It’s hard to quantify the emotional feeling of momentum. You can gain it or lose it for various reasons that are hard to explain. Does a player suddenly go on a streak because they learned something during batting practice? Or was it a steak made just the way they like it the night of a game that put them in the right mood and gave them just a bit of a better eye for the ball at the plate?
You can’t put into factual numbers how momentum works or is in play on an emotional level (now watch someone reply with a stat that is actually able to put this in numbers, cause, you know, baseball). But, what we do know is that momentum exists and is real.
I can’t put myself in the shoes of the Toronto Blue Jays and tell you what level of momentum they have. But, I can say this: They have a lot.
The Toronto Blue Jays are currently on what feels like an unreal run. The team is on an eight-game winning streak that has put them at an impressive 30-20. To think that before this run, they were just hardly staying afloat above .500. They’re still five games off the strong New York Yankees, but we’re too early in the year to even be discussing that.
As I wrote before – it was almost hard to believe – but the Jays had a batting issue. The starting rotation had done its job, and it was the team’s performances at the play that let them down somewhat. There are no real notes for the Jays rotation currently (except one thing that we’ll get to in a moment), and the focus remained on how the batting would improve.
The batting woes have begun to change, and some of the more unlikely names have emerged in headlines because of it. Notably, interchangeable catchers Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk have had breakout performances as of late and impressed critics.
Jansen has shown unusual improvement at the plate compared to previous years as a pro. It’s progress that has people wondering when things will change. “The big question is whether Jansen can maintain this pace, or anything remotely close to it,” said The Star’s Gregor Chisholm.
Kirk has proven to be a big bat that has also impressed. He notably hit two home runs in one game against the Chicago White Sox, making him a fundamental part of their 5-6 win Tuesday. Similar to Jansen, the question going forward will be what level of recent success can be actually maintained, and what amount is just a brief jolt in the arm that we’re seeing.
Eight in a row is glamorous on paper, but the wins haven’t always been easy. Some have been ugly, and many have been comebacks. So many of them have been close. Since the start of this run, five games have been won with a one-run differential between the two teams. My goodness. The close wins have become a reputation for the team.
That reflects their ability to perform in the clutch, but it’s also a sobering reminder that this team isn’t getting ahead as often as most successful teams. A win with a big or small margin all counts the same in the standings, but it’s tiring for the team and a sign that the team is often just a few plays away from losing in many of their successful outings. Personally, I view this as a sign that the batting still has room to improve. It’s hard to take these issues out on the bullpen when they are often allowing just a few runs.
Of course, there will always be things to worry about with the pitching. Atop the list may be the sole dent in the team’s pitching rotation currently: Ryu Hyun-jin. The leftie has patched up his rough-around-the-edges game as of late, but continues to face struggles out of his control.
After getting taken out of a game early in two consecutive instances, Ryu was put on the injured list for the second time this year. Injuries for Ryu are arguably worse than seeing him get lit up on the mound. When he was bad, it was of course argued that he can improve. There’s not much control that Ryu has over his own fate when he’s battling his own body.
Overall, the momentum of the Jays right now is undeniable. But like the streaks of Jansen and Kirk, or like the situation of Ryu’s injury, two questions are the main focus right now – how long can this go on for, and what will things be like after then?
The Toronto Blue Jays have gained a reputation over the years for being big bats and questionable arms. Wins would be when the batting did enough work to avoid a loss. Losses would be when bullpen woes or an unfortunate start undid the damage that the lineup inflicted.
But that’s not what we’ve seen recently. In fact, we’re almost seeing the inverse of that through May. Throughout the month, the Jays have reflected a team that struggles at the plate but exceeds on the mound.
The batting issues with the Jays are obviously concerning. Is “issues” the right term? Has the team truly struggled, or have they faced many of the league’s great arms and suffered due to that? The answer is likely somewhere in the middle. Whether they’re facing the best or the worse, the team certainly isn’t free from criticism.
For a team that is known to light up pitchers, there’s arguably some reason to panic when it seems like something was switched off across the entire clubhouse. One can hope that whatever issue or whatever combination of issues are holding them back, can be solved.
But until then, doom and gloom are simply not the way to look at this team. There’s a part to the club right now that is holding up their side of the deal, and arguably doing so in a much better way than we’re used to.
