Well that Netherlands game was pretty awful! And with Taiwan beating Australia and the Dutch in the past few days it looks like Korea will be in tough to qualify for the next round. Before we get into that though let’s take a brief look at Korea’s loss to the Netherlands.
The Major Leaguers featured by the Dutch at the top of their lineup came to play Saturday night as Andrelton Simmons, Roger Bernadina, and Andruw Jones all had big games against Yoon Suk-min and the Korean bullpen. Andruw Jones also tried to run over Jeong Keun-woo to break up a double play, which was deemed interference, probably cost the Netherlands a run, and caused my girlfriend to get really angry.
On the other side the Korean hitters did their best not to bother anyone. They nearly silenced by a pitcher called Markwell, who they made look like Cy Young. I mean he threw strikes and worked quickly but cmonnnnn!
The failure capitalize on the few base runners they did have ensured the opening game loss. Whether it be Kang Min-ho’s strikeout, or Jeong Keun-woo hitting into a double play, the inability to string hits together against a group of strike throwing Dutch pitchers nobody’s ever heard of has put Korea in a tough spot when looking to qualify for the 2nd round.
If the Koreans are to qualify they will have to win against Australia and Taiwan. If the Dutch beat Australia as well this could lead to a 3-way tie atop the pool, with the tiebreaker being run differential. So with that all being said, the plan tonight is to crush the Australians. Taiwan beat the 4-1 and beat the Netherlands 8-3 for a run differential of +8. Korea, if my math is correct, stands at -5 after their 5-0 loss to the Dutch. So… beat Australia by 12 runs and we are in business!!
Australia boasts 8 players with Major League experience compared to Korea’s 2, but few of any significance. Chris Oxspring started against Taiwan and has KBO experience something, which the Korean team has far more of than than Aussies :).
The starting pitchers tonight are right hander Song Seung-jun for Korea up agaisnt righty Ryan Searle who is a minor leaguer at AA in the Chicago Cubs organization. This will lead to an interesting decision whether to keep Lee Seung Yeop on the bench as Lee Dae Ho and Kim Taegyun hit betters against righties. Though if the rest of the team performs like they did on Saturday night, it’s not likely to matter.
Anyway, let’s mercilessly slaughter them tonight!! Run differential points!!…. Round robin baseball is such a bummer.