Weekly Wrapup 2014/04/20

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Since both SK and NC lost today, the Nexen Heroes managed to sneak into first place even though they had a rest day. Granted, they have won seven in a row even though they took this weekend off, so it isn't like they haven't been playing well. At the other end of the spectrum, Hanhwa and LG battled it out at the bottom of the heap with the mighty Eagles soaring to win two of three and are entering the rest day with a two day rally and are a sizeable game and a half out of the basement. Of course anyone who watched those games would know that in both of them Hanhwa blew sizeable leads to create nailbiter 9th innings, so the wins weren't pretty.

While it wasn't pretty, it was exciting, with LG's Josh Bell hitting his league leading sixth home run and Hanhwa's Felix Pie hitting his first. The homeruns were overshadowed by a bench clearing altercation in the 8th inning, when the Twin's Jeong Chan-Heon drilled the Eagles Jeong Keun-Woo square in the back in retalation for him spiking LG's second baseman earlier in the game to successfully break up a double play. Oddly enough, Jeong Keun-Woo was on base in the first place after being hit by a pitch, so it was his second HBP on the day. Jeong was tossed from the game for the beanball, and even though there was a bit of pushing no real violence erupted.

Jeong vs Jeong Beanball

But let's talk pitching.  Due to the high scoring nature of the league, it is easy to gloss over pitching and focus solely on offensive feats, but we have some solid foreign talent in the league this year. I mentioned a little while back that KIA's DJ Houlton was pitching better than anyone in the league and he then turned around and had a bad start against Hanhwa his next trip to the mound. It is early in the season so his ERA took a bit of a hit, but he is holding strong at fourth in the league with a 2.45 earned run average. Standing at the top of the heap right now is Andy Van Hekken with a 1.46 ERA and a 3-1 win-loss ratio on four starts. Just behind him is Mr. Intensity Brandon Knight (I will no longer refer to him as angry for fear we might meet by chance on the subway) with a 1.62ERA with a single win and no losses in three starts. Notably, they both pitch for the Nexen Heroes. Doosan's Yu Heui-Kwan is the only other pitcher holding down a sub 2 earned run average at 1.91 and he has 2 wins and no losses on 4 starts.

Shane Youman might not have the best ERA at 3.38, but he has 3 wins in 3 starts for Lotte which makes him something of a good luck charm for the team. Also notable is KIA's closer Jairo Asencio, who isn't at the top of the list in saves, but it is hard to get a lot of opportunities when your team isn't winning many games. He does have a solid 4 saves and 1 win on 7 outings, and has only given up a solitary run so far this season. The only closer that is looking better than him is SK's Park Hee-Soo who is perfect, with 7 saves in 7 games entered, allowing only 3 hits, 2 walks and no runs scored in his appearances so far. Finally, Samsung's JD Martin got his first start today and chalked up a win with no walks, 3 hits and 1 run scored in 7 complete innings. Interestingly, both Martin and NC's Thad Weber got called for balks in today's game.

JD Martin Introductory Interview