Samsung Lions vs Hanwha Eagles – Hanbat Stadium, Daejeon
<Game 1> RAINED OUT
<Game 2> Samsung 3 : 8 Hanwha
Samsung Lions starter Woo Gyu Min had a tough start to his day, giving up 6 runs in the first two innings. He only made it through 4 innings but that was enough for a loss. Lee Won Seok and Darin Ruf each knocked in a run with a single in the 4th and 6th innings respectively. The Lion King, Lee Seung Yeop, reminded everyone that he is not retired just yet, with a home run in the 9th.
Meanwhile, Carlos Villaneuva earned the win starting for Hanwha. He pitched 6 innings giving up just 2 runs on 5 hits. An RBI single by Wilin Rosario, a sac-fly by Yang Seong Woo, and a 2 run double by Choi Jin Tae got the Eagles offense rolling early in the 1st inning. Kim Tae Gyun joined in on the fun in the 2nd inning with a two run bomb. Rosario and Yang each added one more RBI, with a solo-shot by Rosario in the 5th and another sac-fly for Yang in the 7th.
Hard to read too much into just one game in baseball, but Hanwha has to feel pretty good about this one. Villaneuva pitched a great game, and the bullpen only allowed one run in 3 innings. Offensively, the Eagles did rely on some of their big bats for homers, but the were also able to score playing small ball. As for Samsung, a loss is never fun but Lee Seung Yeop’s homer must have been a breath of fresh air.
SK Wyverns vs LG Twins – Jamsil Stadium, Seoul
<Game 1> SK 2 : 1 LG
In a game that saw a lot of hits, but few runs, SK starting pitcher Scott Diamond had a good night, lasting 7 innings while throwing 103 pitches. He gave up 9 hits but his 6 strike-outs helped limit the damage to only 1 run. Choi Seung Joon did all of the offensive damage for the Wyverns, drawing a bases-loaded walk in the 1st and hitting a double in the 5th. Shin Jae Woong came out of the bullpen in the 9th to get the save.
Although LG out hit the Wyverns, they were only able to get one Twin across the plate. With 2 on and 2 outs in the 3rd inning, Lee Hyung Jong laid down a surprise bunt to bring in LG’s only run. Twin’s starter Lim Chan Gyu pick up the loss after giving up both of SK’s runs in 4.1 innings.
<Game 2> SK 2 : 6 LG
SK starter Merill Kelly pitched quite well, despite being handed the loss. He went for 6.1 innings on 106 pitches. He gave up 3 runs (2 earned) on 6 hit, but had an impressive 10 strikeouts. Unfortunately for SK, it took 3 relievers to finish out the 7th inning, with Kim Ju Han giving up 2 runs and Kim Dae Yoo giving up one. Offensively, Choi Seung Joon had a solo home run in the 2nd, but the only other run came from a Choi Jeong RBI single in the 3rd.
If SK’s Kelly was unlucky to get the loss, then LG’s Henry Sosa was equally unlucky to get a no decision. He went 6 innings on 97 pitches, giving up 2 runs with 6 strikeouts. Reliever Jin Hae Su cruised through the 7th inning, needing just 10 pitches, getting the win. An RBI single by Lee Cheon Woong in the 3rd got LG on the board, but the team collectively decided to wait until the 7th to do the rest of the damage.
A split series should probably be expected from two teams battling for a playoff spot. Pitching wise, both teams have to feel pretty good, as most of the starter did well and the runs were limited. However, both teams will probably feel a little concerned about the number of runners left stranded. More offense will be needed to make it to the playoffs.
Doosan Bears vs Nexen Heroes – Sky Dome, Seoul
<Game 1> Doosan 7 : 4 Nexen
Doosan Bears starter Michael Bowden did not have the game he probably imaged he would. After giving up a run on a bases-loaded balk in the 3rd, he was then forced to leave the game in the 4th after hitting Nexen batter Jang Young Seok in the head with a fastball. Jang was carted of the field on a stretcher. Offensively, Min Byung Hyun lead the way going 2/2 with 3 walks and 2 RBIs. After a mixture of relievers out of the bullpen, Lee Yong Chan closed out the game for a save.
Kim Seong Min, starting pitcher for the Nexen Heroes, did not have the best of games either. He gave up 6 of the Bear’s 7 runs in 5 innings of work, earning him the loss. Lee Jung Hu went 3/5 on the night, scoring 2 runs and driving in 1. Michael Choice also drove in a run in the 5th inning with a single.
<Game 2> Doosan 3 : 6 Nexen
Doosan starter Jang Won Ju picked up a 6 inning 4 run loss, on a night that the Bears were always chasing after the 2nd. Kim Jae Hwan and Min Byung Hyun gave Doosan an early lead in the 1st with back-to-back RBI singles. Then Oh Jae Il tied the game in the 6th with an RBI single, but Doosan could never maintain.
