Yes, I did take last week off from putting together a weekly wrap up, but I'm not apologizing for it. I am merely an unpaid intern here at HOMEPLATE.KoRp and can only do so much. The least they could do is give me some comprehensive medical and dental, but no, I get nothing. To be fair, it is giving me a leg up on the competition for breaking into the highly lucrative business of English language sportswriting about Korean baseball. As for why this week's wrap-up is coming out on Tuesday, there is a perfectly rational explanation. Monday is the usual off day for the KBO, so I typically will do the wrap-up on Sunday or Monday, but this week Monday was a national holiday and the off day was moved to Friday. Because of that, I just kind of assumed that the week ended at the end of the weekend series, which included Monday's game.
More seriously, the past two weeks have seen some solidifying of the rankings with little change overall, excepting the total self-destruction of the SK Wyverns. SK has dropped from leader of the pack to being solidly in 6th place by only winning 4 of their past 13 games. The only other game that is playing under .500 over their past 10 games are the LG Twins, so things aren't looking good for the Wyverns. Due to a scheduling quirk and a rain-out, Hanhwa has only played 2 games in the past 11 days, which either leaves them very well rested or out of practice. The Samsung Lions are making a charge for the top, winning 8 of 10 and climbing up to 3rd place.
SK has been suffering some serious hardships, such as pitcher Yoon Hi-Sang sending out a public service message to all young players telling them they need to wear protection, no matter how cool they think they are. Yes, that means you shouldn't watch the following video unless you enjoy watching a dude take a line drive to his grundle sack.
Remember, Kids, Wear a Cup
In hitting news, Nexen's Park Byung-Ho has been busy, cranking out 2 long balls yesterday and 4 in his last 4 games to take the league lead at 10. Both Jorge Cantu and Josh Bell are still sitting at 8, so need to up their production if they want to win the homerun crown. Luis Jimenez, who was out for the first few weeks of the season has 6, so as the season progresses he is probably someone to watch. He also happens to have the second highest batting average in the league, at .395, which is miles ahead of SK's Lee Jae-Won who is batting an unbelievable .463.
In pitching news, Hanhwa's Yu Chang-Sik is having a breakout year, with a league leading 1.86 ERA. I don't expect it to last, though, as his WHIP is a fairly high 1.56 and he has control issues, walking 29 in 34 2/3 innings pitched. Doosan's Yu Heui-Kwan is nipping at his heels, though, with a 1.92 ERA, and a very respectable .99 WHIP. For the foreign pitchers, KIA's DJ Houlton is doing well after a couple rocky starts 2.70 ERA, and is just inches ahead of Nexen's Andy Van Hekken at 2.74. Samsung's Shane Youman isn't far behind with a 2.94 ERA, but he has an impressive 5 wins in 5 starts, and at the end of the day wins are the only thing that matters. Nowhere near the top is Hanhwa's Andrew Albers, who deserves special mention because he is the leagues highest paid foreign pitcher and just isn't performing. He has 2 wins and 1 loss in 4 starts with a 5.48 ERA and opposing batters are hitting .379 agains him.