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Rain Delays Korean World Series

Posted October. 23, 2006 07:01,   


It’s just like replay of what happened to the Samsung Lions five years ago.

Watching the rain pouring on October 22, Samsung recalled the nightmare they went through in 2001. Due to the weather conditions, Game Two of the Korean Series between Samsung and Hanwha has been put off. Accordingly, the rest of the games will also be postponed for a day respectively.

Back to the Korean Series in 2001, Samsung was on a perfect pace. It was the first year of Kim Eung-ryong (current president of Samsung Lions) as the manager of Samsung, after he switched his post from Haitai, where he already won the Korean Series nine times. Up to then, Samsung had not had any KS titles yet, which was the most obvious reason for recruiting Kim. After finishing the pennant race in the first place, Samsung directly advanced to the KS, and beat Doosan 7-4 in Game One with Bae Young-su starting.

Experts had hardly doubted that Samsung would take an easy victory in the series. On the other hand, with all the fatigue accumulated from fierce games since the semi-playoffs, Doosan was in their worst condition. But then Game Two was called off for rain and Doosan, after enjoying the sweet break, won three games in a streak to finally win the KS title, 4-2. The fact that all of the four wins Doosan had then were all wins in relief reflects how tough games they had to get the title. Coincidentally, the current manager of Hanwha happens to be Kim In-sik, who gave Kim Eung-ryong his first bitter defeat in the Korean Series five years ago as the manager of Doosan.

Sun Dong-yol, current manager of Samsung, is pretending to be unconcerned for this. Although he said, “It’s up to heaven’s will who wins the series,” he also stressed, “But I wasn’t there with Samsung five years ago.” Five years ago, he was working for the Korea Baseball Organization as a member of the public relations committee. He added that, “we can also have our three pitchers who played in Game One have a good rest. We don’t have any problem here since we are well prepared.”

On the other hand, Hanwha isn’t bothering to conceal their delight. Manager Kim In-sik said, “Although we need to go through the game to get the results, it’s so good for us that our players can take a rest.”

On October 21, Samsung beat 4-0 Hanwha in Game One as their golden pitching trio, Bae Young-su, Kwon Oh-joon (7th inning), and Oh Seung-hwan (8th inning) passed batons from one to another on the mound. In the third inning, after making some unrecorded errors, Hanwha gave in a good chance to Samsung with a runner on the second base with two outs, which earned two leadoff runs thanks to the timely hits made by Park Han-yi and Cho Dong-chan.

Hanwha, on the contrary, failed to catch up as they blew up the chances in the fourth inning, when they had bases loaded with no out, and in the eight, when they had the first and second bases loaded with no out. To make things worse, Ryu Hyun-jin, who had five wins against Samsung this season, stepped down the mound earlier than expected in the fifth inning with first and third bases loaded with one out, claiming he had a muscular ache on his left arm. This would be a red alert to Hanwha’s pitching staff.

Game Two has been rescheduled to 6:00 p.m. on October 23. Jamie Brown will be starting for Samsung while Jeong Min-chul will for Hanwha, just as it has been announced before game was postponed.