Heroes Eliminate Defending KBO Champion Tigers

Based on their fifth place finish the Kia Tigers are not the same team they were last year. They had to win two wild card games to advance in the playoffs while the Nexon Heroes only had to win one because of their fourth place finish. Recent foreign acquisition Jerry Sands led the Heroes with a two run homer in seventh to clinch the 10-6 win. In his 25 regular season games Sands had slugged 12 homeruns. Sands also contributed a two run double in the five run fifth.

Both starting pitchers, Yang Hyun-Jong for the Tigers and Jake Brigham for the Heroes pitched scoreless ball through the first four. Yang could only get one out in the five run fifth before he was pulled, betrayed by his sloppy defense which made three errors in the inning. All four runs charged against Yang were unearned. Brigham went six but was pulled after giving up two runs in both the fifth and sixth. Pat Dean took the loss giving up two runs in the seventh.

Lee Beom-Ho hit two homeruns for the Tigers in a losing cause. His first was a two run shot in the sixth off Brigham that pulled the Tigers to within one. His second was a solo blast in the eighth.

The Heroes now advance to play the third place team the Hanwha Eagles in a best of five. The last time the normally bottom dwelling Eagles have appeared in the playoffs was in 2007. The Eagles though have signed a number of free agent veterans that have won KBO championships from different teams.

Neither team has played each other in a playoff game since the Heroes did not join the league until 2008, but in the regular season they finished 8-8 against each other. The Heroes are the exact opposite of the Eagles. While they have been in a number of post season games, five in the last six years, there team is young with only 15 of the 30 players on their roster having post season experience. They do have veteran slugger Park Byung-Ho and recent acquisition Jerry Sands, as well as young superstar Lee Jung-Hoo to lead them.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.