An exciting slate of games on Saturday included three walk-off victories. It started with Doosan breaking a tied game in the bottom of the ninth thanks to a single by Jae-ho Kim:

Doosan moved into second place after winning its third in a row. Some bad news for the Bears losing a starter to the injured list:

As noted in an earlier column covering the KBO, soft tissue injuries continue to pile up after shortening spring training then going to live games, something the MLB needs to monitor if it returns to games this year. During a pitching duel in Lotte, the Giants scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the ninth courtesy of a single by Lu-han Kang. Kiwoom won its fifth straight game despite starting the bottom of the ninth down by one but rallied for two runs with the game winner a double by Byun-woo Jeon. This puts the Heroes a half-game behind the LG Twins for third place in the league. 

With the NC Dinos winning another lopsided game against Hanwha, changes could be coming for the struggling franchise. Losing 13 consecutive contests does not bode well for a manager in the last year of his contract and it appears the team will turn over some of the coaching staff:

Saturday’s games featured some strong pitching performances so this will reflect in the recaps in today’s Round Up. Here’s the top performances from the five contests. 

Starting Pitcher Spotlight

Southpaw Chang-mo Koo of the NC Dinos won his fifth game tossing six innings giving up eight hits, one earned run, and striking out six. He’s gaining more interest daily on social media due to his strong start to the season and getting swings and misses like this: 

Koo’s now 5-0 with a 0.66 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and 44 strikeouts through his first 41 innings this year. He leads the KBO in each category listed, and fired six quality outings in all six starts in 2020. Pretty, pretty good. 

During a no-decision, Dan Straily logged seven shutout innings yielding five hits with six strikeouts. He’s second in the KBO with 43 strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.23 through 40.1 innings as a result of this outing. Opposing Straily, Je-seong Bae of the KT Wiz threw eight shutout frames allowing three hits and three walks with four strikeouts dropping his ERA to 2.11 on the season. 

Tyler Wilson of the LG Twins worked 6.1 innings giving up six hits, two earned runs, and a walk with six strikeouts in a no-decision against Kiwoom. 

SK Wyverns starter Jong-hoon Park notched his third win lasting six innings allowing four hits, two earned runs and three walks with six strikeouts. Park improved to 3-0 this season with a 3.44 ERA and 1.26 WHIP. 

Early Saturday, imports Chris Flexen (Doosan) and Drew Gagnon (KIA) recorded quality starts but did not factor in the decision. Flexen tossed six innings yielding seven hits, three earned, and struck out two. Gagnon worked 6.1 innings giving up five hits, three runs (one earned), and a walk with three strikeouts. 

Hitter Highlights

NC Dinos

Once again pacing the Dinos offense, hit machine Jin-sung Kang homered for the second straight game during a 3-for-4 day at the dish with two runs, a double and two RBI. Here’s his blast in Hanwha: 

Kang has appeared in 25 games, and with the two RBI has 25 RBI this season in 88 plate appearances. He also qualifies for the hitting categories and leads the league in every slash line category (.459/.517/.838) making him one of the biggest breakout stories early on this season. His teammates also chipped in during the Dinos 14-2 rout:

  • Sung-wook Kim (OF) - Went 1-for-6 with his first home run, a solo shot. 
  • Aaron Altherr (OF) - Reached base three times in five plate appearances going 1-for-3 with three runs, two RBI, a walk, and hit-by-pitch. 
  • Jin-hyuk No (SS) - Launched his fifth home run during a 2-for-5 game with a run and three RBI. 
  • Suk-hoon Ji (2B) - Recorded his first home run of the season driving in three runs in five at-bats. 

Hanwha Eagles

  • Jin-haeng Choi (DH) - Finished 2-for-4 with his second home run. 

SK Wyverns 

  • Ji-hoon Choi (OF) - Racked up two hits in three at-bats, scored two runs, walked, and stole his third base. 
  • Jamie Romak (1B) - Blasted his fourth home run going 1-for-2 with three RBI and walked twice. Romak has homered in two of his last four games and drove in eight over his last five. 
  • Tae-hyuk Nam (DH) - Went 1-for-2 with his first home run and walked twice. 

Kiwoom Heroes

  • Jin-hoo Lee (OF) - Recorded two extra-base hits with a double and his fifth home run in four at-bats driving in one. 
  • Ha-seong Kim (SS) - Extended his hit streak to seven games going 1-for-4 with a run and a double. During his streak, Kim’s hitting .414 (12-for-29) with 10 runs, two doubles, two home runs and 10 RBI. 
  • Hye-sung Kim (2B) - Tallied two hits in three at-bats with a run, a walk, and his third stolen base. 

Doosan Bears

  • Jin-hyeok Ryu (3B) - Went 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, and an RBI. 
  • Chan-yeol Yang (OF) - Also notched two hits in three at-bats with an RBI. 

Kia Tigers

  • Ho-ryeong Kim (OF) - Finished 2-for-4 with a run and moved his hit streak to five as the Tigers leadoff hitter. 
  • Sun-bin Kim (2B) - Recorded two hits in four at-bats with a run and a double. 
  • Preston Tucker (OF) - Drove in one run during a 1-for-4 day and scored a run. 

Sunday’s slate features some hot teams and not the best set of pitchers. It could be a wild day for bullpens so stay tuned for more KBO action with a day off on Monday looming. Under immense pressure, Hanwha will try to snap its 13-game losing skid hosting the NC Dinos. Kiwoom looks for its sixth straight win and would leapfrog the LG Twins if they accomplish it. Be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm to remain ahead of the competition across all fantasy formats. Especially with a NASCAR race on tap (check out Matt Selz and Dan Malin’s work), an MMA fight night with Mike Alexander covering the action and Sean Mitchell’s playbook for CS:GO contests. 

Statistical Credits: