ruf did all he could to power the offense, batting 3/4 with 3 RBIs. Lee Seung Yeop and Lee Won Seok also added a home run each to the mix. However, Lion’s starter Jeong In Wook could not contain the Twin’s bats, giving up 5 runs on 7 hits, and only making it through 4 innings.
<Game 2> LG 4 : 7 Samsung
After a strong start for the LG offense, they could not find away to get anyone home after the 2nd inning. Twins starter Cha Woo Chan pitched well, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits over 6 innings. However, reliever Jin Hae Su got the loss with 2 earned runs in the 8th. James Loney managed to knock in 2 of the 4 LG runs.
Lions starter Kim Dong Ho only managed to make it through 3.2 innings, giving up all 4 of LG’s runs on 7 hits. However, Samsung’s offense, led by Lee Seung Yeop (3/4 with 3 RBIs), helped lead them to a win. Jang Pil Joon got himself a 13 pitch save to finish off the game.
A split series has to be seen as a blown opportunity for the LG Twins. Despite good starting pitching, the bats were unable to come out in game two, not good for a team making a playoff push. As for the Lions, playing the spoiler is the best they can hope for in an otherwise forgettable season.
NC Dinos vs SK Wyverns – Munhak Stadium, Incheon
<Game 1> NC 0 : 4 SK
Although it is a little unusual to see a goose egg in the runs column in the KBO, Moon Seung Won’s brilliant outing for SK made sure NC’s bats stayed fairly quiet. He went 8 innings on 100 pitches, giving up 5 hits but no runs, for a well deserved win. Choi Jeong and Han Dong Min provided the runs needed, and in typical Wyverns fashion, the home run.
NC starter Kang Yoon Gu pitched pretty well for the Dinos, 5 innings and 2 runs conceded on 5 hits. However, on a night in which he got no run support, that was enough to be handed a loss. Park Min Ho managed to go 2/3 with a walk, but the Dinos could not find a way to bring him home.
<Game 2> NC 10 : 5 SK
The Dinos had a strong response to getting shut-out in game one, scoring 10 runs on 14 hits. Park Seok Min led the way going 4/5 with a homer and Xavier Scruggs drove in two runs with a double and by drawing a walk. Reliever Kim Jin Seong got the win, as NC starter Gu Chang Mu only made it through 4.1 innings.
Na Ju Hwan and Kim Dong Yeop followed the standard SK playbook with a solo homer each, and Choi Jeong had 2 RBIs for the night. However, that wasn’t enough as the Wyverns pitching staff never seemed to get settled, going through 6 pitchers in the game. SK starter Yoon Hee Sang got the loss on only 3 innings pitched.
An interesting split series for two teams looking towards the playoffs. A good response for NC, as they have suddenly seen their number 2 spot threatened by Doosan. For SK, a tough battle in the middle of the pack means they really needed to win both games.
Nexen Heroes vs Kia Tigers – Champions Field, Gwangju
<Game 1> Nexen 5 : 2 Kia
In a game that saw a lot of hits, but few runs, Nexen starter Choi Won Tae earned a quality start by going 6 innings on 90 pitches. Despite giving up 8 hits and 2 walks, he only allowed 2 runners to cross the plate. Kim Ha Seong got things started for the Heroes in the first with a two run shot, and three more runs in the fourth was enough for Seoul’s third team.
As for the home team, Kia’s Lim Gi Young only managed 3.2 innings, while giving up 5 runs on 10 hits, thus earning the loss. Offensively, Kim Ju Chan had a great game, going 3/4 with 1 run scored and 1 RBI. However, few other Tigers managed to make it all the way home.
<Game 2> Nexen 1 : 10 Kia
Nexen’s Michael Choice scored on a double from Kim Min Seong in a game that the Heroes would otherwise like to forget. Starting pitcher Yoon Young Sam only lasted 2 innings, giving up 6 runs and earning the loss.
The Tigers managed a strong response to their loss in game one. Na Ji Wan got things started off with a solo shot in the 2nd, and things really blew open in the 3rd. Interestingly, the Heroes really did not want to give Choi Hyung Woo a chance, walking him three times. Kia starter Yang Hyun Jong had a quality start, going 6 innings and giving up only 1 run. Reliever Park Jin Tae kept things efficient by closing out the game with 3 innings pitched and only one hit allowed.
Nexen has to be happy with taking game one from the top team in the league. However, as a team in a heated battle for the playoffs, they would have really like to have taken game two as well. For the Tigers, the frustration of not being able to get guys home in game one seemed to be taken out in game two.
2017 KBO리그 팀순위
Table as of 08/10
*Table courtesy of Naver Sports