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KBO Update, June 07 to June 13: Keeping pace

We check in on our adopted KBO team, the LG Twins.

Kiwoom Heroes v LG Twins
Hyun-soo Kim
Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images

As regular From Complex to Queens listeners know, we’ve decided to start following a KBO team in the absence of Mets baseball for the foreseeable future. We picked a team and will post updates on how they’re doing over in Korea. Why the LG Twins?

  • Represent a major metropolitan area.
  • Share Seoul (and Jamsil Baseball Stadium) with a rival team and compete for fans.
  • Have been a team that, on paper, should compete but just have not been able to put things together over the last few years
  • Have a strong pitching staff in 2020.
  • Staff ace, Casey Kelly, has been denied numerous wins over the years due to anemic hitting and/or a leaky bullpen despite pitching quality starts.
  • LG Corporation spends money on the team but does not always allocate that money wisely.
  • Retired the number 41, worn by one of the best right-handed pitchers in team history.

Sounds like the Mets to me!

Standings

June 07 (18-11)

LG Twins 8, Kiwoom Heroes 1 (BOX)

Woo-Chan Cha was a little wild, walking five batters, but he was able to navigate out of trouble time and time again, tossing seven shutout innings. Heroes starter Hyun-hee Han initially was able to go inning-to-inning with Cha, but the Twins finally got to him in the sixth, when pinch hitter Kang-nam Yoo drove in a pair on a line drive into center. After Han was yanked from the game, the Twins feasted on the Kiwoom bullpen, scoring an additional six runs- one in the seventh and five in the eighth.

  • CF Chun-woong Lee: 1-6, RBI
  • LF Hyun-soo Kim: 2-5, 2 R, HR (2), 2 RBI
  • DH Yong-taik Park: 1-5, R, K
  • 1B Roberto Ramos: 3-5, RBI, K
  • 1B Yong-yi Kim: 0-0
  • 3B Min-sung Kim: 1-3, R, RBI, BB
  • RF Chang-gi Hong: 2-5, R
  • SS Ji-hwan Oh: 1-3, R, BB, HBP, SB (5)
  • SS Seung-hyun Baek: 0-0
  • C Sung-woo Lee: 0-2, K
  • C Kang-nam Yoo: 3-3, R, 2 RBI
  • 2B Ju-hyeon Jung: 0-1, K
  • PH Eun-sung Chae: 0-1
  • 2B Keun-woo Jeong: 0-2, R, K
  • 2B Bon-hyeok Koo: 0-1
  • LHP Woo-Chan Cha: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, W (4-2)
  • RHP Woo-young Jung: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
  • LHP Sung-hoon Choi: 1.0, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR

June 08 (18-11)

NO GAME (SCHEDULE)

June 09 (18-12)

SK Wyverns 5, LG Twins 3 / 10 (BOX)

Casey Kelly was solid for seven innings, his only blemish a Jamie Romak solo home run in the top of the second. Hyun-soo Kim hit a solo shot of his own in the fifth, tying things back up at 1-1 apiece. The Wyverns took the lead in the eighth, but the Twins tied things up in the bottom of the inning. The game stayed tied through nine, and into extra innings we went. The Twins brought in closer Sang-gyu Lee to pitch the tenth, but the right-hander imploded in the non-save situation, allowing the Wyverns to score three runs and take a commanding lead with only three outs to go. Kim drive in another run in the bottom of the tenth with a single into center, bringing the tying run to the plate, but after a long at-bat, Eun-sung Chae popped out to second to end things.

  • CF Chun-woong Lee: 1-5, K
  • 2B Ju-hyeon Jung: 0-1
  • LF Hyun-soo Kim: 3-5, R, HR (3), 2 RBI, BB, K
  • RF Eun-sung Chae: 1-5, BB
  • 1B Roberto Ramos: 1-2, 2 BB
  • 1B Kim Yong-yi Kim: 0-1, R, K
  • 3B Min-sung Kim: 1-4, K
  • DH Yong-taik Park: 2-4, BB
  • 2B Keun-woo Jeong: 0-3, K
  • 2B Bon-hyeok Koo: 0-0
  • CF Chang-gi Hong: 0-1, BB
  • C Kang-nam: 1-4, RBI, BB, K
  • SS Ji-hwan Oh: 1-4, R, K, HBP
  • RHP Casey Kelly: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, HR
  • LHP Hae-soo Jin: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
  • RHP Woo-young Jung: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Sang-gyu Lee: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, L (2-2)
  • RHP Geon-wook Yeo: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

June 10 (18-12)

POSTPONED (RAIN)

June 11 (20-12)

GAME ONE

LG Twins 3, SK Wyverns 1 (BOX)

The Twins needed a strong pitching performance in game one to keep the team fresh for the second half of the double-header, and they did. Min-ho Lee gave his coach seven strong innings, the lone blemish on the scorecard coming in the first. The Twins trailed until the fourth, when Ji-hwan Oh hit a sac fly that tied the game at 1-1 apiece. A few innings later, in the seventh, Roberto Ramos slugged his thirteenth home run of the year to drive in Eun-sung Chae and himself, giving the Twins a two run lead that would stand until reliever Woo-young Jung recorded the final out.

