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Baseball manager enjoys unexpected day off from grind of championship battle

2018/11/09 16:39

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By Yoo Jee-ho

INCHEON, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- Trey Hillman was scheduled to manage his SK Wyverns baseball club in a South Korean league championship series on Thursday, before Mother Nature intervened.

The fourth game of the Korean Series between the Wyverns and the Doosan Bears was postponed due to rain, and will instead be played on Friday at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul.

And Hillman said he made the most of his unexpected day off from the postseason grind.

"(My wife and I) went out and had a great night of Korean barbecue," the American manager said in his pre-game media session Friday. "We had four steaks. We figured we should have at least four steaks because it's Game 4. Every bite was delicious."

  

Trey Hillman, manager of the SK Wyverns, speaks to reporters before Game 4 of the Korean Series against the Doosan Bears at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Nov. 9, 2018. (Yonhap) Trey Hillman, manager of the SK Wyverns, speaks to reporters before Game 4 of the Korean Series against the Doosan Bears at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, on Nov. 9, 2018. (Yonhap)

The rescheduling from Thursday's rainout means Game 5 has been pushed back to 2 p.m. on Saturday here, instead of 6:30 p.m. Friday, and that suits Hillman just fine.

"The thing I really like about the rainout is ... I love day games, especially playoff baseball," Hillman said. "We have a day game here tomorrow. I am excited about that."

   The Wyverns will face right-hander Josh Lindblom, who was initially scheduled to pitch in Game 5 Friday but has been moved up to Game 4 because of the rainout. Lindblom was the regular season ERA champion at 2.88, but was the losing pitcher in Game 1 of the Korean Series last Sunday, when he was charged with five earned runs in 6 1/3 innings.

Hillman said he was still wary of the fact that Lindblom has been tough against right-handed batters, which prompted him to insert left-handed hitting Park Seung-wook into the lineup as No. 9 hitter.

"Josh has a pretty long history of being difficult on right-handed hitters. He's been very stingy with them," Hillman said. Lindblom held right-handed batters to a .216 batting average during the regular season, the second-lowest mark among qualified starters.

Lindblom has struggled against the Wyverns at SK Happy Dream Park, where he served up three homers in 16 innings while posting a 5.06 ERA.

Hillman's club belted three home runs in Wednesday's 7-2 victory here, and said wind may come into play in Friday's game.

"I think wind will play a factor in tonight's game. It's blowing out hard to left," he said. "It's also a little cooler than I thought it was going to be. We'll see how that plays out."

   jeeho@yna.co.kr

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