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Falling Behind in Playoffs Is No Problem for SK Wyverns

Posted October. 13, 2009 08:50,   


The defending Korean Baseball Organization champions SK Wyverns lost the first two games in the semifinals against the Doosan Bears, but have rallied to tie the best-of-five series.

SK players did not back down despite their team falling behind 2-0 in the series.

The Wyverns faced a similar situation in the 2007 and 2008 Korean Series versus the Bears. Two years ago, SK fell behind 2-0 but swept the final four games to win the title. Last year, the Wyverns lost the first game but took the next four for its second straight championship.

SK is confident of winning its third straight crown this year. Players are in an upbeat mood thanks to starting pitcher Chae Byung-yong, whose stellar performance despite injury inspired his team to victory in Game 3 of the series against Doosan.

Chae underwent elbow surgery after the regular season but laid the groundwork for his team’s win in Game 3 by allowing just one earned run in five and a third innings.

SK captain Kim Jae-hyun said, “We were all deeply moved by Chae, who did his best in pitching despite his elbow injury.”

Other positives for the defending champions are Jung Keun-woo, who had three hits, and Choi Jeong, who had two hits including a homer, in Game 4.

The Cinderella player in this postseason is Keum Min-chul, Doosan’s southpaw pitcher. He allowed no runs in six innings when he played unexpectedly in Game 2 of the first round against the Busan Lotte Giants.

He also won the opener against SK Thursday, when he allowed just one run in five innings as the starter.

Doosan hinted at starting Keum on the mound tonight. The question is whether he can pitch in a big game. In the two playoff games he has played, he won both thanks to his breaking fastball and ball control.

The Bears, however, need sluggers Kim Dong-joo (.083) and Kim Hyun-soo (.143) to get out of their batting slump in this series.

SK might start pitcher Ken Kadokura in Game 5 tonight. The Japanese pitcher gave up one earned run in six and a third innings in Game 2.