After rainouts, KBO takes to the diamonds againBecause of rain, six games were cancelled last week. The Nexen Heroes, LG Twins and KT Wiz played only three games, which might force tight schedules later in the regular season.
The defending champion Samsung Lions managed to keep their lead, but this week will be critical for them to solidify their No. 1 ranking in the league standings. The Lions host the No. 3 NC Dinos beginning Tuesday and then face the No. 2 Doosan Bears at Jamsil Baseball Stadium beginning Friday.
The Lions are only one game ahead of the Bears and 1.5 games in front of the Dinos. They are 5-4 against the Dinos and 5-2 against the Bears so far.
The Lions lead the league in team batting with a .298 average. Rookie Koo Ja-wook is hitting .418 so far in July to lead the team’s offense, but the problem is pitching. Lions pitchers have allowed 26 home runs and an ERA of 5.51 this month.
Before meeting the Lions this weekend, the Bears host the Hanwha Eagles beginning Tuesday. The Bears are 26-16 at home and 5-2 against the Eagles this year. They hope starting pitcher Dustin Nippert will be back in the lineup this week after an injury.
The Dinos will host the Nexen Heroes after their series with the Lions. They have not lost to the Heroes this season, going 6-0.
The No. 8 Lotte Giants start the week by hosting the No. 9 LG Twins. Both teams won their last two games; they are 4-4 against each other.
BY JOO KYUNG-DON [email@example.com]