  • CF Chun-woong Lee: 1-4, BB
  • LF Kim Hyun-soo Kim: 1-4
  • RF Eun-sung Chae: 0-3, R, BB
  • 1B Roberto Ramos: 2-4, 2 R, HR (13), 2 RBI
  • SS Baek Seung-hyun Baek: 0-0
  • DH Yong-taik Park: 3-4, K
  • 3B Min-sung Kim: 2-4
  • SS Ji-hwan Oh: 0-1, RBI, HBP
  • 1B Yong-yi Kim: 0-1, K
  • C Kang-nam Yoo: 1-3, HBP
  • 2B Ju-hyeon Jung: 0-2, K
  • PH Chang-gi Hong: 0-1, K
  • 2B Bon-hyeok Koo: 0-1
  • RHP Min-ho Lee: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, HBP, W (2-1)
  • LHP Hae-soo Jin: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K
  • RHP Woo-young Jung: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

GAME TWO

LG Twins 4, SK Wyverns 3 (BOX)

Starter Chan-gyu Lim was not as good as Game One starter Min-ho Lee, but he was solid enough. The right-hander was a little homer prone, allowing a pair of big flies, but was able to limit what the Wyverns could do otherwise. The Twins got on the board with a little small ball, tied things up with some situational hitting, and finally took the lead for good in the seventh, when catcher Sung-woo Lee hit a solo shot, his third of the year. The call was called a home run initially but was reviewed. The call stood, and wound up being the winning run.

  • CF Chun-woong Lee: 0-2, R, 2 BB
  • LF Hyun-soo Kim: 1-4, R
  • RF Eun-sung Chae: 0-2, R, RBI, BB
  • DH Roberto Ramos: 1-4, 2 RBI, 2 K
  • 3B Min-sung Kim: 1-4, K
  • 2B Keun-woo Jeong: 0-3, BB, K
  • 2B Ju-hyeon Jung: 0-0
  • SS Seung-hyun Baek: 0-2, K
  • PH Kang-nam Yoo: 0-1
  • SS Bon-hyeok Koo: 0-0
  • C Sung-woo Lee: 1-1, R, HR (3), RBI, 2 BB
  • 1B Yong-yi Kim: 0-3
  • RHP Chan-gyu Lim: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, W (3-2)
  • RHP Sang-gyu Lee: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, HBP
  • RHP Dae-hyun Kim: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • LHP Hae-soo Jin: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Eun-beom Song: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

June 12 (21-12)

LG Twins 3, Lotte Giants 2 / 10 (BOX)

Dan Straily pitched very, very well, while Twins starter Tyler Wilson was very shaky, but the Twins somehow simultaneously held things together while dinging up Straily just enough. The Twins trailed 2-1 until the eighth, when Keun-woo Jeong scored a Jose Reyes run, drawing a walk, stealing second, advancing to third on a wild pitch, and scoring on a single into left. The game remained tied until the tenth, when Jeong walked the game off. Eun-sung Chae led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Jeong came to the plate and hit a line drive into the right-center gap, ending the game on a high note.

  • CF Chun-woong Lee: 0-3, RBI
  • LF Hyun-soo Kim: 0-4, K
  • DH Yong-taik Park: 1-4
  • RF Eun-sung Chae: 1-4, K
  • PR Ju-hyeon Jung: 0-0, R
  • 3B Min-sung Kim: 0-3, 2 K
  • 1B Ho-eun Kim: 0-2
  • PH Min-su Jeon: 0-1, K
  • C Sung-woo Lee: 0-0, BB
  • 2B Keun-woo Jeong: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB
  • C Kang-nam Yoo: 1-2, RBI, BB, K
  • 1B Yong-yi Kim: 0-0
  • SS Bon-hyeok Koo: 0-2, K
  • RHP Tyler Wilson: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 K
  • RHP Dong-hwan Choi: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
  • RHP Dae-hyun Kim: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
  • RHP Woo-young Jung: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • RHP Eun-beom Song: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, W (1-1)

