Recapping Day 27 of the KBO

All you need to know from Day 27 of KBO action.

The bottom half of the KBO had their lunch money stolen last night. Not only did all five teams in the bottom half of the league lose, but they did so in crushing fashion. No closers were necessary last night, as the closest games were 7-3 victories over the Lotte Giants and Hanwha Eagles by the Kia Tigers and Kiwoom Heroes, respectively. The Doosan Bears came out on top over the KT Wiz in a 14-8 barnburner, and the NC Dinos and LG Twins took care of business scoring 10 and 11 runs in shutout victories. Needless to say, Kim Tae-hoon was not alone in his disappointment with his performance on the bump last night.


Miss some of the action from last night? Click on the links below to watch!

KT Wiz: 8, Doosan Bears: 14

SK Wyverns: 0, NC Dinos: 10

Kiwoom Heroes: 7, Hanwa Eagles: 3

Samsung Lions: 0, LG Twins: 11

Lotte Giants: 3, Kia Tigers: 7

Let’s take a look at the top performers from the day, brought to you by Josh Kurzer and Alex Fast.


Best Hitters

Kim Jae-hwon (LF, Doosan Bears): 2-3, HR, 4R, 4 RBI, 2 BB. This was simply a ridiculous performance from the Doosan cleanup hitter. Kim scored all four times he reached base and drove in four runs with his bat, including a home run. Kim’s video game-esque stat line last night was impressive in and of itself, but he served as just one of a three-headed monster that completely demoralized the Wiz pitching staff.

Choi Joo-hwan (3B, Doosan Bears): 3-5, 2B, HR, 2R, 4 RBI. Choi hits right behind Kim for Doosan and he did not waste his teammates’ productivity one bit, picking up four RBI and a home run of his own. The third basemen has been a consistent power bat for Doosan this season, with 12 extra-base hits in 88 at-bats so far.

Oh Jae-won (2B, Doosan Bears): 3-5, HR, R, 4 RBI. Oh has not been a full-time starter for Doosan this season, but will see more time in the next week or two due to injuries. However if he can continue to hit like he did last night, I do not think he will have to worry about riding the bench ever again. Oh followed Choi in the batting order, meaning that each of Doosan’s 4, 5, and 6 batters collected 4 RBI. Together these three hitters went 8-13 with 3 HR, 7R, 12 RBI and a permanent position in the nightmares of KT Wiz pitchers for weeks to come.

Sim W0o-jun (SS, KT Wiz): 2-3, 2R, RBI, 2 BB. In what must have been a frustrating game for the Wiz, their leadoff hitting shortstop helped keep them afloat offensively. After falling behind 12-1 KT’s offense found some fight and actually outscored Doosan 7-2 from the fifth inning on. Without Sim leading hist team with his bat the box score could have looked a lot worse than 14-8.

Yang Eui-ji (C, NC Dinos): 1-2, HR, R, 5 RBI, BB.  The Dinos catcher had one good swing last night, but that was all he needed to blow the game open for his team and find himself in this column. Yang hit a grand slam in the fourth to stretch the Dinos lead to 8-0 and take the Wyverns out of the game. He had another opportunity with the bases loaded later on, but ended up taking a base on balls to pick up his fifth RBI of the night.

Kwon Hee-dong (LF, NC Dinos): 0-1, 3R, 4 BB. Last night the Dinos left fielder scored three times without collecting a single hit. Plate discipline is often overlooked in the modern MLB, but it is imperative to the South Korean style of play. Kwon walked four times and ended up scoring three of those four times. Those results go to show that sometimes a walk really is as good as a hit, even if it is not as fun.

Yoo Kang-nam (C, LG Twins): 3-4, HR, 2 2B, 3R, 4 RBI. Yoo is the second catcher to get in this column today thanks to his three extra-base hit performance in a win last night. He doubled twice and went yard, finishing the game with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI. Yoo has been scorching hot recently, as last night was his fourth multi-hit effort in the Twins last eighth games.

—Josh Kurzer

Best Pitchers

Jung Chan-heon (LG Twins): 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 11 K: We’re almost a month into the KBO season and, before today’s start from Jung Chan-heon, only four SPs had recorded a performance with 10 or more strikeouts. Of those four, only one recorded MORE than 10 strikeouts: Dan Straily in his second appearance. Jung Chan-heon used a killer curveball to make a lot of Samsung Lions hitters look very silly in his appearance:

He also paired that with curveball with a very good fastball that tunnels super well:

While this was far and away Jung’s best performance, it shows you just how dominant he can be when things are clicking for him with that breaker.

Drew Rucinski (NC Dinos): 6 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 8 K: Another day, another dominant performance from an NC Dino; Rucinski was Thursday’s Key Matchup for a reason. He has now only given up 2 ER in his last 21 IP and is now working with a 2.11 ERA, the 3rd lowest in the KBO. The key to Rucinski’s success has largely been thanks to his sinker which was sporting a .195 BAA before today’s matchup. The pitch has so much life to it and KBO hitters seem to struggle to keep up with it or put good wood on it when they can make contact. Ruckinski has also been relying on a wicked slider once he’s able to get ahead of the count. I see Ruckinski continuing to have success regardless of which team he faces.

Eric Jokisch (Kiwoom Heroes): 6.1 IP, 3 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 3 K. This was the worst start that Eric Jokisch has made in the KBO this year. Let that sink in. It’s a quality start. Sure not a few K’s but he kept his team in the game and helped them get the win and didn’t give up a single free pass. Jokisch has arguably been the KBO’s equivalent of the Cy Young so far this season as he’s now sporting a 1.49 ERA with a 0.89 WHIP. Jokisch is primarily a sinker/curve/changeup guy which makes sense as to why he’s been having success: a good CB can go a long way in the KBO, especially when it’s commanded consistently. So far this season, Jokisch has a 0.40 BAA on his CB.

Friday’s Key Matchup

Lim Chan-gyu (LG Twins) vs Choi Won-tae (Kimwoom Heroes): There aren’t a lot of A+ pitching matchups to look forward to tomorrow (the best pitcher going is likely former Oriole Mike Wright against the Hanwha Eagles) but this matchup certainly has the best standings implications. The Twins are riding a hot streak in which they’ve won 7 out of their last 10 matchups, jumping up to 2nd place in the standings. The Heroes will look to falter a recent skid where they’ve fallen into a 4th place tie with the Kia Tigers.

Also, we have two doubleheaders tomorrow featuring the Tigers vs the Bears and the Dinos vs the Eagles!

⁠— Alex Fast 

Alex Fast

An FSWA award winner for Research Article of the Year, Alex is the co-host of On The Corner and host of the weekend edition of First Pitch. He received his masters in interactive telecommunications from NYU's ITP. All opinions are Alex's and Alex's alone. A die-hard Orioles fan, Alex is well versed in futility and broken pitching prospects.

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