The Jays rotation is incredibly strong right now, and it’s hard not to sit back and view it as a delicacy.
If you’re someone who enjoys pitching, the Jays have been a treat. The starters had a good April, and May have only seen them heat up as a whole. The names who struggled at the beginning – namely Yusei Kikuchi, Hyun-jin Ryu, and Jose Berrios – have found their footing in more recent appearances.
The most reassuring performance from Ryu came Friday when he went six scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds. Not only was that his first scoreless appearance, but it was the first time he earned a decision from an appearance this season.
Berrios has yet to have his best performance of the season. His latest games have not been stellar, although they have shown improvements compared to rougher appearances earlier in the season. There is also clearly room for improvement with Kikuchi, who seems to struggle to get going early in games. But, he definitely has impressive performances under his belt at this point.
There has been little room for improvement for starters Kevin Gausman and Alek Manoah. The starters have done their job to a tee this year, and the latter name has continued to exceed the expectations of a 24-year-old that is only in his second year as an MLB player. If he can keep his current success going, which to be clear, would be incredibly hard to uphold, he will be one of the best starters in the league this year.
And one cannot discuss the pitching of the Jays without mentioning their stellar closer, Jordan Romano. The Markham-raised right-hander has truly been overworked due to the team’s high number of close-score games. But, when needed, he has done the job and put a bow on strong performances on the mound. Along with Adam Cimber, a reliever that certainly also deserves a shout, Romano has hit a stride throughout the month.
It’s valid to have concerns about how the Jays, as an overall team, are playing right now. A record just above .500 clearly won’t cut it, as it puts us seven games behind the top-ranked New York Yankees currently. However, it must be appreciated that the rotation is anything but a problem right now – and if that can remain and other holes can get fixed for the team, we’re looking at a pretty good club.
Welcome to my newest music series, 5 Albums 5 Thoughts. On a weekly basis (hopefully), I will present five music projects that I listened to recently. Four will be new, with the fifth always being a throwback.
I’ve done music reviews in the past, but it has been years now without me doing it. Hopefully, I can hone my review writing style while discovering some neat music. The obvious disclaimer to put out is that these reviews are just how I see things. They’re just opinions, they’re just my perspective and they aren’t fact.
Here’s the pilot episode.
Kanye West – DONDA
27 tracks – 01:48:48
Kanye West is controversial. He’s unpredictable. He’s often hated or dubbed ignorant for thoughts he has put into the mainstream. To some, mentioning his name in conversation is cause for eye-rolling no matter what follows.
But despite Kanye West’s dozens of controversies, he continues to have the music industry at his fingertips whenever he wants. Many complained about the roll-out of DONDA, worrying that the album would never release or that the tease for it would be too long-winded. While the promotional build-up was hard to predict at moments, in retrospect it could be dubbed a massive success.
Holding three live “listening parties” from July to August, Kanye was able to pack football venues and play his album – which was still in progress. En route to a final product abruptly dropping in late August, many were watching his every move. And despite already teasing his songs to the public, the official release of his album was still a big deal. While it’s worth hypothesizing that this path to an album release could have been why it was a hit, it’s also worth pointing out that it’s Kanye West. The worst album rollout ever could still be a success for him. But it’s an interesting debate to have.
There are mixed feelings here. There are amazing, thrilling parts of the album that feel like the innovative Kanye that everyone loves. But at other times there are long, drawn-out tracks or head-scratching editorial decisions. Spanning nearly two hours in total, it’s hard to tell how much the good outweighs the bad on this album.
Kanye doesn’t hesitate to take a backseat for a large portion of the album, allowing over two dozen famous artists to hop on tracks. This undeniable all-star team shines at moments but also has its downfalls.
In arguably his best appearance on a record since his breakthrough song “Big Drip” in 2019, Fivio Foreign teams up with Playboi Carti to deliver a strong drill track in “Off the Grid.” Carti returns just a few tracks later to seamlessly fit on “Junya,” which includes a powerful church organ in the background. Vocal talents The Weeknd and Roddy Ricch leave a mark in their respective appearances, and the same can also be said about Don Toliver’s short showing.
