Archive for the 'Korea' Category

First Baseball Manager Hired

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019

It was a bit unexpected, but the first manager from the United States was hired. Former Nationals manager Matt Williams was signed to a three year contract by the Kia Tigers in the KBO. Matt Williams first year as manager of the Nationals he got them into the playoffs in 2014. His second year was not so good, with player dissent in the locker room plentiful. The Nationals failed to reach the playoffs in his second year and he was fired.

The Kia Tigers won the KBO championship in 2017. They are considered the most successful team in the KBO because of their 11 championships, but the last decade and a half have been a struggle. The last two years they failed to finish over .500, finishing fifth in 2018 and losing in the wild card game and failing to make the playoffs last year with their seventh place finish. In 2009 they won the KBO championship, but in the next seven years after that they finished over .500 in just one season, qualifying for the playoffs just twice.

Matt Williams will earn his keep if he can get the Tigers back in the playoffs.

Heroes Advance to Semi-finals Against Wyverns

Friday, October 11th, 2019

As each team advances higher up the ladder in the Korean playoff format, the favored team has won the series. The fourth place LG Twins were able to defeat the fifth place NC Dinos in the wild card game. But when advancing to face the third place Kiwoom Heroes they lost three games to one.

The first two games won by the Heroes were done so in walk off fashion. Byung-Ho Park drove in the only run of the game in the opener with a walk off homerun in the bottom of the ninth. Tyler Wilson had thrown eight shutout innings for the LG Twins, but in the bottom of the ninth reliever Woo-seok Ko gave up the homerun to Park to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Jake Brigham had pitched 6.2 shutout innings for the Heroes.

The Heroes won game two in the bottom of the tenth on an error to score the winning run in a 5-4 win. The Heroes rallied for three runs in the last two innings to overcome a 4-1 deficit. Park hit a two run homer in the eighth and Keon-Sang Seo sent the game into extra innings with a clutch two out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth. An error allowed the winning run to score in the bottom of the tenth inning for the Heroes.

The LG Twins delayed elimination for one day with a 4-2 win in game three. Eun-Sung Chae clubbed a solo shot in the fourth to tie the game 2-2. A sacrifice fly by Ji-Hwan Oh in the bottom of the seventh gave the Twins a 3-2 lead. Carlos Peguero extended the lead to 4-2 with his solo blast in the bottom of the eighth.

The Heroes bats were too much for the Twins in the fourth game. With the Twins ahead 5-3 going into the sixth inning the Heroes exploded for seven runs in the next three innings to come away with a 10-5 win and advance to the semi-finals to face the SK Wyverns. Park went deep for the third time in the series, a two run banger in the first inning. Jerry Sands drove in the go ahead run in the seventh with an RBI single after the Twins walked Park intentionally.

The Heroes will face the SK Wyverns in a best of five series. The winner will then advance to the finals to play the rested Doosan Bears.

Premier 12 Roster Korea

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

The Korean roster is filled with players from the KBO. No major leaguers or minor leaguers are on the roster. They do have some ex-major leaguers in Byung-Ho Park, who just hit a walk off homerun in the opening game of the playoff series between the LG Twins and the Kiwoom Heroes. The homerun was the only run scored in the 1-0 win. They also have Jae-Gyun Hwang, who attempted to play for the Giants and Hyun-So Kim, who played for the Orioles and Phillies.

There are some younger players to keep an eye on such as outfielders Baek-Ho Kang and Jung-Hoo Lee, who would be top 100 prospects in the major leagues and could play outfield now for major league teams weak in that area. Kang was compared to Shohei Ohtani because of his ability to pitch and throw a 95 mile per hour fastball. He has given up pitching to focus on hitting. Lee is the son of a legendary Korean player who focuses more on speed and defense in the outfield rather than power.

Korea is the defending gold medalist from the last Olympics so it would be disappointing for them not to qualify for the 2020 games. Only six teams will qualify and two (Israel and Japan) have already been selected.

Pitchers

Jong-Hoon Park (SK Wyverns), Jae-Hoon Ha (SK Wyverns), Young-Ha Lee (Doosan Bears), Sang-Woo Jo (Kiwoom Heroes), Hyun-Hee Han (Kiwoom Heroes), Kyung-chan Moon (Kia Tigers), Woo-Seok Ko (LG Twins), Jong-Hyun Won (NC Dinos), LHers - Kwang-Hyun Kim (SK Wyverns), Duk-Joo Ham (Doosan Bears), Hyeon-Jong Yang (Kia Tigers), Woo-Chan Cha (LG Twins), Chang-Mo Koo (NC Dinos)

Catchers

Eui-Ji Yang (NC Dinos), Se-Hyuk Park (Doosan Bears)

