Pitching ruled the slate on Tuesday in the KBO with two shutouts on the five game slate. Chang-mo Koo of the NC Dinos notched his third win and fourth quality start in four outings this season featuring a devastating slider:
Reason #1 to celebrate Koo Chang-Mo Day:— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) May 26, 2020
Look. At. This. Slider. pic.twitter.com/TGl1ydyuAq
As if the slow start to the season for the SK Wyverns off to a 3-14 record opening play on Tuesday, they suffered a different type of loss before its bullpen coughed up a lead late in Doosan:
#KBO story: My write-up on SK Wyverns' injury situation. "Third baseman Choi Jeong has not missed a game but may as well be absent." Too harsh? ???? He's batting .125/.279/.214 in 17 games.https://t.co/YJrtP48TSh— Jeeho Yoo (@Jeeho_1) May 26, 2020
Beneath the headline of SK’s struggling star Jeong Choi, Dong-min Han landed on the KBO injured list and will miss 6-to-8 weeks with a fracture in his right tibia. Han led the Wyverns in home runs with six while the rest of the team also hit six cumulatively, opening the season. Without Han’s .317/.368/.667 slash in the lineup, more pressure to perform may mount for Choi. Over the previous four seasons, Choi’s averaged nearly 38 home runs with a .286 batting average but entered game play on Tuesday hitting .125 with one home run.
Hanwha’s Chad Bell made his season debut with 70 pitch count. Bell tossed 3.1 innings giving up two hits and two walks with three strikeouts on 60 pitches. Another import will debut on Thursday for the Lotte Giants when Adrian Sampson takes the mound. But, like Bell he will be monitored:
#LotteGiants RHP @ad_sampson will be making his #KBO debut on Thurs (on ESPN2 5:30 AM ET) vs #SamsungLions. Moon-hwe Heo, Lotte’s manager, said Sampson will be limited to 50 pitches. pic.twitter.com/AbbZe1I1dH— Daniel Kim ??? ? (@DanielKimW) May 26, 2020
In an effort to recap the day’s events, here’s the individual highlights from around the KBO on Tuesday.
Starting Pitcher Spotlight
Fueling the NC Dinos best team ERA in the KBO (3.19), Chang-mo Koo tossed seven innings allowing three hits, one earned run and four walks with seven strikeouts. Koo matched his season totals in earned runs and walks in this outing but moved to 3-0 with a miniscule 0.62 ERA and 0.66 WHIP. Teammate Jung-hyun Won recorded his seventh save, also leading the KBO working 1.1 clean innings.
Kia’s Drew Gagnon shined logging seven shutout frames yielding only three hits with eight strikeouts. Gagnon’s not allowed a run over his last two starts (13 innings) with a 17:2 K:BB in them. He’s lowered his ERA to 2.70 and WHIP to 0.94 while moving into third in the KBO in strikeouts with 31 on the season. Here’s a peek at the reason for his recent success:
Drew Gagnon, Beautiful Backdoor Changeup. ????— SnorlaxIsMyDaddy (@PitchingNinja) May 26, 2020
"Oh wow" apparently is the pretty much the same in English and Korean. pic.twitter.com/pIVxdmZILF
Tyler Wilson of the LG Twins notched his first win of the year firing six shutout innings giving up two hits and striking out three. Wilson lowered his ERA to 4.24 and WHIP to 1.03 as a result of this strong outing. An interview about Wilson can be accessed here:
Talking baseball in South Korea with former @VirginiaSports and @Orioles pitcher Tyler Wilson @lgtwins_news @MyKBO all AM @WTOP and onlinehttps://t.co/T1n8CUKc4B #KBOBaseball pic.twitter.com/AQoN72sasf— Dave Johnson (@davejsports) May 26, 2020
In no-decisions, Lotte’s Dan Straily and Samsung’s Chae-heung Choi matched each other with each leaving the game without a run scored. Straily worked 6.1 innings allowing three hits and four walks with seven strikeouts. He’s now tied for the KBO lead in strikeouts (32) with Koo of the Dinos. Choi logged seven innings giving up three hits and three walks with five strikeouts. Somehow Choi escapes trouble this year with a 1.88 ERA and 1.25 WHIP during his first four outings. His ERA ranks fourth in the KBO through Tuesday’s action.
Also thriving in a no-decision, SK’s Jong-hoon Park threw seven innings yielding two hits, two runs (one earned) and a walk with eight strikeouts. His bullpen coughed up four runs after Park left the contest spoiling his first quality start.
For the second straight game, Roberto Ramos went yard:
Ramos leads the KBO with eight home runs and moved back into the league lead in on-base plus slugging percentage (1.240). He’s homered in four of his last seven contests driving in 10 runs propping up the Twins offense. Teammate Keun-woo Jeong extended his modest hit streak to four games and hit his first home run of the season.
Not only do the Dinos lead the KBO in ERA, they also sit atop the standings and the home run lead (24 through 18 games). And they’ve been doing so with its import hitter struggling at the plate. However, perhaps getting healthy and adapted to his new surroundings, Aaron Altherr went 2-for-3 on Tuesday including this shot:
Altherr launched his fourth home run and recorded a combo meal stealing his fourth base as well reaching base three times in five plate appearances scoring two runs while driving in four. Sung-bum Na also stayed hot with his third straight multiple hit game and fourth in his last five contests going 2-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a walk including this at-bat:
After a sluggish start, Na’s raised his average to .306 with 14 RBI on the season.
Jose Miguel Fernandez (DH) - Finished without a hit for only the third time in 18 games this year but drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the Bears win.
Kyoung-min Hur (3B) - Racked up his third straight game with two hits. He also scored two runs, tripled and walked.
Sun-bin Kim (2B) - Went 4-for-5 with two runs raising his slash line to .361/.452/.431 this season.
Preston Tucker (OF) - Broke out his slump going 2-for-4 with a run, double, RBI and a walk. Tucker’s average sits at .347 with a 1.077 OPS and he leads the KBO with 22 RBI.
Hyung-woo Choi (DH) - Tallied three hits in four at-bats with an RBI and a walk.
Ah-seop Son (OF) - Another multiple hit game for Son going 2-for-4 with a run. There’s not much power here but Son’s .481 on-base percentage accompanies 16 walks against six strikeouts through 79 plate appearances.
Dae-Ho Lee (1B) - He looks like an adult league softball player but can rake. Lee went 2-for-4 with a double and the games only RBI. Lee’s hitting .353 with 12 RBI and six doubles.
While the pending return of former major leaguer Jung-ho Kang made waves in the news, it appears fans in the KBO may not agree with his one year suspension:
[Sports Times] | Many KBO fans are not happy with the potential return of Jung-Ho Kang and have reportedly filed a national petition to the Korean govt to ban him from the KBO.— Jason (Hanshin) Lee (@Jasons_JaysHub) May 26, 2020
Over 1500 have already signed and if it reaches 20K, then the govt must get involved.#KBO pic.twitter.com/jNbwMnJepl
Armed with a litany of DUI’s Kang comes with a troubled past and perhaps this social media push could inhibit his return to the KBO next season. Stay tuned.
As for Wednesday’s slate, more runs could be in the offing compared to Tuesday. Casey Kelly of LG will try to bounce back in Hanwha while Jae Hak Lee of the Dinos tries to keep the Dinos three games ahead of the Twins in the standings. Be sure to stay with Fantasy Alarm to remain ahead of the competition across all fantasy formats.