There are too many names to mention, but those are the most notable ones involved in the star-studded lineup.
Other cases feel confusing or borderline exploitative. “Tell the Vision” is a solo track involving the late Pop Smoke, an artist that has been stretched for two feature-length albums and a dozen-or-so features since his early 2020 passing. The team behind the song seemingly abandoned all quality control, grabbing what sounds like an unfinished demo from the Brooklyn drill artist and pairing it up with a short piano sequence. Pop’s vocals grapple with the beat, as they are often hard to hear and sometimes drowned out by background noise captured in the recording.
The final 20 minutes of the album are remixes/alternate editions of songs that come on much earlier in the project. This features DaBaby, Marilyn Manson, Jay Electronica and others. None of it brings much to the table that is worth noting.
The late tracks contribute to an issue that this album has in length. While the project certainly hit its stride at points, with some stretches of songs being a great combination, by the end it feels like a long-winded marathon that had finally come to a close. You need to dedicate a serious amount of time in your day to listen to this album and to hear it back many times after will take even more.
The generosity with features and hard-to-place theme makes it way too long and hard to enjoy front-to-back. The low points of the album take away from some really graceful high points, giving an unsatisfying feeling by the end.
Kanye is certainly back, and this album will certainly be one of the most discussed of 2021. But when comparing it to his older work, it is hard to give it high praise. The greatest moments of this album will likely be remembered by the public, with other forgettable or worth forgetting parts being discarded.
Drake – Certified Lover Boy
21 tracks – 01:26:02
Drake is one of the most popular artists in the world. It was no surprise that when his long-anticipated album Certified Lover Boy came out this weekend that it was a big deal. After all, fans had been expecting it since last year and had numerous false alarms about the album drop that kept them on their toes. Despite Drake’s album taking longer than expected, he was undoubtedly in the public eye the entire time. Fans had a lot to consume over the past year or so, being given 14-track mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes, three-song release Scary Hours 2, and numerous singles and features along the way.
Many observations about “CLB” ironically work for DONDA. Due to timing and not-so-private beef between the two artists, their two projects have been compared endlessly for the past few days as if it was some type of Verzuz between the artists.
Like Kanye West’s release, Drake’s project is long, gets tiring near the end and could have left a lot more on the cutting-room floor. With a playtime of 86 minutes and 21 songs in total, many selections go forgotten by the end of listening – even after numerous plays.
Certified Lover Boy brings a lot to the table that we have already heard. Drake’s flows, beats and style have remained quite unchanged in recent years. Sure, at moments a small tweak to the playbook makes things interesting, but otherwise, it’s what you expect. The side to Drake that still remains most fulfilling is his songwriting. The rapper often delivers clever metaphors and punchlines that, while covering the same topics over and over, at least have some change in them.
There are stretches of the album that aren’t that exciting. However, the top half of the album is where some of the stand-out tracks come in. The intro track “Champagne Poetry” is quite easily Drake’s best solo appearance on the album, flowing over two of the less aggressive tracks on the project to provide a slow and welcoming start to the endeavor. Track eight sees the official release of “Not Around,” a song that fans became familiar with before it was repackaged here as “TSU.”
In a self-aware corny flaunt, Drake teams up with Future and Young Thug for “Way 2 Sexy,” sampling “I’m Too Sexy” by Right Said Fred. It’s fun and will undoubtedly be a party track. Many tore apart the song, but I’m willing to go to bat for it. The same cannot be said for the early track “Girls Want Girls,” which is one of the more painful listens throughout. Many Drake and Lil Baby songs are safe, as they can fall into the category of good or boring – but this one takes the rare path of borderline unbearable.
Many of the songs in the second half of the album don’t add much to the album. There becomes a point in listening where the album is less of a hobby and more of a chore to listen to. The negative feelings on this album are not projected on every song in it. Instead, it goes to the numerous tracks that weigh down a few keepers.
Drake’s commercial success from this project has already been proven. He has already broken records with this project and will continue to do so. But that’s always been the headline. And fittingly, as the headlines remain the same, the music practically does as well.
