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[Baseball] SK, Samsung Seek 3rd League Title in 6 Years

Posted October. 15, 2010 11:27,   


The stage is set for this year`s Korean Series, with the Incheon SK Wyverns and the Daegu Samsung Lions to begin their first duel in the championship Friday.

SK will host Game 1 at Munhak Baseball Stadium.

○ First meeting in Korean Series

The Wyverns and Lions have each won two championships over the last five seasons. They faced each other in the semi-playoffs in 2003 won by the Wyverns, but this is the first time for them to meet in the Korean Series.

Samsung claimed the league title in 2005 and 2006, while SK took top honors in 2007 and 2008.

The Lions have advanced to the Korean Series for the first time in four years, while the Wyverns have made their fourth straight appearance. Both managers have each won two crowns.

When asked how many games they expect the opponent to win at a media conference in Incheon Thursday, Wyverns manager Kim Sung-keun put up three fingers, while Lions counterpart Sun Dong-yeol showed two.

○ Key players

Sun, who correctly picked Park Han-yi as the key player in his team’s grueling playoff series win versus the Seoul Doosan Bears, chose Park Seok-min as the most promising player for the Korean Series. The Lions manager is pinning hopes on the right-handed slugger, who hopes to swing a mighty bat against the strong left-handers of the Wyverns.

SK manager Kim said he expects veteran outfielder Kim Jae-hyun to perform well since the slugger will retire after the series. Kim Jae-hyun was named Most Valuable Player in the 2007 Korean Series and hit two homers against the Bears in the 2008 championship.

○ Kim Kwang-hyun vs Tim Redding

The Wyverns named to start Game 1 ace pitcher Kim Kwang-hyun, this season’s league leader in wins, and the Lions picked Tim Redding. Kim Kwang-hyun has frustrated Samsung by going 4-1 against the Lions this season, pitching 34 1/3 innings in five games with an ERA of 1.31.

Redding finished the season with a record of just 1-3 with a 5.09 ERA, but performed relatively better in the playoffs by pitching five innings in two games with a 3.60 ERA.

Sun reportedly decided to start an unfamiliar pitcher on the mound since Samsung depleted its pitching corps in its two previous playoff series. Redding did not face the Wyverns in the regular season.

wing@donga.com noel@donga.com