Archive for the 'Korea' Category

Kia Tigers Win Last KBO Post Season Spot

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

The defending champion Kia Tigers won the last wild card playoff spot on the next to last day with a 6-4 win over the Lotte Giants. The Tigers will play the Nexen Heroes in the first round of the wild card playoff round. In the first wild card action the Tigers must win two games to advance while the Heroes need to only win once.

The winner of that match will face the third place Hanwha Eagles in a best of five series. The winner of that playoff series will play the SK Wyverns in a best of five. The winner of that playoff series will then qualify for the Korean Series where they will play the Doosan Bears in a best of seven.

Last year the Kia Tigers won the KBO regular season. They played the Doosan Bears who finished in second place and defeated the NC Dinos, the fourth place team. Since this new wild card format was started in 2015 no fifth place wild card team has won a championship.

Also, for the first time in KBO history they had five players reach 40 homeruns or more. Those players are Jae-Wan Kim (44), Jamie Romak (43), Mel Rojas (43), Byung-Ho Park (42), Dong-Min Han (40).

Top Thirteen Baseball World Rankings

Friday, September 28th, 2018

The World Baseball and Softball Confederation has come out with their rankings of the top world baseball teams. The rankings go 73 deep but below is the top thirteen. The Top 12 teams are invited to the Premier 12, which is an Olympic Qualifier event.

1. United States (5515 points)

2. Japan (5245)

3. Korea (4534)

4. Cuba (3495)

5. Taiwan (3165)

6. Mexico (2672)

7. Netherlands (2263)

8. Australia (2233)

9. Canada (2142)

10. Puerto Rico (1849)

11. Venezuela (1809)

12. Dominican Republic (1481)

13. Panama (1475)

Japan picked up 146 points on the United States to close the gap on first place. Taiwan earned the most points in 2018. Latvia and the British Virgin Islands sit at the bottom of the rankings with one point each.

Park Hits 40 Homeruns for Third Consecutive Season

Sunday, September 23rd, 2018

After a break to give major league baseball a try, Park Byung-Ho returned to the KBO and hit 40 homeruns for the third consecutive season. Even after missing a month of the season due to a hamstring injury he was able to hit 40 homeruns. No KBO player has hit 40 homeruns in three consecutive seasons. Lee Seung-Yeop, Eric Thames (now with the Brewers) and Cho Jeong have hit 40 homeruns in two consecutive seasons. An injury to Jeong prevented him from hitting 40 homeruns this year to join Park with three consecutive 40 homerun seasons.

In 2014 and 2015 Park actually hit 52 and 53 homeruns. He then spent two years in the United States after the Minnesota Twins signed him. He spent all of the 2017 season in the Twins minor league system.

18 and Under Qualifiers

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

The 18 and under World Cup will be played in Gijang, Korea in 2019. The first two qualifiers for that tournament were from Europe, Netherlands and Spain. The Asia qualifiers have finished and the three dragons have advanced.

Korea won the 18 year old qualifiers held in Miyazaki, Japan, defeating Taiwan in the finals 7-5. The game went into extra innings after Taiwan scored a run in the ninth to tie. Japan had to settle for third place after their 14-1 victory over China.

Korea and Japan seem to be leap frogging the 18 and under championships, with Korea winning in 2009 followed by Japan in 2011. Korea took the crown again in 2014 but Japan followed by recapturing the championship in 2016. Taiwan has finished in second place for consecutive tournaments. The last time they won an 18 and under Asian championship was in 2007.

The last time any team other than Korea, Japan or Taiwan has finished in the top two was in 1994 when Australia finished second. That was the first recorded 18 and under championship. Australia now competes in the Oceania region. China, Philippines and Thailand are the teams that fill the fourth spot.

KBO Establishes Salary Cap on Foreign Players

Tuesday, September 11th, 2018

The KBO will establish a salary cap on foreign players next year. The salary cap will be $1 million, which in addition to salary also includes the transfer fees the KBO club has to pay the major league club for his release. With the average salary of major league baseball players over $4 million and the minimum salary at $545,000, this will limit the quality of major leaguers looking to Korea as an option.

The good news for the foreign player is that the cap no longer applies if the club wants to re-sign the player. So the initial contract would be one year, but if the team wanted to re-sign the player there would be no limit. This re-signing would not apply if a team wanted to sign a foreign player released by another team.

If a KBO team attempts to circumvent the salary cap the punishment is the loss of a first round pick and a $887,000 fine. The player who signed the contract would be suspended for a year.

South Korea Wins Asian Games Gold

Sunday, September 2nd, 2018

They were upset in their opener by Taiwan 2-1. After that South Korea ran the table, shutting out Japan 3-0 in the gold medal game for their fifth straight victory. It was their third straight Asian games championship.

Yang Hyeon-jong shut out the Japanese amateurs on one hit for six innings. Japanese pitcher Ryoga Tomiyama walked the first two hitters he faced. Both of them scored on a single by An Chi-Hong. Ex-Twin Park Byung-ho is starting to find his homerun bat. He slammed a solo shot in the third inning, the fourth consecutive game in which he has hit a homerun.

