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Quality starting pitching carries ball club to 5-game winning streak

2018/04/16 11:36

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SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- Quality starting pitching has been carrying the LG Twins during their five-game winning streak in the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO).

Surely, their starters have posted some quality outings. Each of the five outings by an LG starter during their current run has been "quality" by the statistical definition -- at least six innings pitched with three or fewer earned runs allowed.

Thanks to their recent surge, the Twins have improved to 10-9, tied for fourth place with the KT Wiz.

Im Chan-kyu of the LG Twins throws a pitch against the KT Wiz during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 15, 2018. (Yonhap) Im Chan-kyu of the LG Twins throws a pitch against the KT Wiz during a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 15, 2018. (Yonhap)

It began with Kim Dae-hyun and Tyler Wilson each tossing seven shutout innings last Wednesday and Thursday against the SK Wyverns.

Then to open the three-game weekend series against the KT Wiz, Cha Woo-chan threw seven innings of one-run ball. Henry Sosa matched Kim and Wilson with seven scoreless frames himself. By comparison, Im Chang-kyu's line looked mediocre -- three earned runs in six innings.

Stringing together five consecutive quality starts against the Wyverns and the Wiz is no mean feat, for those two have been among the KBO's best home run-hitting clubs this year. The Twins have a KBO-best 11 quality starts so far in 2018.

The Twins have the second-best team ERA with 4.07. Their starters have combined for a 3.75 ERA, good for third in the league. And because the starters have been going deep into games, the Twins' bullpen is ninth among 10 teams with 60 innings pitched by their relievers.

"Our starters have been outstanding, and you should always have strong starting pitching to win in this league," manager Ryu Joong-il said before Sunday's game against the Wiz at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. "We lost three in a row out of the gate, but then things began falling into place. Our starters have been pitching deep into games, and our setup men have been doing their job as well."

   Great pitching has masked issues of a middling offense, which has been the running theme for the Twins in recent years. At least during the current streak, though, the bats have come alive.

They put up 11 runs against the Wiz on Sunday and eight on Saturday.

Yoo Kang-nam of the LG Twins delivers an RBI double against the KT Wiz during the bottom of the first inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 15, 2018. (Yonhap) Yoo Kang-nam of the LG Twins delivers an RBI double against the KT Wiz during the bottom of the first inning of a Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 15, 2018. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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