Hanwha Eagles face tough week in race for fifth place

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Hanwha Eagles face tough week in race for fifth place

The Hanwha Eagles have been the most eye-catching team this season.

The Daejeon-based club has been the league’s worst team for the last three years, but with new manager Kim Sung-keun, the team has been sitting in fifth place - the last ranking still eligible for a playoff wildcard spot - until the middle of the season.

However, the team is falling apart as the season enters its second half. In their last 10 games, the team only collected two wins and are now 1.5 games behind the fifth-place Kia Tigers.

The Eagles will have a critical week ahead as they face the top three teams in the league. They first host the No.1 Samsung Lions on Tuesday and Wednesday. They will then travel to Changwon, South Gyeongsang, to face the No. 2 NC Dinos before meeting the No.3 Doosan Bears in Seoul over the weekend.

The Eagles are 7-6 against the Lions, but they are trailing the Dinos 4-7 and the Bears 4-6.

Former New York Yankees pitcher Esmil Rogers, who joined the Eagles earlier this month, is the only reliable starting pitcher for the Eagles. He is going 3-0 with a 1.31 ERA in 4 games. Two of his wins were nine-inning shutouts.

The Tigers will try to defend their fifth position from the Eagles. The Tigers start the week with four away games against the SK Wyverns in Incheon and KT Wiz in Suwon, Gyeonggi.

Over the weekend, the Tigers host the Nexen Heroes, but the team is 4-10 against the Mokdong-based club.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [joo.kyungdon@joongang.co.kr]

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