June 13 (21-13)

Lotte Giants 7, LT Twins 6 (BOX)

Neither Twins starter Woo-chan Cha or Giants starter Se-woong Park were particularly great, but Chan was slightly better, limiting Lotte to three runs by the time he left the mound, whereas the Twins tagged Park for five. Once Cha left the game, however, things changed. His replacement, Geon-wook Yeo, got smacked around for four runs in just two-thirds of an inning, giving the Giants the lead. The Lotte bullpen went into lockdown mode and the Twins were unable to catch up, snapping their recent winning streak at three.

  • CF Chun-woong Lee: 2-5, R, K
  • LF Chang-gi Hong: 0-3, RBI, 3 K
  • PH Yong-taik Park: 0-1, K
  • DH Hyun-soo Kim: 1-5, K
  • RF Eun-sung Chae: 0-4, K
  • C Kang-nam Yoo: 1-4, R, K
  • 1B Ho-eun Kim: 1-2, R, HBP
  • 1B Yong-yi Kim: 0-1, R
  • 2B Keun-woo Jeong: 1-3, R, RBI, BB, K
  • SS Ji-hwan Oh: 1-4, 2 K
  • 3B Bon-hyeok Koo: 3-4, R, HR (1), 4 RBI,
  • PR Jung Ju-hyeon Jung: 0-0
  • LHP Woo-chan Cha: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
  • RHP Geon-wook Yeo: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, L (1-1)
  • RHP Dong-hwan Choi: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • LHP Sung-hoon Choi: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

HITTER OF THE WEEK

Hyun-soo Kim

7-22, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 0/0 SB

PITCHER OF THE WEEK

Min-ho Lee

7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, HBP

Born on August 30, 2001, Min-ho Lee is the youngest pitcher on the LG Twins, and their youngest player in general. One of the highest-touted rookies in the organization, Lee made his debut this season after being selected in the first round by the Twins in the 2020 KBO regional draft. A graduate of Whimoon High School, a private high school in Daechi-dong- the oldest high school in South Korea, a school so old that it was given its name by Emperor Gwangmu of the Joseon dynasty- Lee was the second-highest paid in the selection, his ₩300 million trailing only the ₩360 million that KT Wiz right-hander Hyeong-jun So received.

After pitching 9.1 scoreless innings during intrasquad and competitive games in spring training, Lee was named to the LG Twins opening day roster. The right-hander made his professional debut that day, May 6th, against the Doosan Bears, pitching an inning in relief. He made an appearance out of the bullpen the next day, pitching three innings and allowing a unearned run. Roughly two weeks later, he made his first professional start, tossing 5.1 innings scoreless against the Samsung Lions to earn his first professional win. The right-hander threw 86 pitches, allowing one hit and walking four while striking out two. He made his next start a week later against those same Lions and was handed his first professional loss, though it certainly was a hard-luck one. Lee allowed two runs over seven innings, allowing five hits, walking two, and striking out seven. His third start, this past week against the SK Wyverns was almost identical, but this time earned him the win.

According to Twins manager Joong-il Ryu, Lee has the potential to be an All-Star. His fastball sits roughly 92 MPH, topping out a few miles per hour higher at 94. He complements it with a wide assortment of pitches, all of which he has confidence in. His slider is his go-to secondary pitch, throwing it almost as much as his fastball. He also throws a splitter and a curveball, the latter being the better and more used of the two. Lee occasionally has occasionally had trouble hitting his spots, leading to unnecessary balls and walks, but as long as he is throwing in the zone, he has the stuff to get batters out.

HITTER OF THE WEEK

May 3 to May 9: Hyun-soo Kim (6-17, 1 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 0/0 SB)

May 10 to May 16: Roberto Ramos (6-16, 1 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 5 BB, 7 K, 0/0 SB)

May 17 to May 22: Eun-sung Chae (8-25, 0 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K, 0/0 SB)

May 24 to May 30: Roberto Ramos (9-23, 0 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 0/0 SB)

May 31 to June 6: Roberto Ramos (6-17, 1 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 0/0 SB)

PITCHER OF THE WEEK

May 3 to May 9: Woo-chan Cha (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, HR)

May 10 to May 16: Casey Kelly (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)

May 17 to May 22: Tyler Wilson (7.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, HR)

May 24 to May 30: Casey Kelly (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 10 K)

May 31 to June 6: Chan-heon Jung (7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 11 K)