Sosa to face VandenHurk in Game 5 show­down

JoongAng Daily - - Front Page - BY KIM BONG-MOON bong­

This year’s Korean Se­ries hasn’t come to a quick con­clu­sion. After ty­ing 2-2 in the four pre­vi­ous games, Sam­sung and Nexen will send out Rick VandenHurk and Henry Sosa, re­spec­tively, as starters in Game 5 tonight at the neu­tral Jam­sil Base­ball Sta­dium in south­east­ern Seoul.

Both for­eign pitch­ers are well known for their pow­er­ful fast­balls with speed of 93 miles per hour or faster.

Six-foot-six VandenHurk’s fast­balls come from up high, mak­ing them dif­fi­cult for bat­ters to hit. With his fast­balls, qual­ity curve­balls and slid­ers, he went 13-4 with the league-lead­ing 3.18 ERA and 180 strike­outs in the reg­u­lar sea­son.

Though the team lost, VandenHurk per­formed well in Game 1 of the se­ries. He pitched six and one-third in­nings and al­lowed only two runs and five hits.

Sosa is not as tall as VandenHurk, but he also throws vi­cious fast­balls. In the reg­u­lar sea­son, one of his pitches marked 159 kilo­me­ters per hour, about 98.8 miles per hour.

Sosa joined the He­roes in May after Bran­don Knight was re­leased from the team. The Do­mini­can lost two of his first four games, but he worked on his fast­balls and re­cov­ered to win nine games in a row, set­ting a record of con­sec­u­tive wins. In to­tal, he went 10-2 dur­ing the sea­son with a 4.61 ERA.

He took the mound in Game 2 as the starter, but his per­for­mance was worse than ex­pected. Sosa’s pitches weren’t fast enough and he al­lowed six runs in only two and two-third in­nings.

But Nexen’s Man­ager Yeom Kyungyeop has said he doesn’t have any doubts in Sosa’s abil­ity based on one bad per­for­mance, ex­plain­ing that he was too ner­vous be­cause he hasn’t pitched well against Sam­sung this sea­son. Sosa has pitched in three games against Sam­sung this year, but did not have any wins or losses with a 6.00 ERA.

The se­ries now moves to Jam­sil Sta­dium, home of the Doosan Bears and LG Twins and neu­tral ter­ri­tory for the two con­tes­tants. Both teams could need two more wins to take the be­stof-seven Korean Se­ries. Sam­sung is fight­ing to keep the ti­tle for the fourth con­sec­u­tive year, and Nexen is go­ing for its first Korean Se­ries ti­tle since the team was es­tab­lished in 2008.

The two teams split Games 3 and 4 held at Nexen’s Mok­dong Base­ball Sta­dium in Seoul. Nexen’s ace pitcher Andy Van Hekken, who is the league’s only 20-game win­ner, helped his team even the se­ries in Game 4 on Satur­day.

The Amer­i­can al­lowed no bat­ters to touch first un­til Ya­maico Navarro hit a solo homer in the sev­enth in­ning. The He­roes topped the Lions 9-3 with three homers.

Nexen had the first run of Game 3 in fifth in­ning, but Sam­sung re­versed the out­come with Park Han-yi’s tworun homer in the top of ninth in­ning when the game was in 1-1 tie. Park was se­lected as the game’s MVP.

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