LG dominates SSG-NC-Dusan battle for top spot

LG dominates SSG-NC-Dusan battle for top spot

After finishing first in the regular season for the first time in 29 years, the LG Twins will now challenge for Korean Series supremacy.

LG won 86 games, tied two and lost 56 this year to take the top spot in the regular season. They took over the top spot on June 27 and never relinquished it, finishing the season in first place.

The powerhouse LG is looking to reclaim the Korean Series crown for the first time in 29 years.

This year, LG’s pitching staff has been a force to be reckoned with. They ranked first in team ERA (3.67) and batting average (0.279).

Hong Chang-ki has the highest batting average on the team (0.332), while Austin Dean (0.313), Moon Bo-kyung (0.301), Moon Sung-joo (0.294), and Kim Hyun-soo (0.293) lead the offense. Park Hae-min played in every game and proved his value in the outfield.

Hong ranked first in the league with a .444 on-base percentage and 109 runs scored, while Austin was strong at the plate with 95 RBI. Austin hit 23 home runs to quench LG’s thirst for long balls.먹튀검증

Homegrown ace Lim Chan-kyu (14-3 with a 3.42 ERA) led the team in wins, while foreign pitchers Adam Plutko (11) and Casey Kelly (10) combined for 21 wins.

Reliever Kim Jin-seong appeared in a league-high 80 games, posting a 5-1 record with four saves and 21 holds, while Ham Deok-joo, Park Myung-geun, Yoo Young-chan, and Jung Woo-young rounded out the bullpen.

With Plutko out of the lineup due to injury, the role of the bullpen became even more important in the Korean Series.

LG has been serious about stealing bases this year, racking up 166 stolen bases. This will be a big weapon in the Korean Series.

KT (79 wins, 3 ties, 62 losses) finished second in the league and headed directly to the playoffs with a strong starting lineup.

[Incheon=News] Go Seung-min reporter = KT players celebrate after defeating SSG 3-0 during the 2023 KBO KT wiz vs SSG Landers game at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Sept. 12. 2023.09.12. kkssmm99@newsis.com

KT’s strong starting pitching will also play a big role in the postseason.

KT’s Wes Benjamin is second in the league in wins with 15 this year. Ko Young-pyo and William Cuevas have 12 wins apiece. Cuevas, in particular, was undefeated during his 12 wins. Lee Byung-seong had eight wins.

KT’s bullpen ace Park Young-hyun and closer Kim Jae-yoon are also strong.

KT’s veteran bats, led by Hwang Jae-gyun, Park Byung-ho, and Anthony Alford, have also been potent throughout the season, and their experience is expected to shine through in the postseason.

SSG Landers (76 wins, 3 draws, 65 losses) suffered a slump that saw them slip to sixth place after leading until late June.

However, they finished the season in third place with an impressive winning percentage of 10-2 in their final 12 games.

[Incheon=News] Choi Jin-seok Reporter = SSG head coach Kim Won-hyung celebrates the victory with Kim Kwang-hyun and Seo Soo after winning the 2023 KBO League game between the NC Dinos and SSG Landers 10-5 at SSG Landers Field in Michuhol-gu, Incheon, on Oct. 4. 2023.10.04. myjs@newsis.com

SSG’s bats were led by Guillermo Heredia (.323 batting average), while Choi led the way with 29 home runs. Choi reached 20 homers for the first time in five years.

On the mound, Kirk McCarty (9 wins), Roenis Elias (8 wins), and Kim Kwang-hyun were outstanding. However, McCarty did not take the mound for more than three weeks due to injury, and ace Kim Kwang-hyun only managed nine wins.

Noh Kyung-eun, 39, and Ko Hyo-joon, 40, were the mainstays of SSG’s bullpen with over 70 games each. Noh has a whopping nine wins, setting an example for the younger pitchers. Closer Seo Jin-yong recorded 42 saves, the first of his career.

The NC Dinos (75 wins, 2 ties, 67 losses) are in fourth place. They lost six straight games in late September and early October.

NC ace Eric Peddy was honored with the Triple Crown (20 wins, 209 strikeouts, 2.00 ERA). He was the first foreign pitcher to accomplish the feat. He also leads the league in walks allowed per inning (WHIP) at 0.95 and batting average at 0.207.

On the other hand, the starters, including Lee Jae-hak, Song Myung-ki, and Choi Sung-young, struggled due to the long-term departure of homegrown ace Koo Chang-mo. Song Myung-ki was even moved to the bullpen during the season.