Infielders

Byung-Ho Park (Kiwoom Heroes), Sang-Soo Kim (Samsung Lions), Min-Woo Park (NC Dinos), Choi Jung (SK Wyverns), Kyung-Min Hur (Doosan Bears), Jae-Gyun Hwang (KT Wizards), Ha-Sung Kim (Kiwoom Heroes)

Outfielders

Keon-Woo Park (Doosan Bears), Byung-Heon Min (Lotte Giants), Jae-Hwan Kim (Doosan Bears), Jung-Hoo Lee (Kiwoom Heroes), Hyun-So Kim (LG Twins), Baek-Ho Kang (KT Wizards)

As expected the first place Doosan Bears have the most players on the roster with six. The third place Kiwoom Heroes have five players and the second place Sk Wyverns and the fifth place NC Dinos have four each. The next to last place Hanwha Eagles have no players on the roster while the last place Lotte Giants have one.

KBO Wild Card Games to Begin

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2019

The LG Twins will play the NC Dinos in the first of several wild card games. The Twins are the higher seed having finished in fourth place and only need to win or tie to advance in the playoffs. The NC Dinos need to win two games to advance. Both games will be played at the home park of the LG Twins, in Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. The two teams finished their season series at 8-8.

The winner of this series will play the Kiwoom Heroes in a best of five series. Another five game series will be played against the second place team the SK Wyverns and the winner of the Kiwoom Heroes and the winner of the first wild card game. The championship match will be a best of seven series against the regular season champs the Doosan Bears.

The Bears and Wyverns had identical records (88-55-1) but the Bears were awarded first place because of their 9-7 season series won loss record. The Wyverns are the defending champions. The Bears have been bridesmaids for two consecutive seasons.

Under 18 All World Team

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

Yu Chien, who pitched the championship match against the United States was named MVP. Below is the All World Team for 18 and under by position.

Catcher - Juan Gonzalez (Spain) - .323, 8 runs scored, 9 RBIs, 4 doubles
First Base - Yuya Nirasawa (Japan) - .345, 8 runs scored
Second Base - Ji-chan Kim (Korea) - .528, 11 runs scored, 10 stolen bases
Third Base - Shun-Ho Wang (Taiwan) - .364, 8 runs scored, .682 slugging, 3 stolen bases
Shortstop - Austin Gomm (Canada) - .345, 7 runs scored, 10 RBIs
Left Field - Darryl Collins (Netherlands) - .345, 8 runs scored, 12 RBIs, .759 slugging
Centerfield - Pete Crow-Armstrong (United States) - .364, 9 runs scored, 3 triples, .606 slugging, 3 stolen base
Rightfield - Robert Hassell (United States) - .514, 14 runs scored, 14 RBIs, 5 doubles, 2 homeruns, .886 slugging
Designated Hitter - Tyler Soderstrom (United States) - .294, 10 RBIs
Relief Pitcher - Alejandro Rosario (United States) - 3-0, 1.30 ERA
Starting Pitcher - Yasunobu Okugawa (Japan) - 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 18 K’s in 7 innings pitched, .083 batting average against
MVP - Chien Yu (Taiwan) - 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 saves, 15 K’s in 10 innings pitched

Taiwan Wins the Under 18 World Cup

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

It has been a pretty good 2019 baseball season for Taiwan. Earlier in the year they won the 12 and under World Cup by beating Japan. This time it was the United States who they beat in the older division.

Taiwan 2 United States 1

Chien Yu had major league scouts drooling, shutting out a group of potential number one draft picks on three hits for 6.2 innings, striking out seven. The four time defending champion United States could not figure out Yu, whose only other two appearances were in relief when he picked up two saves. He gave up just four hits in his 10 innings of work, striking out 15.

Taiwan broke a 0-0 tie in the fifth with an RBI single by Tzu-Wei Lin. Shun-Ho Wang got the inning started with a triple. Taiwan added an insurance run in the eighth on a Wie-Chieh Lo RBI single. Lo was a second round pick of the CPBL Uni Lions and just signed a contract prior to the tournament. Lin started the eighth inning with a single.

The United States attempted a rally in the bottom of the ninth. Singles by Robert Hassell and Colby Halter and an error scored one run and put runners on first and third with two outs. Po-Yu Chen, working his second inning was able to get Jack Bulger to fly out to right to end the game. Unlike Chien, Chen had started his first two games and he was called on in relief to secure the championship for Taiwan.

In pool play the United States had beaten Taiwan on the second day of the tournament 8-1.

Korea 6 Australia 5

Korea won the bronze medal game. Juh-Yeong Lee blasted a two run homer in the top of the ninth to give Korea the victory. For Lee it was his only two RBIs of the tournament. The leadoff hitter did score 10 runs and hit .364. Hyeong-jun So retired all three hitters he faced in the bottom of the ninth to clinch the victory for Korea. The Australians committed four errors in the game, allowing three unearned runs to score.

