Wyverns to take on Giants in second round

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Wyverns to take on Giants in second round

Will it be the offense of the Busan Lotte Giants or the defense of the Incheon SK Wyverns?

The two opposing-style teams from the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) square off in the second round of playoffs at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on Sunday.

The winner of this best-of-five series will face regular season champion Daegu Samsung Lions in the Korean Series.

The Giants have been waiting for 10 days to find out who their challenger in the second-round playoff will be after clinching second place in the regular season. The Wyverns reached the second round after thrashing the Gwangju Kia Tigers 8-0 on Wednesday to end the first-round playoff series 3-1.

This is the first time the two teams will play each other in the postseason. In the regular season they clashed 19 times, with the Wyverns leading by 10 wins with one draw.

However, baseball pundits say the Giants, led by manager Yang Seung-ho, are considered to have better batting power than the Wyverns.

This season, the Giants topped four offensive categories - batting average (.288), home runs (111), slugging percentage (.422) and runs (713). Its offense is highlighted by first baseman Lee Dae-ho who was first in batting average (.357) and second in home runs (27) and RBI (113).

But the Wyverns interim manager Lee Man-soo said that he isn’t afraid of the Giants’ batting power because of their solid pitchers.

“I believe in my players and they do well whenever facing Lotte,” Lee told Ilgan Sports, JoongAng Ilbo’s daily sports newspaper, on Wednesday. “I’m not really worried about playing against the Giants.”

The Wyverns, who took third in the regular season, was second in team ERA (3.59), thanks to its bullpen pitchers such as Jung Woo-ram who finished first in holds (25).

The team’s defense is also solid, having committed 38 errors less than the Giants in the regular season.

The Wyverns will start lefty ace Kim Kwang-hyun, while the Giants are expected to send Jang Won-jun.

By Joo Kyung-don [kjoo@joongang.co.kr]
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