Everything going right for Korea
Club getting it done with pitching, defense and timely hitting
Friday, 17 March 2006 4:49:00 PM
By Jim Street / MLB.com
"They know how to play baseball," Damon added. "They catch the ball, they make contact and they drive pitchers crazy.
They seem to be able to hit everything pitchers throw, maybe not with a lot of power, but a lot of balls are hit the other way."
Terrific pitching, excellent defense and timely hitting have been the key ingredients to Korea's success in the World Baseball Classic.
It has gotten them to the semifinals, along with the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Japan.
With two more wins, Korea would become the "World" champions of baseball.
The 411 on Korea
|Kim understands that a stellar pitching staff makes it possible to win every game and the arms that he has assembled for this first-of-its-kind event is proof of that.
"Our pitchers worked very hard (in) the Tokyo Dome and I think they gave their 110 percent," Kim said. "They did their very best, and that's how we got to be where we are."
They definitely got where they are under the radar.
"I don't want to say they're a surprise to the tournament," Team USA manager Buck Martinez said, "but to be 6-0 at this point of the tournament has to be considered a surprise, given the fact they have beaten Japan twice.
"It's a very talented team, very disciplined and obviously very well prepared."
|Who's Hot: After six games, seven of Korea's 13 pitchers still have not allowed an earned run. Chan Ho Park leads the way with 10 scoreless innings. 1B Seung-Yeop Lee leads all Classic hitters with five home runs.|
|Who's Not: Designated hitter Hee-Seop Choi is 4-for-19 (.211) with one home run, four RBIs and struck out five times. SS Jin Man Park is 3-for-19 (.158) with no RBIs.|
|How They Got Here: Only unbeaten (6-0) team in the tournament. Defeated Chinese Taipei, China and Japan in Round 1 and then defeated Mexico, the United States and Japan in Round 2.|
|Stat Fact: Opposing batters are hitting .180 against Korea's pitchers.|
|Keys to Victory: As long as Korea keeps getting lights-out pitching, the road to the championship should be smooth.|
|Game 1 starter: Not even manager In Sik Lee's hairdresser knows the answer to that one. But a good guess would be right-hander Jae Seo, who has surrendered one earned run in his two victorious Classic starts.|