Red Velvet – Queendom
6 tracks – 00:19:34
Fans of Red Velvet had a lot to look forward to in their recent EP due to the wait that came before it. A year without music from an artist might not seem like too long for some. Fans of Lorde just patiently waited out a four-year absence from their favorite New Zealand pop artist. But in K-pop, and especially the world of label SM Entertainment, the output is frequent. Red Velvet had released 13 mini-albums and two full-length albums from 2015 to 2019, making their absence in 2020 a dramatic change compared to the past. Not only did these releases stay consistent, but there was high quality to all of them.
And sure, fans got solo releases from group members and some duo projects, but nothing beats the full thing. That’s exactly what people got in August, as the group returned with Queendom.
Queendom is great. It features fun, poppy songs that cater to the “Red” theme of the group more than “Velvet.” The group continues to be an example of an act that makes start-to-finish listening experiences that put real effort into b-side songs just as much as singles – this is a reputation they have built for themselves and still reinforce to this day.
While the EP presents great tracks that will definitely be remembered, there’s a feeling that this project is hard to compare with older work. Other projects, including the incredibly special album The Perfect Red Velvet, feel like not only a big moment for the group but a big moment for the genre of K-pop. That’s an incredibly high bar to clear, and it’s likely unfair to complain that a goal like that wasn’t met on this project. There’s a lot to like here, but the excellence shown by this group in the past leaves a feeling of wanting a little more.
Queendom has been carefully approved by many critics and, as expected, loved by fans. While not providing a cutting-edge sound that has been done at times by the group, they were able to return with a satisfying sound that was welcomed with open arms by their patient, but also eager fanbase. And for people who have waited longer than any other time in their fandom for the group, that’s more than enough.
Mamiko Suzuki – ms
9 tracks – 00:33:29
Mamiko Suzuki is best known for being one-half of Japanese rap-pop duo Chelmico, but that hasn’t been her only work in music. She has featured on songs in the past and had her solo debut EP in 2017, Deep green.
With Chelmico band member Rachel on maternity leave briefly this year, it presumably freed Mamiko out of the group’s busy schedule and allowed her to make her own album – so she did. Nine-track project ms came out last month, presenting a more relaxed and laid-back style than usual. The songs on this might not be something all Chelmico fans will love. The group’s fast-paced, chaotic and often energetic style isn’t shown on this. Instead, a different side to Mamiko’s music is displayed.
Rightfully picked as the two singles for the project “Lazy river” and “じゃむ” are the biggest highlights of the track. Other standouts are “mani” and “judenchu.” While the project isn’t appealing to all or even most fans who know Mamiko from her other work, the music on this shows Mamiko’s range as an artist and is worth looking at.
Throwback of the Week: Little Brother – The Minstrel Show (2005)
17 tracks – 00:55:32
All albums have a concept, but not all can be concept albums. In the grand scheme of things, only a small percentage of albums can hold that title. It’s not an arrogant way to put down projects, as the barrier for entry of making a concept album is quite low, and the title doesn’t hold prestige.
But often concept albums aren’t carried out by artists. In some cases, they are done but not fully utilized. In The Minstrel Show, a 2005 album by rap duo Little Brother, the idea of a concept album is done masterfully. The 53-minute project plays out as a taping of a minstrel show. Using skits and subtle lines placed in tracks, the group does a great job at telling a story rich in satire.
The long-term storytelling of an entire album is not their only skill. The album ties some tracks together in clever, unrelated ways to one another that makes it an enjoyable listening experience. For example, the abrupt ending to “Beautiful Morning” picks up in “The Becoming,” with the half-delivered line in the first song being reiterated on the next under a new beat.
Following the hit song “Lovin’ It,” a one-minute skit plays that have that same song playing in the background. The skit, a father scolding their son about not picking up the phone for them, leads into “All for You,” a track about fatherhood.
On all tracks is not just an ability to maintain the concept and structure of a project, but to also tell a story over the course of a song. With just a playtime of less than an hour through 17 tracks, The Minstrel Show is a beautiful short film disguised as a hip-hop album.
Here’s a quick escape. Imagine you’re LEX or JP THE WAVY. Your agenda for the day? Find the best streetwear, jewelry and kicks. While jamming to the tropical-themed hip-hop track, take a trip with the duo as they hit up the Harajuku fashion district and get what they want.
