Amidst a wild slate of games on Friday morning, the NC Dinos placed star catcher Eui-ji Yang on the injured list after he experienced vertigo. Remember, the KBO does not require a player to spend a certain amount of time on the injury list so Yang can return to action when healthy. For now his backup Tae-goon Kim makes for an intriguing low priced option at catcher going forward. While the major leagues contract minor league teams and players, the KBO also may adjust how it handles its minor league system, the Futures League: 

Unlike the major leagues, the KBO teams remain owned by corporations who operate the franchises often with losses rather than profits. Another difference in the culture, there’s no Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers friction in the Kiwoom clubhouse as evidenced in this article:

Why is something like this important? Well:

Kiwoom won its third straight contest via a walk-off hit and for the second straight game, it was catcher Hyo-sang Joo. On the other end of the spectrum in this game, the SK Wyverns closer continues to struggle in high leverage. Imagine a team in the MLB providing a closer with this much time in the role after reading this tweet:

Noting SK fell to 12-27 on the year and suffered its fourth straight loss after finishing tied for first in the regular season last year with Doosan and some changes could be coming for the franchise. Kia’s Kyung-chan Moon notched his ninth save working a clean ninth on nine pitches with a strikeout. He’s recorded 14 straight outings without yielding an earned run (one unearned one total) with a 19:3 K:BB in them highlighting the difference a closer can make. Kia’s won three in a row and five games above five hundred. Keeping all of this in mind, remember the game’s supposed to be fun, right? 

In a busy five game slate, here’s the recap of the top performances of the day. 

Starting Pitcher Spotlight

Chang-mo Koo moved to 6-0 this season giving up three hits, one earned run and struck out nine over seven innings for the Dinos. Koo’s made eight starts this year, all quality outings yielding one earned run or fewer in each, with a 0.78 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, .134 batting average against while only serving up two home runs over 55 innings. He ranks first in both ratio statistics and second in strikeouts (61). Pretty, pretty good. 

Seung-won Moon fired six shutout innings in Kiwoom but did not factor in the decision. He allowed two hits and two walks with four strikeouts in his outing. Over his last four starts, Moon’s recorded a 1.78 ERA, 0.79 WHIP and 27:7 K:BB in 25.1 innings for SK. 

Opposing Moon in a pitcher’s duel in Kiwoom, Hyun-hee Han logged 7.2 innings yielding seven hits, one earned run and one walk with five strikeouts in a quality start. Han lowered his ERA to 4.31 in the process. 

David Buchanan left with a chance to win but his bullpen blew the lead after his departure. Buchanan tossed five innings giving up eight hits, three runs (two earned) and two walks with seven strikeouts. Turning the corner of late, Buchanan’s last five starts spanning 31.2 innings yields a 1.42 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 23:7 K:BB. 

Hitter Highlights

Doosan Bears

Rolling to 18 runs on 20 hits against the LG Twins, almost every Bears hitter got involved but here’s the one’s of note with an interesting observation:

  • Yoo-chan Lee (3B) - Batting leadoff, Lee went 2-for-5 with three runs, an RBI and walked twice. 
  • Jose Miguel Fernandez (1B) - Finished 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI. 
  • Kun-woo Park (OF) - Shifted to third in the lineup, Park responded with two hits, two runs, a double, three RBI and walked.
  • Jae-hwan Kim (DH) - Returned to the lineup going 2-for-5 with three runs, three RBI and drew two walks. 
  • Joo-hwan Choi (2B) - Tallied two hits including a double, scored three runs, drove in three and walked twice. 
  • Hae-sung Kuk (OF) - Racked up three hits, scored two runs and drove in three. 

LG Twins

  • Eun-sung Chae (OF) - Recorded two hits in five at-bats with a run and two RBI in a lopsided loss. 
  • Yong-taik Park (DH) - All-time KBO hits leader Park reeled off four more in five at-bats scoring two runs, doubled and drove in two. 
  • Ji-hwan Oh (SS) - Stayed hot going 1-for-3 with two runs, an RBI and walked. He’s nine for his last 19 (.474) with seven runs, two doubles and four RBI. 

KT Wiz

  • Jeong-dae Bae (OF) - Went 2-for-6 with a run, his second home run and two RBI atop the Wiz lineup.
  • Mel Rojas Jr. (OF) - Launched his 13th home run among three hits moving into a tie for the KBO lead. Rojas ranks tied for first in home runs, second in RBI (38), first in runs (34) and third in average (.384). 
  • Baek-ho Kang (1B) - Finished 1-for-3 with a run, double, RBI and walked. 
  • Sung-woo Jang (C) - Tallied three hits in five at-bats with a run and an RBI. 
  • Woo-jin Sm (SS) - Perhaps busting out of his recent slump, Sim went 2-for-3 with a double, his first home run, scored two runs, drove in one and walked while batting ninth. 

Lotte Giants

  • Ah-seop Son (OF) - Racked up three doubles in six at-bats with a run scored in the Giants loss. 
  • Jun-woo Jeon (OF) - Hit his eighth home run driving in three while going 3-for-6 on Friday. 
  • Dae-Ho Lee (1B) - Blasted his seventh home run among his two hits in six at-bats with an RBI. 
  • Dixon Machado (SS) - Another multiple hit game going 2-for-5 with a run. 
  • Dang-hee Lee (3B) - Made his only hit count hitting a three-run home run and walked in five plate appearances. 

Kia Tigers

  • Preston Tucker (OF) - Extended his hit streak to nine in style going 4-for-4 with a double, his 11th home runs and drove in three runs remaining first in the league in RBI (40). He missed a cycle by a triple but could be heating up once again, especially if his leg’s back to full strength. 
  • Joo-whan Na (3B) - Blasted his third home run of the season driving in three. Also walked in five plate appearances. 

NC Dinos

  • Jin-sung Kang (1B) - Cracked his ninth home run going 1-for-4 with two RBI. 
  • Sung-bum Na (OF) - Recorded two hits in four at-bats with a run and a double. 

Hanwha Eagles

  • JIn-haeng Choi (DH) - Provided the Eagles with their only run on a solo home run, his third this season and first since his recall on Thursday. 

On a slate riddled with runs and walk-off wins in high leverage moments, here’s the updated standings:

Hanwha sends its ace to the mound in Warwick Saupold hoping to tie the series against the NC Dinos while Carson Kelly tries to depress the surging Doosan offense. Keep tabs on how Adrian Sampson (Lotte) and Tae-in Won (Samsung) fare in their outings on the road on Saturday along with seeing if Ki-young Im continues his recent success for Kia. 

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