Archive for the 'Korea' Category

Dinos Win Day One

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

Big series between the Kiwoom Heroes and the NC Dinos. The Heroes have been creeping up on the struggling Dinos, pulling to with half a game. A win would give them first place.

The Dinos have been without their ace Koo Chang-mo. He has not pitched since July 26. They still have alternate ace Drew Rucinski, who won his eleventh game, allowing just one run in keeping the Dinos first place lead intact after a 5-1 victory. Rucinski scattered seven hits in his six innings and then the bullpen pitched three perfect innings by three different pitchers.

The Dinos big bat Na Sung-bum broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the third with a two run blast. For Na it was his 21st homerun of the season. He also drove in the first run with an RBI single in the opening frame, finishing the day with three RBIs.

Rucinski silenced the big bats of Lee Jung-hoo, Kim Ha-Seong and Addison Russell to just two singles. Lee drove in his 71st run with an RBI single in the third. He is third in the KBO in RBIs. Not bad for a 21 year old.

Bears Hur Named Player of the Month for July in KBO

Wednesday, August 12th, 2020

The Doosan Bears Hur Kyoung-min hit .494 for the month of July, stringing together 41 hits in 22 games. He also added six stolen bases. That was enough for the KBO to announce him player for the month of July.

Lotte Giants starter Dan Straily was second in the voting. He did beat Hur in the fan voting portion but lost out with the media.

For the year Hur is hitting .362 with four homeruns and nine stolen bases. This would be a career year for the 29 year old if he can keep it up. He made his KBO debut in 2012 and has never hit above .324. His career KBO batting average is .296. Hur bounces around between third base and shortstop.

WBSC Has Rewind of Last Olympic Gold Medal Game

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

You can watch the last Olympic Gold Medal baseball game that was played between Korea and Cuba that was played in Beijing, China back in 2008. There was enough interest in China that close to 10,000 attended the game. The starting pitcher for Korea was Hyu-Jin Ryu, who had just won the KBO Rookie of the year award. He is the same Ryu who pitched for the Dodgers and now the Blue Jays. The Cuba starter was Norberto Gonzales.

Go to wbsc.org to watch the game. Myworld went to Beijing a couple years after the game was played. They had already torn down the stadium and replaced it with a mall and a parking lot. There was some talk that they were also going to build a basketball venue at the site, but myworld could not confirm that.

That shows you what China thinks of baseball.

Korea Increases Stadium Capacity to 30 Percent

Saturday, August 8th, 2020

As the major leagues deal with cardboard cutouts for fans Korea will now allow 30 percent capacity for their games, starting next week. The major leagues are still postponing games because players test positive for corona virus. Korea has yet to have a player test positive. Despite what a U.S. President says, the United States does not have the corona virus under control.

Newly signed Addison Russell had to spend 14 days in quarantine before he could play. The newest free agent signing, Daniel Palka for the Samsung Lions will start his 14 day quarantine today. They provided him with a penthouse with a large courtyard where he could spend that time. If everything goes well he should be ready by August 25. He replaced Tyler Saladino, who was hampered by back issues.

The Lions are 8th in the KBO, 3.5 games behind the Kia Tigers, who have the last playoff spot if the season ended today. They need a spark in offense to climb up the standings and hope Palka arrives in time to provide that spark.

As for the fans, the previous stadium limitations for the KBO was 10 percent. Because they have had no issues with corona virus outbreaks based on this attendance they will get an opportunity to up that figure to 30 percent. The major leagues will probably not see fans this year. Even the NFL football season could be fanless.

Major League Baseball and the Corona Virus

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

It seems major league baseball has been hit with a number of positive tests for the corona virus. In Asia, in the NPB, the KBO and the CPBL I am not aware of one positive case. I can’t say whether they are testing daily or not but they have yet to have a postponement because of the corona virus. The major leagues seem to be having a number of postponements and their season just got started.

Makes you wonder about the United States efforts and ability to contain the virus. If there is a case in Asia everything shuts down as they contact trace. In the United States myworld wonders if they even bother trying to contact trace. In many cases, by the time you get a result seven days or more has passed and contact tracing becomes irrelevant. At least the major leagues has the ability to get results back in a day or two, but they have been getting so many positive results back that it makes continuing the season difficult. That requires quarantine for any player the positive case came in contact with, which is usually the whole team.

Myworld is not aware of any instance where an Asian player in the NPB, the KBO or the CPBL had a test come back positive and the player had to be put on the disabled list. The NPB had there season delayed because players tested positive, but once the season has started no positive tests have been reported.

Myworld wonders how the major leagues can complete the season with so many positive tests occurring after the season has started.

Balls Appear to be Flying Again in KBO

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

The offense has seemed to taken on a resurgence in the KBO. Or the pitchers are suffering from tired arm and are giving up runs in droves. Two teams scoring 20 plus runs in five days. During that same time frame close to 30 percent of the teams have scored in double digits. Batting averages and ERAs are rising. Perhaps that is the humidity.

The Kiwoom Heroes scored more than 20 runs yesterday in their 22-7 win over the Samsung Lions. They have scored 32 runs in their last two games against Samsung. David Buchanan was the victim of the assault yesterday, giving up eight runs in less than five innings.

