Recapping Day 39 of the KBO

All you need to know from Day 39 of KBO action.

Last night’s highly anticipated pitching matchup between Koo Chang-mo and Drew Gagnon was rained out, but there was plenty of action elsewhere around the league. For the second straight game the Heroes picked up a win in walk-off fashion, the Bears avoided a sweep at the hands of the Lions, The Twins took care of the bottom-feeding Eagles, and Odrisamer Despaigne got back in the win column for the Wiz. Most importantly, our fearless leader Alex Fast made his national broadcasting debut during the featured KBO game on ESPN last night and was magnificent. Alex’s appearance began in the bottom of the fifth inning, and I highly suggest you check it out either on the ESPN app or when the game replays on TV at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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

KT Wiz: 5, SK Wyverns: 3

LG Twins: 9, Hanwha Eagles: 7

Lotte Giants: 2, Kiwoom Heroes: 3

Kia Tigers vs. NC Dinos: (Cancelled)

Samsung Lions: 3, Doosan Bears: 7

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


Best Hitters


Kim Hyun-soo (LF, LG Twins): 3-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB. Kim got the party started for the Twins with a two-run home run in the top of the first to establish an early lead. He followed that up with two singles later in the game and added a walk for good measure. The Twins left fielder has extended his hitting streak to five games and is batting north of .300 for the month of June.

Roberto Ramos (DH, LG Twins): 0-2, 3 BB, 2 K. The KBO home run leader and MVP candidate made a relatively uneventful return to the lineup last night after spending a week on the injured list with an ankle injury. Ramos stepped to the plate five times and reached base three of them, however, he did not put a single ball in play all night. The slugger struck out twice and walked three times, and will look to get back in the hit column against the Bears tomorrow.

Noh Soo-kwang (LF, Hanwha Eagles): 3-5, R. Noh was recently traded to the Eagles from the Wyverns and made his debut for Hanwha last night. Interim manager Choi Won-ho threw the outfielder into the fire by penciling him into the leadoff spot in his first game with his new club, and he delivered. Noh singled three times and scored once in the loss, making a good impression on both his teammates and Eagles fans in his debut.

Choi Joo-hwan (1B, Doosan Bears): 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI. Choi finds himself in this column for the second consecutive day after another strong performance last night. He was responsible for the two biggest hits of the game a two-run bomb to tie it at 3 in the fifth and an RBI single in the seventh to give his team the lead. Choi’s 410-foot blast made last night his second consecutive game with a home run as he looks to regain his 2018 form, a season in which he homered 26 times.

Kim Sang-su (2B, Samsung Lions): 3-4, 2B, R, SB. Despite a loss last night, the Lions are 7-3 in their last 10 and find themselves just 2.5 games out of playoff contention at this point in the season. This is in no small part thanks to their leadoff man Kim Sang-su, who is turning himself into a hit machine. Kim is 9 for his last 19, including three hits and a stolen base last night.

Dixon Machado (SS, Lotte Giants): 3-4, 2B, R. Machado has been lighting it up for the Giants lately. In his last 13 games, the shortstop has five multi-hit games and has only gone hitless only twice. The Giants offense could only muster up two runs last night, but you cannot blame Machado for his team’s lack of explosiveness. He put together a three-hit day and scored one of his team’s two runs to keep them afloat.

Ju Hyu-Sang (C, Kiwoom Heroes): 1-1, 2B, RBI. The third-string catcher was the hero for the Heroes last night. Ju stepped up to the plate for the first time since May 30 as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the tenth and ripped a double into right to walk it off to inch his team closer to the top of the standings.

Josh Kurzer

Best Pitchers

Dan Straily (Lotte Giants): 8 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 12 K, 0 BB. Straily led the way today with a KBO-high 12 strikeouts en route to a no-decision in Lotte’s loss to Kiwoom. His only hiccup came in the second when a pair of singles to start off the inning resulted in his only runs allowed thanks to a sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly — truly the small-ball special. The 31-year-old former major leaguer faced the minimum three batters in six of his eight innings thrown, with five of them being of the 1-2-3 variety. Straily’s record remains at a puzzling 1-2 with a 2.10 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP along with a league-high 62 strikeouts in 55 ⅔ innings.

Lee Seung-ho (Kiwoom Heroes): 7 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 4 K, 0 BB. Lee had a fine outing of his own opposite of Straily today, notching a no-decision quality start with seven innings pitched allowing just an unearned run, which was enough to get his team into extra innings and eke out the win. Though the 21-year-old left-hander allowed a few more hits than one would prefer, he was able to scatter them well enough to minimize the damage, with the lone score coming in the sixth when an error to the leadoff batter resulted in a Giants player crossing the plate. Lee’s 0-2 record still stands, but his outing helped deflate his ERA and WHIP to 5.05 and 1.46, respectively, while striking out 24 in 41 innings. 

Yu Hui-kwan (Doosan Bears): 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 K, 3 BB. Yu is the first on our list today to have earned a win for his efforts, holding Samsung to just three runs — two unearned — over seven frames for a quality outing and a Doosan victory. The 34-year-old left-hander got off to a shaky start, allowing all three of his runs in a brutal opening inning that included two errors by his teammates, before shutting down the Bears the rest of the day thanks to double plays in the second, fourth and fifth frames; he also sent the hitters down in order in three of his innings. Yu is now 5-1 with a 3.68 ERA and a slightly bloated 1.52 WHIP with 15 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched.

Odrisamer Despaigne (KT Wiz): 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 3 K, 4 BB. Former big leaguer Despaigne earned our honorable mention today with the fourth and final quality start on this list, keeping SK at bay for seven innings to earn the win for himself and the Wiz. While the 33-year-old right-hander put a lot of runners on base, the Wyverns’ two runs came on a solo home run in the second while the latter crossed the plate after a walk, two wild pitches and a single. Otherwise, he scattered baserunners well enough to prevent any further damage. With the win, Despaigne’s record evens up at 3-3 for the season, with a mediocre 4.33 ERA and 1.33 WHIP to go along with 42 strikeouts in 54 innings, though his peripherals suggest he has some headroom for improvement due to some bad luck.

Friday’s Key Matchup


Koo Chang-mo (NC Dinos) vs Warwick Saupold (Hanwha Eagles): If you have been reading these KBO roundups for the past month-and-a-half, you would know that Koo Chang-mo day is practically a weekly holiday here at Pitcher List, and despite a rainout on Thursday that spoiled our parade he is scheduled again to take the hill on Friday. The 23-year-old left-hander has been nothing short of dominant this season, sporting a 5-0 record for the first-place Dinos with a microscopic 0.75 ERA and 0.69 WHIP while sitting in second for the league lead in strikeouts — behind our primary pitcher of the day Dan Straily — with 52 in 48 innings while walking just 11. 

On the mound opposite of him is former Detroit Tiger Warwick Saupold who has had a rollercoaster season so far in 2020. After a stretch of three-straight losses that culminated in a seven-run shellacking against Lotte on June 9, the 30-year-old Aussie right-hander bounced back in his last start against Doosan, earning the win after throwing six innings allowing just a pair of unearned runs while striking out four — though he also hit a pair of batters. If Saupold brings his A-game on Friday it could make for one heck of a pitcher’s duel, however, it is much more likely that the former big leader will succumb to the Dinos’ powerful lineup.

Adam Dubbin

-graphic by Justin Paradis

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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