Jang Pill-Joon and Jung Woo-ram closed out the game for South Korea, completing the shutout by retiring all nine hitters they faced.

Korea Bashes Three Homeruns to Beat Japan in Asia Games

Friday, August 31st, 2018

South Korea may have earned a spot in the gold medal Asian games. They beat a group of previously undefeated amateur Japanese players with a barrage of three homeruns to take the game 5-1. Kim Ha-Seong hit the first solo shot in the third inning to give South Korea a 1-0 lead. The games are being played in Indonesia and Kim and a few other players from South Korea have come down with the stomach flu.

Two hitters later ex-Twin Park Byung-Ho went deep with his solo shot to up the score to 2-0. It was his second homer of the games. Ex-Giant Hwang Jae-gyun went deep with a solo blast in the fourth inning, his fourth homer of the games.

If Korea can beat China they could find themselves in the gold. Taiwan still needs to play Japan and a Japanese win over Taiwan could throw the Super Round into a three way tie for first. Korea is playing with all professional players from the KBO. Taiwan is player with eight players from the CPBL with the rest amateurs. The Japanese are playing with all amateurs. Taiwan had beaten Korea earlier 2-1 in pool play.

Taiwan Upsets Korea in Asian Games

Monday, August 27th, 2018

It is still early, but in the opening round of the Asian games Taiwan beat Korea 2-1. Taiwan was bolstered by two player from each of their four China Professional Baseball League teams. The rest of the players are amateurs. Korea has a full roster of players from the Korean Baseball Organization. That did not stop Taiwan from winning.

The other results were not so surprising. Japan clobbered Pakistan 15-0. Japan has a complete roster of amateur players drawn from college or the industrial league. They have no players from the Nippon Professional Baseball. This still did not hurt them as they played an inexperienced Pakistan team.

Thailand won an early round qualifier pool, beating Sri Lanka and Laos to advance to the final eight. They were a bit overmatched against China, losing 15-0.

Hong Kong downed Indonesia 7-4.

Honolulu Wins Little League World Series

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Honolulu pitchers threw their third straight shutout and pitched four shutouts in their five wins as they win the Little League World Series with a final 3-0 win over Seoul, Korea. Ka’olu Holt did the honors this time throwing a complete game six inning shutout, giving up just two hits and striking out eight. This was his second start and fourth appearance. He allowed just one run in 12.2 innings of work, but he saved his best for last, pitching Honolulu to the championship.

Honolulu got all the runs they needed on a leadoff homerun by Mana Lau Kong. They added two more in the third after a single and two walks loaded the bases. A wild pitch scored one run and a second run scored on an errant throw after the wild pitch.

Korea was able to get a baserunner on in each of the first four innings, getting one as far as third base. The last two innings Holt retired all six hitters he faced to close out the game.

In the third place game Japan dominated Peachtree City 8-2. A seven run second by Tokyo put the game out of reach. Masato Igarashi went deep and drove in two runs for Tokyo. Masaumi Ikeuchi and Kai Nogami also drove in two for Tokyo.

Baltzell Goes Deep for Team USA

Sunday, August 26th, 2018

There’s a saying - “Chicks dig the long ball”. So do dudes. Megan Baltzwell went deep for the United States for the first homerun in the Women’s World Cup. It gave the women some breathing room, turning a 2-1 game into 3-1 lead over Venezuela. It was the closest a team had gotten to the United States.

Martina Sementelli held the Venezuelans to one run in her six innings of work. Megan Meidlinger pitched the seventh inning to close out the victory. The United States scored two runs in the second inning courtesy of a Jade Gortarez two run single. Venezuela strung together three consecutive singles in the bottom of the second to trim the lead to one, Leonela Reyes driving in the lone run with her single.

Venezuela got seven innings from Kisbel Vizcaya, who restricted the until then powerful United States bats to just five hits. For Venezuela they dropped to 1-2.

Japan got a bit of a scare from Cuba. Maraisy Perez silenced the Japanese bats for the first five innings. Cuba scored their lone run on a steal of home by Katherine Vals in the bottom of the fifth.

Japan finally erupted in the top of the sixth, an RBI double by Lori Miura and an RBI single from Chihiro Funakoshi giving them a 2-1 lead. Miura drove in two more runs in the seventh with a single. Rina Taniyama secured the victory retiring the Cubans in order in the bottom of the seventh.

Taiwan stayed in the super round race with their 13-0 win over Korea, improving their record to 2-1. Chia-Wen Shen drove in three runs with two doubles and Chiao-Yun Huang also drove in three runs.

Puerto Rico stomped over the Netherlands 16-1 to also stay in the Super Round. The Netherlands committed seven errors. Lisandra Berrios drove in five runs for Team Puerto Rico. In addition to the seven errors, the Dutch woman walked 9 batters.

The Dominican Republic crushed Hong Kong 19-1. Yocarla Guerrero drove in four runs for the Dominicans. Kimberly Almonte ran wild around the bases, pilfering four bags and scoring four times without the benefit of a hit.

The Canadians stayed alive with a 9-6 win over the Australians. They scored six runs in the last three innings to eek out their victory. Jenna Flannigan drove in three runs including two in the sixth inning with a double that broke a 6-6 tie.