‘Two out of seven’
The 2023 Korean Baseball Organization has closed out the first half of the season and will resume the second half of the race in 21 days after the week-long All-Star break.
The KBO’s midseason standings, which concluded on Nov. 13, show the top two teams, the LG Twins (49 wins, 2 ties, 30 losses, 0.620) and SSG Landers (46 wins, 1 tie, 32 losses, 0.590), are firmly in the mix.
The Doosan Bears (42 W, 1 D, 36 L, 0.538) jumped into sole possession of third place, four games behind SSG, with the fourth-place NC Dinos (39 W, 1 D, 38 L, 0.506) ending the first half in fourth place.
Five teams, from the fifth-place Lotte Giants (38-39, 0.494) to the ninth-place Kiwoom Heroes (38-2, 46, 0.452), form a four-way tie for fifth place, which will likely heat up the race for the final spot in the second half of fall baseball.
The sixth-place KIA Tigers (36 wins, 1 tie, 39 losses, 0.480), seventh-place KT WIZ (37 wins, 2 ties, 41 losses, 0.474), and eighth-place Hanwha Eagles (34 wins, 4 ties, 40 losses, 0.459) also have postseason hopes.
The eighth-ranked Hanwha, in particular, has a lot to look forward to after escaping a three-year stint at the bottom of the standings. The eighth-ranked Hanwha, who have now won eight straight games for the first time in 18 years, are 2.5 games behind fifth-ranked Lotte.
The 10th-ranked Samsung Lions (31-49, 0.388) ended the first half with a win, but the “last place” result was far from expected.
Buchanan’s nine-inning, one-run shutout gives Samsung its first win after six straight losses to Kia
Samsung broke a six-game losing streak to the Kia Tigers on the final day of the first half, capitalizing on a nine-inning, one-hit shutout by ace David Buchanan.
Samsung won the visiting Kia Tigers 4-1 at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on Wednesday behind Buchanan, who pitched nine innings of four-hit, one-run ball in a stellar performance in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League.
Buchanan has thrown three complete games in the KBO this season, but this was his first nine-inning complete game. The other two were six- and seven-inning complete games in rainouts.
Samsung finally got its first win on the final day of the first half after losing seven straight games to KIA, including six this season and one last year.
Kia had its six-game winning streak snapped.
Buchanan pitched a scoreless eighth inning with eight strikeouts, including back-to-back triple plays in the third through sixth innings, and was on the mound in the ninth for his first complete game of the season.
However, after a leadoff single to left by Choi Won-jun and a walk to Kim Do-young put runners on second and third, Na Sung-beom’s infield grounder gave up a run.
Buchanan struck out Choi Hyung-woo to end the game and pick up his seventh win of the season, his sixth straight against KIA.
A three-pitch call was the difference in the game.
In the top of the third inning, with runners on second and first for Samsung, Jose Pirela hit a ball that went wide of the first baseman.
KIA starting pitcher Yang Hyun-jong caught it and threw it to first base, where it became an errant throw, allowing first baseman Kim Sung-yoon to advance to third base.
KIA manager Kim Jong-guk requested a video review of the three-peat violation, claiming that Pirela ran inside the first base line and interfered with the defense.
However, the KBO Video Review Center ruled that it was a normal run, saying, “Pirela ran inside the line and into fair territory, but Yang Hyun-jong threw the ball out of play from the beginning.”
Manager Kim Jong-guk protested and was automatically ejected.
The three-pitch call was controversial, leaving the task of setting clear standards for the All-Star break.
Samsung took the lead in the next inning on a fastball from Kia catcher Kim Tae-gun that put runners on first and third.
In the fourth inning, Buchanan’s partner in crime, outfielder Kim Jae-sung, beat Yang Hyun-jong with a towering two-run homer to make it 3-0. Kim’s cannon of a season came at a crucial time.
With runners on first and second in the eighth inning, Samsung took a 3-0 lead and Kim drove in a run with a single to left field.
■ NC explodes for 14 hits, including 3 home runs, and 13 runs in 13-3 win over Lotte
The NC Dinos pounded out 14 hits, including three home runs, to defeat the Lotte Giants 13-3 at home in Changwon.
NC, which defeated Lotte 11-2 the day before, pounded out 30 hits and six home runs over the two days to pound the Lotte mound.
NC, which had been struggling with a lack of batting cohesion in a team atmosphere rocked by the “Park Geun-woo wave,” showed off its firepower in the final two games of the first half to push Lotte down to fifth place and enter the second half in sole possession of fourth place.
Lotte struggled in the first inning as starter Charlie Barnes was roughed up for six runs in 1 1/3 innings.
NC got on the board first in the first inning with Yoon Hyung-joon’s blistering double to left-center field. In the second inning, Jason Martin hit a three-run home run to left-center field to extend the lead to 6-0.
NC scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning, including Do Tae-hoon’s two-run arch to right and Martin’s back-to-back two-run homers to left, to make it 11-0 and take the white flag from Lotte.
Son As-seop, who batted first for NC, had a 5-for-5 blast to become the fifth player in history to reach 100 hits in 14 consecutive seasons.
■ KT’s Young-pyo Ko ‘flawless’ with 7 innings of no-hit ball, 9 strikeouts…7th straight win for Kiwoom
At the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, KT WIZ swept the Kiwoom Heroes 9-0.
No. 7 KT won its third straight game, while No. 9 Kiwoom lost its seventh straight.
KT opened the scoring in the first inning with three straight singles and scored a run on Jang Jang-woo’s infield grounder.
In the fourth inning, back-to-back doubles by Choi Jae-dae and Kim Min-hyuk made it 4-0.
After adding two more runs in the fifth, KT celebrated the victory with two solo shots by Park Byung-ho and Kim Jun-tae in the ninth.카지노사이트
KT starter Ko Young-pyo pitched a “no-decision” with five hits, no walks and nine strikeouts over seven innings to earn his eighth win of the season.
The Hanwha Eagles-LG Twins (Jamsil Stadium, Seoul) and Doosan Bears-SSG Landers (SSG Landers Field, Incheon) games were canceled due to rain.
This brings the total number of games canceled this year due to rain, fine dust, and field conditions to 48.
With so many games canceled in the first half of the year, the KBO office will now consider the long-term weather forecast to determine which Monday games or doubleheaders will be scheduled in the second half of the year.
The number of games played in the first half of the year is 397, or 55% of the total (720).