Bullpen, Daegu Samsung Lions Park, Doosan Bears, Featured writer, Gocheok Sky Dome, Hanwha Eagles, Jamsil Baseball Stadium, KIA Tigers, Korean baseball, KT Wiz, LG Twins, Lotte Giants, Masan Baseball Stadium, Matthew Care, Munhak Baseball Stadium, NC Dinos, Nexen Heroes, SK Wyverns

Top of the First 09/13/2017: Nobody wants to be fifth!

Welcome to a brief retrospect on the games from yesterday, and an overview of the second games from the first mid-week series.

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09/12/2017 Doosan Bears 14:13 NC Dinos: Sometimes, the KBO happens. Yesterday it happened three times for Doosan and NC, and for the neutral fans it was glorious. Last year’s MVP, Dustin Nippert in his third poor outing in as many games got shelled for 11 early runs and had to be pulled only 2 additional runs after Nippert was pulled in the third inning. NC meanwhile squandered their lead and were unable to take advantage of multiple bases loaded opportunities last few innings.

09/13/2017 Doosan Bears vs NC Dinos: Today sees two pitchers with similar records, forms, and ERAs go head to head as Doosan’s soft tosser Yu HuiKwan, and NC’s Jang HyunShik take the mound. After their extended use yesterday, there is a necessity for both guys to put out a good start and take the some of the pressure off of the bullpens. Given Yu HuiKwan’s shaky form over his last 5 outings, and Jang’s momentum coming off of his first quality start in a run of no decisions and losses it stands to be another good contest.

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09/12/2017 Lotte Giants 2:1 LG Twins: A closely contested outing by Lotte’s new daddy, and LG’s Henry Sosa saw the Giants come out on top thanks to a solo shot from Jeon JunWoo, and an RBI single from Lee DaeHo in the first inning. Despite  poor offensive numbers, LG worked the pitch count well and managed to force several long battles, digging out a run in the 8th inning. They had a strong chance in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game, had it not been for a phenomenal diving play by Lotte shortstop, Moon GyuHyeon that prevented LG’s lead-off from getting on base. Son SeungLak would go on to pick up his 34th save of the season.

09/13/2017 Lotte Giants vs LG Twins: Today it goes from the new daddy, to the baby of the Giant’s starting rotation. Park SeWoong, who started the season in strong form has been looking increasingly vulnerable over his last few starts, meanwhile LG starter, David Huff seems to have recovered well from his absence and has been putting out a strong run of form over his last few starts, not dropping a single game during that span. After a 31-pitch outing last night, Lotte are likely to be without their star closer, Son, so all eyes will go to the Lotte offense. If LG are able to stifle them once again as they did yesterday, then this one may well go to the Twins.

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09/12/2017 kt wiz 3:2 Nexen Heroes: In another closely contested game yesterday, a good start by Donn Roach and 7.0 shutout innings from Jake Brigham saw Nexen leading 2-0 heading into the bullpens in the top of the 8th. Nexen looked to be on course to break their 5 game losing streak, but a late flurry from kt’s revived batting order saw Jeong JuHoo, and Sim WooJun cross the plate to tie up the game in the top of the ninth inning. Revived by this late surge, kt’s Jang SeongWoo singled into shallow left to drive Nam TaeHyeok home in the top of the 10th and give kt a 3-2 lead. Despite a double, and an error from the kt defense that allowed Kim MinSung to lead off the inning on third, Nexen were unable to capitalize and suffered their sixth straight loss.

09/13/2017 kt wiz vs Nexen Heroes: Tonight sees potential for both batting orders to explode as two bullpen pitchers turned starters, Ryu HuiYun and Sin JaeYeong take the mound for their teams. While neither player has managed to record a win in their last five outings, Sin goes into this game with the better pitching form behind him. His longest appearance across the last three games has been 3 1/3 innings however so there are concerns that this may well become the battle of the bullpens. Bullpens + Starting Pitcher + KBO = ???? + Guaranteed Fun. Not one to miss for the neutrals, but likely one that will cause a lot of the Nexen fans to gain a few grey hairs.

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09/12/2017 KIA Tigers 6:2 SK Wyverns: After throwing 6 innings and only conceding 2 runs, it would appear that Pat Dean and Kim MinSik have finally found ther chemistry as KIA notched another win to keep their 3.5 gap over Doosan intact. SK weren’t without their chances however and managed to bully Kim YoonDong off the mound. A solid outing from the returned Lim ChangYong saw the Tigers stabilise and finish out the game as comfortable winners.

09/13/2017 KIA Tigers vs SK Wyverns: The troubles seem to continue for SK tonight as Yun HuiSang takes the mound against Yang HyeonJong. Yun has been far from stellar across his last few outings and hasn’t recorded a win in his last 5 starts. He will be looking to SK’s bats to come alive if he has any chance of avoiding that run stretching to 6. In the Tigers’ camp a shaky August has proven that despite his phenomenal start to the season, Yang is not quite invincible. His last teo starts against Nexen and Hanwha however seem to indicate that he has recovered his form nicely and with only 2 more starts to follow across the make-up games, he will likely be motivated to push for the 20 win milestone that will further cement his candidacy for season MVP.

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09/12/2017 Hanwha Eagles 3:2 Samsung Lions: After finishing the weekend with a loss for Hanwha against NC, and a win for Samsung against league leaders KIA, it seems only appropriate that Hanwha started this week with a convincing win. A strong outing from Alexo Ogando conceding 2 runs in 6 innings, and a hitting masterclass from Willin Rosario that saw him go 3 for 4, going deep twice saw Hanwha handily see off Samsung’s late season push to clinch eighth.

09/13/2017 Hanwha Eagles vs Samsung Lions: After a strong Dominican, the best follow up is another strong Dominican. Carlos Villanueva takes the mound for Hanwha tonight against Samsung’s Ace pitcher, Yun SeongHwan. In very much a feast or famine matchup, fans will be wondering if they’ll be watching the Villanueva who shut out NC for 6 innings and held kt to 4 hits over 7, or the Villanueva who posted an 11.25 ERA against Doosan, and a 36.00 ERA against the kt wiz, all within his last 5 starts. Samsung meanwhile will be hoping to continue their strong surge of form in the latter half of the season and will look for strong outings from Koo JaWook, Darin Ruff, and Kang HanWool who went 2 for 4 yesterday to pit his season average at 0.302 for the first time in his career.

As always, predictions are KBO, KBO, Bullpens, Beer, and Fun. Follow the discussion on the myKBO Facebook page.

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