Chris Burke went 3 for 4 with three doubles and three RBIs to lead Australia. He finished the tournament with a .361 average and seven doubles.

18 and Under World Cup - United States to Play Taiwan in Championship

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

The United States won their game against Korea. Taiwan could not beat Canada. They were fortunate that Australia beat Japan. Since Australia and Taiwan tied for second place in the Super Round, Taiwan won the tie breaker, since they beat Australia in their earlier meeting.

United States 8 Korea 5

Korea jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after the first two innings. The United States turned to Alejandro Rosario to finish out the first inning and he went 7.2 innings, giving up just the three unearned runs in the second inning. The United States pecked away in the third through sixth innings, scoring twice in three of the innings and once in the fifth to take a 7-5 lead.

Robert Hassell got things started with a two run homer in the third. In the fourth RBI singles from Nolan McLean and Jack Bulger pulled the United States to within one. The lone error by Korea in the fifth put Aaron Vuckovich on second where he eventually scored on a ground out. In the sixth a Drew Bowser RBI single put the United States up for good and Robert Hassell drove in an insurance run with a SF. Hassell finished the game with three RBIs. Nolan McLean pitched the ninth inning to pick up the save.

Canada 12 Taiwan 7

The Canadian bats came alive with 17 hits in their rout of Taiwan. Dasan Brown led the charge with three hits and three runs scored. Sam Schofield and Owen Diodati each drove in three runs for Canada. Canada used three big innings to score their crooked numbers.

Wie-Chieh Lo contributed three hits for Taiwan, driving in two runs and scoring once.

Australia 4 Japan 1

Brandan Bidois had his second strong start to allow Australia to pull off a mild upset of Japan and knock them out of any hope of a championship playoff appearance. In his last outing against China he allowed just one hit and two runs in six innings of work. Against Japan he allowed just a first inning run and three hits to shut down the Japanese bats for seven innings.

Australia erupted for four runs in the second inning to come away with the upset. Sota Asada could not retire any of the five hitters he faced in the second inning, giving up four hits and a walk. Another Japanese fielding error created an unearned run for Australia in the inning.

The loss by Japan vaulted Taiwan into the championship game against the United States. Korea and Australia will play in the bronze medal game. Japan has to settle for fifth place, one of their lowest finishes in youth international tournaments.

Under 18 World Cup -Super Round

Friday, September 6th, 2019

The championship appears to be down to two teams. The defending champs the United States and Taiwan. If one of those two teams loses tomorrow it would be a mess of a tie breaker, with Japan, Australia and Korea at 2-2. The only team myworld is aware of that is eliminated from the championship game is Canada.

Taiwan 12 Australia 0

An 8 run seventh ended this game early. Yu-Min Lin shut out Australia for six innings. Heng-Yu Ho led the offense with three RBIs. Shun-Ho Wang was a perfect 3 for 3 with three runs scored and a walk. Taiwan will play Canada on the last day of the Super Round. Canada has yet to win in the Super Round.

United States 10 Canada 0

The United States scored five first inning runs and ended the game after seven. Ben Hernandez pitched a complete game seven inning shutout. Robert Hassell drove in three runs and scored twice on a 2 for 3 day. Pete Crow-Armstrong hit two triples to score twice. The first three hitters in the United States lineup, Crow, Hassell and Aaron Vucovich scored twice each to account for six of the ten runs. The United States may have the toughest match when they play Korea.

Korea 5 Japan 4

A mild upset knocked Japan to 2-2. It was a 0-0 shutout after six. Japan struck first in the seventh on RBI singles from Toyo Kumada and Kei Mizukami. The eighth was a nightmare for Japan. After loading the bases with one out a ground out double play ended the threat. Then a two out error in the bottom frame allows two runs to score for Korea to tie the game.

It went to the 10th where a two run double by Ryusei Takeoka gave Japan another two run lead. Korea came back with three runs to win the game without the benefit of a hit. Another Japanese error led to Korea’s first run scoring on an attempted bunt. A bases loaded walk scored the second run and a sacrifice fly gave Korea the 5-4 win.

Korea did have the go ahead run thrown out at home in the bottom of the ninth.

18 and Under World Cup - First Day of Super Round

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

A walk off high lighted the first day of the Super Round. There are now four teams tied for first place at 2-1. Canada is probably the only team eliminated from a championship opportunity.

United States 2 Australia 1

Two hit by pitches and a bunt single loaded the bases with no outs to set the stage for the walk off single by Drew Romo, a ground single up the middle off a drawn in infield. It negated another stellar start by the Aussie pitchers, six innings of one run ball by Liam McCallum. Maxwel Rajcic matched him with 7.2 innings of one run ball.