[SEOUL, South Korea] Choi Jin-seok reports on the game between the NC Dinos and the Doosan Bears of the 2023 KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Songpa-gu, Seoul on April 19. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third inning, NC starting pitcher Pedi walks into the dugout after ending the inning with a strikeout. 2023.09.19. myjs@newsis.com

Whenever the starting lineup faltered, the bullpen of Kim Young-gyu, Ryu Jin-wook, and Lee Yong-chan stepped up to preserve the win. NC’s team ERA was 3.83, second only to LG.

The offense was led by two-time batting champion Son Asub (.339, 187 hits), Park Geon-woo and Park Min-woo. Jason Martin (17 home runs, 90 RBIs) had the most home runs and RBIs on the team.

The Doosan Bears (74 wins, 2 ties, 68 losses) made the postseason in fifth place after a roller coaster season. While rookie manager Lee Seung-yeop and his squad showed signs of cohesion, they were shaky at the plate.

Yang was the only hitter in triple figures, while Yang Seok-hwan led the way with 21 home runs. However, the likes of Heo Kyung-min and Jose Rojas were unable to rise to the top of the order due to underwhelming performances.

Substitute foreigner Brandon Waddell showed promise with 11 wins in 18 games. Raul Alcantara (13 wins) did enough to fill the ace role, but he lost three of his last four games when it mattered most. Doosan is fortunate to have Kwak Bin (12 wins), who had a career-high season. He has been named the starter for Game 1 of the wild-card decider.

The closing system of Hong Gun-hee and Chung Chul-won was a bit shaky, and there were few reliable bullpen arms aside from Kim Myung-shin and Park Chi-guk.

[Gwangju=News] Shin Dae-hee (R) celebrates in the dugout after scoring on Yang Suk-hwan’s double in the top of the fifth inning between the Doosan Bears and the Kia Tigers in the 2023 Baseball World Series at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Buk-gu, Gwangju, South Korea, on Sept. 17. 2023.09.17. sdhdream@newsis.com

The KIA Tigers (73 wins, 2 ties, 69 losses) lost momentum in the second half due to injuries to their main players and finished sixth.

The Tigers were plagued by a series of injuries to key players, including sluggers Na Sung-beom, Choi Hyung-woo, Park Chan-ho, and Choi Won-joon. Foreign pitchers also struggled, with even ace Yang Hyun-jong (9 wins) failing to deliver the same powerful pitches as in the past.

Lotte (68 wins and 76 losses) finished seventh, failing to advance to the Fall League for the sixth consecutive year. The team showed some promise early in the season, but its weak starting lineup was not enough to last a full season. Free agent signings Yoo Kang-nam, Noh Jin-hyuk, and Han Hyun-hee failed to make an impact.

Charlie Barnes (11 wins) and Park Se-woong (9 wins) struggled, but no one really took charge of the starting lineup. It’s also unfortunate that Na Gyun-an flashed early in the season, but his performance has been weak since. This led to an overloaded bullpen. Outside of Jeon Jun-woo and Ahn Chi-hong, the batting lineup lacked power hitters.

The eighth-place Samsung Lions (61 wins, 1 tie, 82 losses), ninth-place Hanwha Eagles (58 wins, 6 ties, 80 losses), and last-place Kiwoom Heroes (58 wins, 3 ties, 83 losses) had disappointing seasons.

For the second year in a row, Samsung didn’t make it to “fall baseball. On the mound, they had the highest team ERA (4.60). David Buchanan was the only pitcher with 12 wins, while homegrown ace Won Tae-in had seven. At the plate, Koo Ja-rook (.336) and Kang Min-ho struggled, but it wasn’t enough. Jose Pirela had a steady decline

Hanwha found a powerhouse in Noh Si-hwan (31 home runs and 101 RBIs), who became the home run king and RBI king, and a future ace in Moon Dong-joo in the starting rotation. The pitching staff was led by Felix Peña (11 wins). Free agent signing Chae Eun-sung also hit 23 home runs. However, the weaknesses in the batting order were evident. They had to settle for avoiding last place for the fourth straight year.

Last year’s Korean Series runner-up Kiwoom suffered the ignominy of finishing last. The loss of the KBO’s best pitcher, Ahn Woo-jin, and best hitter, Lee Jung-hoo, at crucial times was decisive. Their absence led to the team’s collapse. The starting lineup collapsed early and many games ended with the bullpen being used up, and when Kim Hye-sung walked, there was no follow-up hitter to bring him home.

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