Mix of the Week
Channel Tres – Mixmag LA rooftop bumpin’ house set
In the most high-profile interview I’ve ever had the chance to do, I spoke to Kyoji Horiguchi before he fought Kai Asakura for the RIZIN Bantamweight Championship on New Year’s Eve. Horiguchi went on to win the belt, stopping Asakura in the first round.
This story was part of a three-person project at school. I handled the video report in the article, which talks about how cooking has become more prevalent in some people’s lives since quarantine. The interviews, the script, the editing and so on I did, and I’m very happy with how it turned out. My classmates did well with their written article and interactive part of the story as well!
In a test of commitment to a project and the goal of improving coverage of baseball, I covered the 2020 KBO season for the Busan-based Lotte Giants. Staying up late, waking up early and having advertisements from the broadcasts ingrained in my head were all part of the experience.
Follow Me In 2021
I hope to put out even better work in 2021. If you would like to track my progress and see what I have coming, follow me on Twitter @JackWannan.My work is scattered through many sites, although it all gets shared there.
The Lotte Giants closed out their 2020 season on Friday with a 13-2 win over the Kia Tigers. The win for the team closed out a week-long series of games at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea.
The win for the Giants saw them take over a tied game in the sixth inning, kicking off a three-stint marathon of scoring that made the score look lopsided by the end.
The Giants were the first to score in the game, as Jeon Jun-woo hit a solo home run in the third inning.
The Tigers took their only lead within the game in the fourth inning, as a hit from Kim Min-sik scored two runners.
The Giants tied the game up in the fifth inning, as a sacrifice fly ball from Lee Dae-ho scored a runner.
Giants Take Game Over In Sixth
The sixth inning was the first inning where it was clear that the Giants would take over the game. The scoring kicked off with a two-run home run from Han Dong-hee.
Another run came in off of a hit from Jeon later in the inning.
The rally from the Giants caused the end of starting pitcher Drew Gagnon’s stint. Being given the loss in his last appearance of 2020, Gagnon finished the season with a record of 11-8.
Lee scored another run for the Giants before the inning finished, taking a runner home off of a hit.
Giants Pile On More Runs
The scoring only continued in the seventh inning. Dixon Machado put down two runs with a home run, his 12th of the season. The runs came against reliever Kim Hyun-joon, who was replaced by Park Jin-tae before the inning finished.
Jung Hoon got on the board later in the inning, driving a runner home with a hit.
Home runs from Lee Byung-kyu and An Chi-hong kicked off the eighth inning for the Giants. Hits from Han Dong-hee and Son Ah-seop took the game to its final score of 13-2.
Strong Showing By Sampson
Giants starter Adrian Sampson finished his rocky season on a high note, playing seven innings and only allowing two runs for a win. The game was only the second time in the season he pitched seven innings in one game.
Being given the win for the game, Sampson finished his 2020 season with a record of 9-12.
Giants Finish Season With Improved Seventh Place, Although Without A Playoff Spot
The Giants finished their 2020 season with a record of 71-72-1, placing them seventh in the league. While being two spots short of making the playoffs, the season is an improvement from the year before, where a 48-93-3 record put them last in the league.
The Tigers also finished the season without a playoff spot, with their 2020 record of 72-71 putting them sixth in the league. The team was not close to making the wild card spot, being eight-games behind the fifth-place Kiwoom Heroes.
Around The KBO
The close standings in the KBO for the second to fifth-ranked teams caused a dramatic final full gameday of the season.
The LG Twins had a disastrous final game of the season. Losing to the SK Wyverns 3-2, the Twins dropped from third in the league down to fourth. The implications for the loss mean the Twins won’t bypass the first round of the playoffs and instead will have to face the Kiwoom Heroes in the wild card series, which starts on November 1st.
Lead by starting pitcher Raul Alcantara, the Doosan Bears won a shutout 2-0 game over the Kiwoom Heroes. The win bumped the team up to third in the standings, allowing them to have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. The loss solidified the Heroes’ spot in the wild card round of the playoffs.
The Hanhwa Eagles finished their last-place season with an upset, defeating the KT Wiz 4-3. The Wiz will pass through the first two rounds of the playoffs, playing for a spot in the Korean Series later in November.