The United States scored their first and only run off McCallum in the sixth after a leadoff walk to Robert Hassell. He advanced to third on a ground out and fly out where he eventually scored on an RBI single by Nolan McLean. Colby Halter followed with a double but McLean was thrown out at home.

Australia broke through against Rajcic in the eighth. Jaylin Rae got on base with a hit by pitch after Rajcic had retired the first two hitters in the inning. Jason Savacool replaced Rajcic and Chris Burke greeted him with a double to score Rae to tie the game. Alejandro Rosario retired the last hitter in the eighth. In the ninth Rosario gave up two singles to the first two hitters he faced but a failed bunt attempt resulted in a force out at third. Rosario retired the final two hitters on fly outs.

Rae finished the day a perfect 2 for 2 with a triple. He leads the tournament in batting average at .579, almost 100 points ahead of his closest pursuer.

Taiwan 7 Korea 2

Po-Yu Chen pitched six innings of one run ball and Hao-Yu Lee was a perfect 3 for 3 with two RBIs and one run scored to lead the offense. He started a 3-run second with a single, scoring on a two run triple from Shun-Ho Wang. His two run single in the fifth extended the Taiwan lead to 5-1.

Ju-Hong Park hit a solo shot for Korea in the bottom of the ninth. For Park that was his second homerun to tie him for the tournament lead with three other players.

Japan 5 Canada 1

Keito Mori walked four times and slashed a single to score twice to lead Japan to a win. Yasunobu Okugawa pitched seven innings of two hit ball, giving up a solo shot to Owen Diodati in the fourth. For Diodati it was his second homerun of the tournament.

All five runs scored by Japan were unearned. They even had a bases loaded walk to score the last run. The only true RBI was a single by Yuya Nirasawa.

In one of the consolation games, China got their first win 6-0 over Spain. Shijie Xie threw 8 innings of shutout ball for China. BinBin Lu stroked a grand slam homerun to take the RBI lead for the tournament with 10.

World Cup 18 and Under - Super Round Teams Determined

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

They played the rainout games yesterday. After those games a couple of teams advancing to the Super Round were determined. Surprisingly, only one team goes into the Super Round undefeated, and that is Australia, who lost two games in Group A. Both those games were to teams that did not advance to the Super Round, so they did not have to carry their losses. Korea and Canada also advanced from Group A, but even though they finished first and second in the Group Australia bounced ahead of them in the Super Round because they beat them in pool play. Korea goes into the Super Round 1-1 and Canada 0-2.

From Group B the three 4-1 teams advance, Japan, United States and Taiwan. But because Japan beat the United States, Taiwan beat Japan and the United States beat Taiwan, each team goes into the Super Round 1-1.

Australia 7 Canada 6

This was the biggest win for Australia in the tournament. A loss would have meant elimination from the Super Round. This may have been the first game in which the Australian starting pitcher did not pitch well. William Sherriff pitched four shutout innings to start the game. In the fifth inning Elijha Hammill rocked him for a two run double and Micah McDowell blasted a two run homer to give Canada a 4-2 lead. Australia fought their way back on a 3-run double from Byron Armstrong in the top of the sixth to put them up by one. Both teams traded two spots in the eighth. In the ninth Australia had a runner thrown out at home after a base hit. In the bottom frame Canada put the tying run at third with two out but could not score.

Netherlands 10 China 6

Netherlands kept their hopes of a Super Round alive with their win. At 3-2 they finished in a three way tie for second with Canada and Australia. Only two of the three teams could advance and Netherlands lost in the tie breaker. Darryl Collins and Max Kops each drove in three runs for Netherlands.

United States 5 Panama 3

The United States had already clinched a spot in the Super Round and a loss would not carry over since Panama had already been eliminated. The United States scored early to take a 5-0 lead and then held on to claim the victory. Robert Hassell and Nolan Mclean each hit two run homers in the win. Colby Halter went 4 for 4 for the United States and was matched by Jose Ramos from Panama who also went 4 for 4.

Spain 16 South Africa 8

Spain played some competitive baseball, but had already been eliminated from appearing in the Super Round. That did not stop their bats from working. Frank Hernandez finished 6 for 6, driving in six runs to lead the Spanish offense. Leadoff hitter Jostin Castillo went 4 for 5, scoring four times and driving in three runs.

Final Standings for Pool Play

Group A

Korea 4-1, Canada 3-2, Australia 3-2, Netherlands 3-2, Nicaragua 2-3, China 0-5

Group B

Japan 4-1, Taiwan 4-1, United States 4-1, Spain 2-3, Panama 1-4, South Africa 0-5

Super Round Standings

Australia 2-0, Japan 1-1, Korea 1-1, United States 1-1, Taiwan 1-1, Canada 0-2