The Kiwoom Heroes wiped away a 6-0 deficit to storm back for a 7-6 win on Wednesday. Wild games blown by bullpens isn’t anything new to the KBO. If you’re new to the KBO, then you have been forewarned. A game is never over until every out is recorded. I’ve watched several big leads in the 9th go up in smoke because of a bad closer.
In other words, don’t get too frustrated when it happens. There was none of that for us yesterday, as the Lotte Giants took an early lead and held on for a 6-2 victory. The Hanwha Eagles scored 2 late runs, but never threatened again. The Lions, on the other hand, gave up a few runs, and then allowed things to snowball into a loss.
Pang Pill-joon was the weak link for the Lions on Wednesday. He was smacked for 4 hits and 4 earned runs in less than an inning of work. That was the difference in the ballgame. Starter Won Tae-in pitched decently enough. He held in there for 5.2 innings and conceded 6 hits and 3 earned runs.
Won gave the Lions a good chance of winning, but the bullpen let him down. The Lions went scoreless after scoring 2 runs in the top of the 5th inning. They thought the game was in the bag, but it’s unwise to play with that mindset. In any case, the Lions have been playing a lot better baseball recently.
They’re up to 30-26 on the season after a fairly shaky start. The Lions are a half game back of the LG Twins for fourth in the KBO. Expect them to be competing for a postseason spot. Conversely, the Heroes are 34-22 and 4 games behind the NC Dinos, which puts them in a pretty good position for second in the league.
One of the main reasons why the Heroes are right up there near the top of the standings is Eric Jokisch. The former Chicago Cub, who never really got a fair chance in the majors, is on fire and flying under the radar in South Korea. Dan Straily is getting attention for his hot start this season, but Jokisch needs some as well. He will get the call for the Heroes against Baek Jung-hyun of the Lions in this one. Head below for our free Samsung Lions vs. Kiwoom Heroes pick for July 9, 2020 in the KBO.
Samsung Lions vs. Kiwoom Heroes KBO Baseball Betting Odds:
Samsung Lions vs. Kiwoom Heroes Prediction:
Eric Jokisch has been blazing hot for the Heroes and hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. Jokisch heads into Thursday with an ERA of 1.30 and 0.87 WHIP. All 11 of his starts have been sharp, with more than 2 runs allowed in just one game, when he conceded 3 earned runs against the Hanwha Eagles on the road. In 7 of 11 starts for Jokisch he’s allowed 1 or no runs. Jokisch hasn’t allowed a run in his previous two outings for 14 straight innings of scoreless baseball against the Kia Tigers and KT Wiz.
The Wiz have a dangerous offense, but Jokisch made easy work of them. It’s been clear so far that the KBO is too easy for Jokisch. He was plagued with injury concerns with the Cubs and never was able to get off the ground. In five games with the Cubs, Jokisch posted a 1.88 ERA and 1.53 WHIP. His most recent season with a major league organization was in 2018 with the A’s Triple-A affiliate in Nashville. Jokisch was solid with a 4.06 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He certainly looks good enough at a minimum to be pitching in Japan or Triple-A again.
Jokisch will likely battle throughout the season with Koo Chang-mo for the best numbers in the KBO. Koo is much younger and still has room to develop. His arm will be a little more valuable to an MLB team in the future. Jokisch has frustrated the Lions twice in 2020 already. He held them to no earned runs and 3 hits with no walks on May 12. On June 12, Jokisch was solid again with 1 earned run and 5 hits conceded versus the Lions. Between the two performances, Jokisch owns a 0.75 ERA against the Lions in 2020.
32-year-old veteran, Baek Jung-hyun, has a 4.92 ERA and 1.50 WHIP since entering the KBO in 2007. He’s been just around that mark with a 5.23 ERA and 1.40 WHIP this season. Baek has conceded at least 4 earned runs in half of the eight games that he’s started. In his most recent performance, Baek had a rough go of it against the LG Twins. The Twins scored 6 runs on Baek in 6 innings for a 10.80 ERA and 1.40 WHIP. Along with Jokisch on the hill, the Heroes should record a more comfortable win today.