The top-ranked NC Dinos tied a game 4-4 against the Samsung Lions after 12 innings of play. The game saw the first start for star pitcher Koo Chang-mo after an injury took him out in July. Koo pitched five innings, giving up three runs before being pulled.
The NC Dinos took another blowout victory over the Lotte Giants on Thursday, defeating the team 11-4. The game, hosted by the Giants at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea, saw the Dinos get up by 10 runs before the Giants scored.
The top-ranked Dinos scored 10 runs in the first four innings of play. The first four runs came in the opening frame against starting pitcher Lee Seung-heon. Hits from No Jin-hyuk, Kang Jin-sung and Ji Suk-hoon all scored runs in the inning.
Lee was pulled an inning later. The short appearance was enough to give Lee the loss for the game, making his 2020 record 3-2.
The scoring picked back up in the third inning for the Dinos. The team put down three more runs in the inning. The scoring started with a two-run home run from Yang Eui-ji which made the score 6-0. Later in the inning, a hit from Kim Chan-hyung scored another run.
The lead moved into double digits an inning later after Na Sung-bum hit a home run and hits from Aaron Altherr and Kang Jin-sung scored runs.
Dinos pitcher Drew Rucinski was taken out of play after five innings. Leaving the Giants scoreless in his appearance, Rucinski was given his 19th win of the season.
The final run from the Dinos came in the eighth, as No Jin-hyuk drove home a runner with a hit.
Giants Score Runs Late
The Giants started to score late in the game, putting runs down against reliever Ryu Jin-wook in the seventh inning. Han Dong-hee scored the first run for the team with a solo home run.
A sacrifice fly ball later in the inning from Son Ah-seop scored another runner.
Two errors allowed runs to score against the Dinos in the eighth inning.
Giants To Finish Season on Friday
The Giants will finish their 2020 season on Friday with a game against the Kia Tigers. The first pitch for that game, as well as the others scheduled for Friday, is set for 6:30PM KST (5:30AM EDT).
Around The KBO
The KT Wiz won a nearly one-sided performance on Thursday, defeating the Hanhwa Eagles 12-1.
After putting down five runs in the opening inning, the Doosan Bears cruised to a 9-2 win over the Kia Tigers.
The NC Dinos handed the Lotte Giants a decisive loss on Wednesday, finishing the game with a 7-1 score to kick off a two-game series. The game was hosted by the Giants at the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea.
The Dinos gained a three-run lead early in the game against starting pitcher Choi Young-hwan. The first run was a hit in the first inning by Na Sung-bum, allowing a runner to get home.
In the third inning, a three-run home run from Yang Eui-ji gave the team a 3-0 lead.
While Choi was pulled in the fourth inning, the three runs scored in the frame were scored against him as he loaded up the bases before his departure. The inning culminated with a hit from Yang which allowed the loaded bases to reach home for the Dinos.
The game was only the sixth appearance of the year for Choi, who had only appeared as a reliever previously. Being handed the loss for his start, Choi has a 0-1 record in 2020.
The Giants scored their sole run in the game in the third, as a solo home run from Dixon Machado was hit against Song Myung-gi. Song pitched five innings in total before being taken out of the game.
The Dinos were able to put down one more run in the sixth inning as a fielding error allowed Kim Chan-hyung to reach home.
The Giants are scheduled to host a second game against the top-ranked Dinos on Thursday, with first pitch scheduled to 6:30PM KST (5:30AM EDT).
Around The KBO
Needing 11 innings to find a winner, a hit from Song Kwang-min in the 11th inning scored a runner and gave the Hanhwa Eagles a win, defeating the LG Twins 7-6.
The Kia Tigers won in walk-off fashion, as a hit from Preston Tucker scored a run in the 10th inning and gave the team a 4-3 win against the KT Wiz.
The Lotte Giants kicked off their final week of play with a walk-off 1-0 victory over the SK Wvyerns. The sole run of the game from a home run in the ninth inning came from Jeon Jun-woo, earning the Giants the win at their home park, the Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, South Korea.
The home run from Jeon, his 25th of the season, came against reliever Lee Tae-yang, who was given the loss for the game. Lee had pitched the inning before the home run as well.
