Recapping Day 33 of the KBO

All you need to know from Day 33 of KBO action.

The rich got richer and the poor got poorer in the KBO last night. The league-leading Dinos picked up another win over the second-place Bears to win the series and add to their lead in the standings. Meanwhile, the cellar-dwelling Eagles continued their march to hell by losing their 17th, yes, 17th consecutive game. In the past week, the Eagles front office has demoted four assistant coaches to the minor leagues, fired its head coach, and sent 10 underperforming veterans to the minors to be replaced with unproven rookies. None of it has worked, as the free-falling Eagles are now tied for the second-longest losing streak in league history. Elsewhere around the league the Twins swept the Wyverns in a doubleheader, the Wiz avoided a sweep behind a big offensive performance, and the Lions won their rubber match over the Heroes.

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

SK Wyverns: 1, LG Twins: 3

Lotte Giants: 5, Hanwha Eagles: 0

Kia Tigers: 13, KT Wiz: 8

Doosan Bears: 5, NC Dinos: 7

Kiwoom Heroes: 3, Samsung Lions: 6

SK Wyverns: 3, LG Twins: 4

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


Best Hitters

Lee Sung-woo (LG Twins): 1-1, R, HR, RBI, 2 BB: (Game 2) In the second game of the doubleheader between the Twins and Wyverns, Lee was the difference maker that led to an LG win. The catcher walked in his first two plate appearances and hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh to put the Twins up 4-3, giving them a lead they would never look back from.

An Chi-hong (Lotte Giants): 2-4, 2 R,2 2B, 2 RBI: Lotte’s three-batter got the party started early against the Eagles last night. An hit an RBI double in the bottom of the first to put his team up 1-0, and would end up scoring to double the lead to 2-0 after one. The second basemen would add another double later on in the game, but the damage had already been done. The Giants capped off a dominant series with a 5-0 shutout, holding Hanwha to just five runs in three games.

Kang Baek-ho (KT Wiz): 3-5, 3 R, HR, RBI. Despite possessing the number three scoring offense in the league, the Wiz sit in eighth place at 12-20 due to lackluster pitching. Thankfully for them, pitching did not matter one bit in last night’s game, where 22 total runs were scored. The Wiz offense put up 14 runs in the win and was led by the heart of their order, starting with Kang. The first basemen picked up three hits, including a home run, and scored every time he reached base.

Yoo Han-joon (KT Wiz): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB. The heart of the Wiz order last night was an absolute juggernaut, with the DH Yoo following Kang Baek-ho in the order. Yoo put together a complete performance last night, comprised of an infield single, an RBI single, a two-RBI double and a walk.

Mel Rojas Jr. (KT Wiz): 4-5, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI. Rojas broke out of a rough stretch with an exclamation point last night. The slugging outfielder was in a 1-14 cold spell before exploding for four hits last night. Rojas broke the game open with a three-run home run in the fourth, his tenth in just 138 plate appearances on the campaign.

Preston Tucker (Kia Tigers): 3-5, R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. The Kia outfielder once again impressed at the dish last night, now safely reaching base in nine of his last ten games. Tucker was the designated hitter for Kia last night, and made the most of his half-day by falling just a triple shy of the cycle.

Park Hae-min (Samsung Lions): 3-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI. The Samsung nine batter struck the big blow for his team last night. Park’s second-inning home run gave the Lions a 3-1 lead that they would not relinquish on their way to a 6-3 win. Park collected two singles in addition to the home run to end up with a perfect 3-3 night at the plate.

Kang Jin-Sung (NC Dinos): 3-4, 2 R, HR, 2B, 2 RBI. Last night it was Kang Jin-Sung’s turn to step into the limelight for the Dinos. The first basemen joined Tucker in falling a triple shy of the cycle, picking up 2 RBI in a three-hit effort. The Dinos have proven themselves to be the team to beat through six weeks of play and will be sure to get every team’s best shot from here on out.

Josh Kurzer

Best Pitchers

Lee Min-ho (LG Twins): 7 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 0 BB. Lee led the day among pitchers with a strong outing against the LG Twins to get his second win of the season. The 18-year-old phenom allowed a first-inning run on a one-out double followed by a two-out single, and then cruised the rest of the way. One baserunner managed to get on in each of the following two frames and before sending the next six down in order; he saw some trouble in the seventh but managed to escape unscathed. His bullpen shut down the remainder of the lineup to seal the deal. Lee’s record improves to 2-1 while sporting a 1.16 ERA and a 0.90 WHIP along with 16 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings pitched so far in his rookie season.

Seo Jun-won (Lotte Giants): 5 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 4 K, 4 BB. Seo had quite a showing on Thursday, shutting out the lowly Hanwha Eagles over five innings to earn his third win of the season. He only threw 74 pitches and allowed eight baserunners, but he managed to keep the scoreboard clean while his offense steadily built a lead. The 19-year-old dodged trouble for a good portion of his appearance, though he threw 1-2-3 innings in the third and fifth frames. The bullpen picked up right where he left off and cruised to the shutout victory for the Giants. Seo is now 3-1 with a 3.72 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP with 18 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings over his sophomore season in the KBO.

Kim Dae-woo (Samsung Lions): 5 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 K, 1 BB. Kim did not get deep enough in the game to earn the quality start stat, but he still put up a performance that earned him and his Lions the win on Thursday. The 31-year-old’s lone run allowed came in the second on a leadoff triple from Kiwoom second baseman Kim Hye-sung followed by an RBI groundout. He managed to get through his other four frames unscathed, which was good enough to maintain a 3-1 lead over 79 pitches. His offense doubled its output in the bottom of the fifth and the bullpen coughed up a few runs in the seventh, but ultimately the Lions came out on top and Kim got his first “W” of the season. The veteran pitcher is now 1-2 with a 3.81 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP with just nine strikeouts in 26 innings pitched.

Ricardo Pinto (SK Wyverns): 6 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 1 BB. Pinto took the mound opposite of Lee Min-ho today, earning a no-decision after a valiant effort in keeping his team in the game against the Twins. The 26-year-old Venezuelan allowed baserunners in each of his first three innings, though none of them managed to cross the plate. LG finally got to him in the fourth on a double, single and a sac fly, and no further damage was done. Pinto allowed baserunners in his final two innings as well, but managed to escape trouble as he had most of the day. His bullpen gave up the two deciding runs in the bottom of the seventh, leaving him with nothing to show for his performance. Pinto’s record remains at 3-2 and his ERA and WHIP currently sit at 3.67 and 1.65, respectively, with 25 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings in his first KBO season.


Friday’s Key Matchup

Park Jong-hoon (SK Wyverns) vs Bae Je-seong (KT Wiz): Friday’s featured matchup comes between a pair of pitchers who have been cruising along so far this season, with SK’s Park sporting a 3-0 record with a 3.44 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP along with 34 strikeouts in 34 innings — putting him among the top 10 in the league — while Bae brings in a 2-1 mark with a 2.11 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP along with 24 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings pitched this season. The 28-year-old Park has won three of his past four games, though ironically his one no-decision was his best outing over that span, and he looks to continue his success for the struggling Wyverns. 23-year-old Bae has dealt with similar issues, failing to earn a decision in his previous start in which he threw eight shutout innings against the Lotte Giants, while somehow snatching a win in the game before that in which he gave up six earned runs in five innings. Both pitchers come in riding a good deal of success, so either something has to give or we are in for a heck of a pitcher’s duel on Friday.

Adam Dubbin

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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