KBO Round Up: May 28
Greg Jewett goes around the KBO and gives you the best hitting and pitching performances to be aware of for DFS purposes
Once again Doosan failed as chalk home favorites with the highest game total on the slate. It’s wash, rinse and repeat at this point but the NC Dinos scored five runs in its last two at-bats to win for the 17th time in 20 contests. Amongst the good news of games being played in the KBO, a recent spike in Covid-19 cases prompted another setback to let fans attend live games:
#KBO and fans: Whenever I am on radio shows or podcasts, I am often asked when fans will be back for KBO teams. The plan was to open the gates by early June. It's now on hold, as Korea has seen a spike in new COVID-19 cases of late. Story here:https://t.co/KzLVVWF1dY— Jeeho Yoo (@Jeeho_1) May 28, 2020
While attendance remains on hold, one lucky fan took in a game in Seoul:
It feels like one step up and two steps back allowing for sports to reopen encapsulated here by one of the NC Dinos mascots:
Dandi working on some cardio; it's not going so well... pic.twitter.com/x5S6YCYeIn— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) May 28, 2020
With all 10 teams wrapping their first series of the week, here’s the game pertinent game action from Thursday in the KBO.
Starting Pitcher Spotlight
On a slate with pitchers struggling across the board, Casey Kelly of the LG Twins stood out notching his second win firing six shutout innings giving up four hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 4.06 as a result and hopes to keep his arsenal sharp going forward:
Making his debut as an 18 year old can be daunting enough, but Yoon-dong Heo lasted five innings allowing four hits and four walks with one strikeout for his first KBO win. He’s an intriguing prospect and also on the major league radar:
Interesting story line in today's @TSN_Sports KBO game - @SamsungLions2 game winning starter was 18 yr old left-hander Heo Yoon-dong. Went 5 scoreless innings. @LotteGiants_1 starter was recent @MLBer Adrian Sampson. Will we see Heo in MLB and when? #KBOLeague pic.twitter.com/CE5miLMsf1— baseballtalktv (@baseballtalktv1) May 28, 2020
For the DFS crowd, note Lotte struggles against southpaws.
In the surprise of the day, Geon-wook Lee of the SK Wyverns entered his start in Doosan with a career 11.81 ERA in the KBO making his last start in 2017. Lee worked two games prior in relief but tossed 5.1 innings yielding three hits, one earned run and one walk with three strikeouts for his first win in three seasons. It can be a silly game at times for those of us trying to predict outcomes.
From the KBO playbook on Wednesday night, “he’s nine for his last 14 (.643) and due for a power surge” about the one and only, Sung-bum Na:
#NCDinos WIN 9-6 & sweep the #KiwoomHeroes to go 17-3.— NC Dinos UK (@NCDinosUK) May 28, 2020
Considering neither team had a starting pitcher complete 3 innings it was a hitters game & the Dinos ones showed up.
Plenty of greatness but Na Sung-Bum incredible:
2-3 (3R, 2HR, 3RBI, 1BB)
He is worth the #KBO/#MLB hype! pic.twitter.com/wAARuUiYNn
Na went 2-for-3 scoring three runs, hit his fifth and sixth home runs, drove in three while walking once during the Dinos comeback win over Kiwoom. He’s recorded five straight multiple hit games boosting his slash line to .333/.435/.603 on the year. Teammate Eui-ji Yang’s also starting to heat up in the power department:
Yang finished 2-for-4 including his third home run with four RBI. He’s homered in consecutive contests raising his average to .327 and on-base plus slugging percentage to 1.024 as a result. Jin-sung Kang racked up two more hits owning a .478 average with five home runs and 18 RBI in only 55 plate appearances. Aaron Altherr went 1-for-4 with a run and a triple. Streaky Jin-hyuk No launched his third home run driving in two during a 2-for-4 day.
Keon-chang Seo (2B) - Went 3-for-5 with two RBI and hitting .317.383/.488 on the season.
Byung-ho Park (1B) - Blasted his fifth home run among his two hits driving in one.
Dong-won Park (C) - Racked up three hits with a double, his fifth home run, two RBI and walked. Park’s been a hitting find at catcher this year with a .328 average and robust 1.107 OPS.
Preston Tucker (OF) - Moved into a tie for second in home runs in the KBO hitting his sixth among three hits in five at-bats. Tucker also doubled along with driving in two runs padding his league lead with 24 RBI this year.
Ji-wan Na (OF) - Completed a perfect day at the dish going 2-for-2 with his fourth home run, three RBI and walked twice in four plate appearances.
Woo-jun Sim (SS) - Extended his hit streak to 12 games going 1-for-5 with a run scored.
Mel Rojas Jr. (OF) - Went 1-for-4 with a run and two RBI. He’s slashing .415/.456/.659 this season.
Jae-Gyun Hwang (3B) - Drove in two runs with a double in four at-bats.
Soo-kwang Noh (OF) - Moved up to leadoff going 3-for-5 with two runs and his first stolen base. Noh’s on a five game hit streak with a .391 average (nine-for-23) in it.
Jeong Choi (3B) - Finished a strong series in Doosan going 2-for-5 with a run, double and three RBI. In the series, he hit .500 (4-for-8) with five walks.
Hang-gu Lee (C) - Hit his first home run in four at-bats.
Hyun-Soo Kim (OF) - Tallied two hits in five at-bats with a run, double and an RBI. He’s on a seven game hit streak going 14-for-29 (.483) in it with multiple hits in each of his last five, six runs, five doubles, six RBI and five walks moving him to third in the KBO in batting average (.410). Pretty, pretty good.
Min-sung Kim (3B) - Racked up three hits in four at-bats and drove in one.
While this column usually highlights bat flips, the umpires also possess some flare in the KBO:
KBO Umps getting in on the K Strut thing. ???? pic.twitter.com/4iCYMq0DAN— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 28, 2020
As for the weekend, teams will be on the move across South Korea with the following match-ups:
Hanwha Eagles (7-14) at SK Wyverns (4-16)
KT Wiz (9-11) at Kiwoom Heroes (10-11)
LG Twins (14-6) at Kia Tigers (11-10)
Lotte Giants (10-10) at Doosan Bears (12-8)
NC Dinos (17-3) at Samsung Lions (8-13)
Worth noting, Kiwoom heads home in the midst of a four-game losing streak but sends ace Eric Jokisch to the mound. Not only do the NC Dinos lead the KBO in home runs (31), they head to Samsung, a renowned hitter friendly park and host Lions own a 4.60 ERA. SK could be a sneaky team this weekend with pitcher Tae-hoon Kim on the mound Friday and Hanwha’s offense reeling of late with three shutouts against in three of its last five games.
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