Tuesday’s game was the eighth win for the Giants against the Wyverns this season out of 16 meetings.
The win for the game went to Kim Won-joong, who pitched the ninth inning for the Giants. The closer now has a 5-4 record along with 25 saves in 2020.
Leaving the game scoreless for seven innings each, starting pitchers Ricardo Pinto and Noh Kyung-eun both had good appearances on the mound.
Wyverns pitcher Pinto earned six strikeouts in his appearance, only allowing two hits through 106 pitches.
Noh allowed four hits while earning three strikeouts for the Giants.
The Giants will play their next two games against the top-ranked NC Dinos, who have clinched a fast-track to the 2020 Korean Series with a record of 81-54 so far.
The first pitch for Wednesday’s games is 6:30PM KST (5:30AM EDT).
Around The KBO
Pinch hitter Kim Min-hyeok gave the KT Wiz a final inning lead with a two-run home run, earning the team a 7-6 lead to defeat the Kia Tigers.
Lead by starting pitcher Chris Flexen, the Doosan Bears won a shutout 3-0 game over the Hanhwa Eagles.
The Samsung Lions put on a dominating performance over the NC Dinos to start the week, defeating the team 12-2.
The Lotte Giants finished their week of play with a 10-5 loss to the KT Wiz on Sunday. The one-off game on Sunday was hosted by the Wiz at the Suwon KT Wiz Park in Suwon, South Korea.
The win for the Wiz saw them up down six runs against a starting pitcher to get ahead. Their lead allowed them to take a safe win despite a late comeback attempt by the Giants.
The Wiz scored six runs against Giants starter Adrian Sampson to take a lead in the game. The scoring opened with a bang, as Yoo Han-joon hit a three-run home run in the first inning.
Scoring picked back up in the fourth inning, where hits from Jo Yong-ho and Kang Baek-ho scored three more runs. Sampson was pulled from the game after the sixth run scored against him. The loss for Sampson ended his 2020 record at 8-12.
The Giants scored their first run in the fifth inning, as Lee Byung-kyu hit a solo home run to kick off the inning. The run was the only scored against starter Bae Je-seong, who was awarded a win after playing six frames.
The Wiz scored another trio of runs in the fifth inning. After Sim Woo-jun and Hwang Jae-gyun brought in a total of three more runs, the Wiz were leading 9-1.
The final run from the Wiz came in the sixth, with a hit from Bae Jeong-dae taking a runner to home.
The Giants attempted to make a comeback late, putting down four runs in the final three innings. A double from Shin Bon-gi and a single from Son Ah-seop scored a trio of runs in the seventh. The final run was a solo home run from An Chi-hong in the ninth inning.
The Giants’ final week of play consists of four games, two of which are against the top ranked NC Dinos. Their Tuesday game is against the SK Wyverns, with their season-ending game against the Kia Tigers scheduled for Friday.
Around The KBO
The Kia Tigers won a blowout game on Sunday, defeating the Samsung Lions 10-1.
The Lotte Giants lost a one-off game to the Doosan Bears on Saturday, being defeated 2-1. The win for the Bears came at their home park, the Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul, South Korea.
Bears Score Two Runs Against Park To Win
The low-scoring victory for the Bears came from their two runs scored against Giants pitcher Park Se-woong.
The first run came in the opening inning of the game, where a sacrifice fly ball from Jose Miguel Fernandez took home a runner.
The deciding run came in the third inning, as a hit from Choi Joo-hwan a runner in.
Park played into the sixth inning before being pulled from the game. Being given the loss for the game, Park’s 2020 record is now 8-10. He has not won in his last six appearances, with his last recorded victory dating back to September 19th.
The sole run for the Giants came in the sixth inning, as a hit from Lee Dae-ho scored a runner.
Giants Finish Week Against Wiz
The Giants will finish their week of play on Sunday with a game against the KT Wiz. The first pitch for the game is scheduled for 2:00PM KST (1:00AM EDT).
Around The KBO
The NC Dinos clinched the top seed in the KBO playoffs after tying the LG Twins 3-3. Clinching the top seed advances the Dinos to the 2020 Korean Series, which is scheduled to start on November 17th.
The Samsung Lions defeated the Kia Tigers in a high-scoring game, winning 11-7.