The acquisition of Addison Russell seems to have brought some life into the Heroes bats. They have surged to a five game winning streak, the last four games with Russell in the lineup. With Addison Russell hitting .357 and their superstar Jung-hoo Lee hitting .353 that is a potent one-two combination. Future major leaguer Ha-Seong Kim has scored two or more runs in those five games, including a 5 for 5 rampage against the Doosan Bears a couple days ago in their 8-5 win. The Heroes swept the defending champs in a three game series that saw one game rained out.

The LG Twins have scored 9 or more runs in four of their last five games, including a 24-7 thrashing of the SK Wyverns. Roberto Ramos (.309, 19, 46) has cooled off a bit, but ex-major leaguer Hyun-Soo Kim (.341, 14, 61) has been on fire. He recently had a 10 game hitting streak broken in which he drove in 14 runs. Kim is sixth in the league in batting and fourth in RBIs.

Time will tell if the warm weather and the influx of fans will continue the resurgence of the offense in the KBO. The league has now played 70 games, almost halfway through their season. Unlike the major leagues, they have had no corona virus outbreaks. But the bats appear to be letting loose.

Choi Jeong Now Number 2 in KBO Homeruns

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020

Choi Jeong slugged a solo shot for his 352nd homerun, putting him second on the KBO homerun list. He had been tied with Yang Joon-hyuk, but he is still more than 100 homeruns shy of Lee Seung-yeop, who sits at 467.

The homerun did not help the Wyverns beat the LG Twins, who won the game 11-6. After hitting six homeruns yesterday in the 24 run outburst, they slugged three homeruns, including one by Roberto Ramos, his 18th of the season.

In other KBO news, the Samsung Lions released Tyler Saladino, who went down with a back injury on July 15. Daniel Palka, a former teammate of Saladino was signed to replace him. The Lions have lost five games in a row and have dropped to 34-35. They hope Palka will provide some offense to the lineup.

LG Twins Erupt for 24 Runs; Russell Makes His Debut for Heroes

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

The balls are supposed to be less juiced. The scores of the games have been lower, beginning last year. Perhaps some of those juiced balls got mixed into the LG Twins 24-7 win over the SK Wyverns yesterday.

Ricardo Pinto was the victim of the 24 run outburst. He was the starting pitcher for the Wyverns working four innings and giving up six runs. The Twins racked up runs in every run derivation except for “5″, “8″ and “9″ and scored in seven of the nine innings. The DH Chae Eun-sung was the big bat for the Twins driving in 8 runs with three hits, including a grand slam in the six run 9th inning.

Six different players from the Twins went deep. Only three players in their starting lineup failed to hit a homerun. One of those was slugger Roberto Ramos, who has not been the same slugger after early season injuries. He has hit 17 homeruns but only one in his last 10 games. His batting average has dropped to .303.

The Wyverns got two homeruns from Yoon Suk-min. The two homeruns he hit in his two at bats came in a reserve capacity and doubled his season numbers. Tyler Wilson was the starting pitcher for the Twins. He survived five innings, giving up three runs. Normally when foreign pitchers are on the mound the runs are scarce. For this game, that was not the case.

Addison Russell also made his KBO debut in the Kiwoom Heroes 6-2 win over the defending champion Doosan Bears. Russell singled to extend a two run sixth inning, scoring one of those runs. He drove in two runs in the three run ninth with a single to secure the victory. Russell played shortstop in his debut, moving Kim Ha-seong to third.

The game saw two of the better foreign pitchers duel it out for four innings of shutout ball, before the Bears scrapped two runs off Eric Jokisch (9-3, 2.20) on a two run homerun by Kim-Jae-hwan, his 14th of the year. The Heroes bounced back for two off Sandy Alcantara (10-1, 2.80) in the sixth inning, one of those runs unearned. Neither pitcher survived long enough to pick up a decision in the Heroes win.

KBO to Welcome Back Fans

Friday, July 24th, 2020

The KBO will be allowed to open their stadiums to fans effective for Sunday games, as long as they do not exceed 10 percent of their capacity. KBO teams have been struggling financially with empty stadiums and the corporations who sponsor the teams have been footing the bill. The 10 percent stadium capacity will help ease those financial burdens. These last few days have been burdened by games that have been rained out so hopefully the weekend comes through with good weather.

Mel Rojas Dominating in KBO

Tuesday, July 21st, 2020

The last player to show such domination in the KBO was a first baseman by the name of Eric Thames. He played for the NC Dinos and won the MVP in 2015, winning the batting championship that year. In 2016 he won the homerun title. He played three years in the KBO, slugging 124 homeruns, but never won the Triple Crown. In 2017, at the age of 30 he took his tools back to the major leagues.

Mel Rojas Jr. is in his fourth season in the KBO. His KBO career began as Eric Thames returned to the major leagues. Mel hit 43 homeruns in 2018, four less than the 47 Thames hit in 2015. The ball was a bit more lively during the years Thames played.

This year Rojas is having a year Eric Thames would envy. If the season ended now he would win the triple crown of hitting, leading the KBO in batting average, homeruns and RBIs. Dae-Ho Lee was the last player to win the Triple Crown in the KBO back in 2010, according to Baseball Reference. As far as myworld has discovered no foreign player has ever won the award.

Rojas has a batting average of .395, leading another foreign player Jose Miguel Fernandez at .372. He also leads the KBO in RBIs with 63, three ahead of Aaron Altherr of the NC Dinos. In the homerun race Mel has a huge lead with 24, seven ahead of Altherr. Rojas has hit three homeruns in his last two games.

It will be interesting to see where Rojas spends his time for the 2021 season.