Nexen starter Jake Brigham also went 6 innings, but his 3 runs conceded were few enough to net him the win. With the bullpen looking almost professional, 2 holds and Han Hyun Hee with a save, Doosan was never able to rally. Kim Ha Seong had 3 RBIs on the night, including a 2 run homer in the 7th. His ground ball fielder’s choice RBI in the 1st got Nexen started offensively.
A series split here is also not that unexpected, as both teams are looking to try to secure their playoff spots. Doosan has been resurgent of late, so most teams in the league will be happy to see them held to just one win. Nexen is clinging to the last playoff spot at the moment, so every win is crucial for them. A few question marks over the pitching, for both team, but generally both teams were able to put up runs.
Lotte Giants vs NC Dinos – Masan Stadium, Changwon
<Game 1> Lotte 2 : 3 NC
The budding southeastern rivalry saw an amazing pitcher’s duel in game one. Lotte’s starter Josh Lindblom went 7 innings on 96 pitches, giving up only 1 run on 3 hits. While reliver Park Jin Hyung was able to hold the 8th inning, closer Son Seung Rak’s luck ran out when he watched his 10th pitch sail over the right field fence, courtesy of Xavier Scruggs. This not only handed Son a blown save, but also the loss. On the offensive side, Son Ah Seop only need one pitch in the 1st to give Lotte the lead, and Shin Bon Gi added a second solo-shot in the 2nd inning.
The quality pitching was matched by NC’s starter Lee Jae Hak. He went 8 innings on 111 pitches. Both of Lotte’s home runs were on him, but he did manage 9 strikeouts. However, none of that was enough to get Lee the win, as NC never got the lead until the very end. Lim Chang Min was the man called up in the 9th, so he got the win. The hero of the night, however, had to be Xavier Scruggs. After Park Min Woo drew a walk, and with one out in the 9th, Scruggs liked the first pitch so much he sent it over the fence to get himself the walk-off Gatorade shower.
<Game 2> Lotte 5 : 3 NC
Lotte Giants starter Brooks Raley was all poised for a win after going 6 innings on 100 pitches, and a one run lead. Despite giving up 9 hits he only allowed 1 runner to cross the plate. However, the story changed when Bae Jang Ho failed to hold the lead in the 8th. That would result in Lotte using 6 pitchers for the night in a game that lasted 11 innings. Lee Dae Ho had a homer in the 4th to get the Giants on the board. While Moon Gyu Hyu gave Lotte the lead in the 11th with a 2 out single, and Jeon Joon Woo added vital insurance runs with a 2 run double.
Despite getting very little run support, NC starter Jeff Manship had a good game, going 6 innings with 9 strikeouts and 2 runs conceded. He was saved from a potential loss when Mo Chang Min hit one deep to right-center to tie the game. NC would use 7 pitchers in the game, but it was Lim Chang Min who gave up the 3 runs in the 11th and thus got the loss. NC tried to rally in the 11th when Na Seong Beom hit an RBI double with 2 out, but game one’s hero Xavier Scruggs was unable to repeat when he struck out swinging to end the game.
A very interesting series split in Masan. Both games were filled with drama and exciting endings. Game 2 looked like it could have been a repeat of a pitchers duel, but instead it turned into a game that saw 15 total pitchers step on the mound. Neither team wanted to give up, so both teams can take heart, and the starting pitching was class for both teams. NC would have like to have taken both games to ward off Doosan, and threaten Kia. As for Lotte, every win counts as they are chasing Nexen for the 5th playoff spot.
Kia Tigers vs kt wiz – Suwon Stadium, Suwon
<Game 1> RAINED OUT
<Game 2> Kia 8 : 9 kt
Kia Tigers starter Pat Dean struggled some, only going 4.1 innings with 8 hits and 6 runs conceded. In a back and forth game where Kia used 5 relievers, it wasn’t until Kim Yoon Dong came on in the 9th that the loss was sealed. Offensively, Kia did what they usually do, getting hits and scoring runs. This included 2 RBIs by Kim Ju Chan, a solo homer by Kim Sun Bin, and 2 RBIs in the 9th by Han Seung Taek.
kt wiz starter Ju Kwon fared a little better than Kia’s Dean, but he only made it through 4 innings while giving up 3 runs. The wiz used 4 relievers in the game, and despite giving up 2 runs, Kim Jae Yoon got the win. kt had the power as they had 3 home runs including a 2 run homer by Shim Woo Joon in the 3rd and a 2 run homer by Park Kyung Su in the 5th. The biggest hit though was Lee Hae Chang’s walk-off 2 run double in the 9th.
Although it was only one game, this is quite an upset for kt. As the team at the bottom, they managed to exploit the Achilles Heel of the Tigers. Kia has to be disappointed since their lead is starting to slip, and losing to the last place team doesn’t help their cause. A good morale boost for kt, and a time for some reassessment for Kia.
2017 KBO리그 팀순위 *naver.com
Table Standings as of 08/12