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Fierce Contest between Even-Handed Rivals

Posted October. 04, 2001 08:37,   


``It is time for a revenge.``

``Semi-playoffs is not our goal.``

The Doosan and the Hanwha faced again in the postseason for last two years. While the Doosan clinched the playoffs ticket to wait for the partner earlier, the Hanwha moved up to the fourth place through the fierce competition defeating the Kia on 2nd. Two teams will play the best-of-three-game semi-playoffs series from 7th.

In 1999 playoffs, the Doosan had lost to the Hanwha for four straight games, and thus this would be the best chance to revenge the bitter loss two years ago. However, the Hanwha has much confidence over the Doosan. It is because that the starting pitchers of the Doosan have been more powerful, even though it recorded 9 wins and 10 losses in the face-to-face matches.

▼Faith vs. Self-Discipline

If forced to compare, the Doosan manager Kim In-Shik (54) is a general of virtue, and the Hanwha manager Lee Kwang-Hwan (53) is a general of tactics.

Manager Kim has patiently pursued a style of baseball supporting for the players to fully perform their abilities. Similarly, Manager Lee, the proponent of the self-disciplined baseball, has led the team with the autonomous system rather than the strict control. People may be interested in how Manager Lee is going to show his ability in the big competition after 4 and a half years break rather than Manager Kim who have shown his leadership in the postseason for four straight years. With the unique characters, both managers interestingly face each other for the first time in the playoffs.

▼ 2 vs. 11

After being defeated by Hanwha in the 1999 playoffs, the Doosan Manager Kim had told in an interview that ``our eleven pitchers failed to fight against the two opponent pitchers.`` Manager Kim referred to Song Jin-Woo and Koo Dae-Sung (currently Orix Blue Wave) of the Hanwha. The playoff MVP Song perfectly threw one win and one save with 1.59 ERA, and Koo also earned one win and two saves.

In this year, the Doosan have to overcome two Hanwha`s pitchers in order to defeat the Hanwha, namely, Song Jin-Woo and the imported pitcher Reece. In the regular season, Song recorded 2 wins, 1 loss and 1 save, and `the new bears-killer` Reece captured three victories with no-loss and zero ERA throwing 22 consecutive scoreless innings against the Doosan. These two pitchers are scheduled to start in the first and second games for the Hanwha.

▼ Relief vs. Starter

The short-term match is normally determined by the performance of the pitching staffs. Both teams constitute the totally different kind of pitching staffs. While the Doosan has good relief pitchers, the Hanwha has good starters. In the regular season, the Doosan pitchers recorded 36 starting wins, 29 saving wins, and 35 saves, the Hanwha pitchers recorded 42 starting wins, 19 saving wins, and 25 saves. From the regular season data, it is obvious that with the relatively weak starters, the Doosan will pour the relief pitchers such as Lee Hye-Cheon, Cha Myung-Joo, Park Myung-Hwan and Jin Pil-Joong into the game for the victory. On the other hand, without the credible closer, the Hanwha will be heavily dependent upon two outstanding starters, Song and Reece.

Kim Sang-Soo ssoo@donga.com