2015 Korean Series
The 2015 Korean Series is the 33nd Korean Series. The Samsung Lions were trying to become the first team to win five straight Series; the Doosan Bears were trying to end the streak, having lost to Samsung in 2013. Doosan managed to stop their streak and won their first title since 2001.
The Doosan Bears, managed by Tae-hyeong Kim, won their first title since 2001, having made several Korean Series in recent years only to fall short. Hyun-soo Kim (.326/.438/.541, 28 HR, 103 R, 121 RBI) and Eui-ji Yang (.326/.405/.523, 20 HR, 93 RBI) led the offense, while Hee-kwan Yoo (18-5, 3.94) finished second in the 2015 KBO in wins and Hyun-seung Lee (3-1, 18 Sv, 2.89) led the bullpen. They were third in the regular season at 79-65 but upset the second-place NC Dinos in the playoffs after beating the Nexen Heroes in the prior round.
The Samsung Lions were 88-56 to finish first in the regular season, earning a spot directly in the Series. They were managed by Jung-il Ryu Yamaico Navarro (.287/.393/.596, 126 R, 137 RBI, 48 HR, 22 SB) was second in the league in home runs and third in runs and RBI, Hyung-woo Choi (.318/.402/.563, 33 HR, 94 R, 123 RBI) was 5th in homers and RBI, Ja-wook Koo (.349/.417/.534) was third in average, Hae-min Park (.293/.362/.362, 96 R) led with 60 steals and veterans Seung-yeop Lee (.332/.387/.562, 26 HR, 90 RBI), Seok-min Park (.321/.441/.551, 26 HR, 90 R, 116 RBI) and Tae-in Chae (.348/.408/.4770 added to the potent offense. On the mound, Alfredo Figaro (13-7, 3.38) was third in ERA, Seung-hwan Yoon (17-8, 3.86) third in wins and Woo-chan Cha (13-7, 4.79) led with 194 strikeouts while the bullpen had save leader Chang-yong Lim (5-2, 33 Sv, 2.83), hold leader Ji-man An (4-3, 3.33) and Geun-hong Park (2-2, 2.96). Unfortunately for Samsung, just prior to the Series, Yoon, Lim and An were suspended for a suspected role in a gambling scandal, really hampering their pitching.
- October 26: Lions 9, Bears 8. Game 1 was a real slugfest, keeping with the high-scoring nature of the KBO in recent years. Doosan jumped on Figaro early as 3B Kyoung-min Hur homered with one out, then they had three straight hits from RF Byung-hun Min, LF Hyun-soo Kim and C Yang to make it 2-0. In the top of the second, 1B Jae-il Oh and SS Jae-ho Kim walked, CF Soo-bin Jung doubled in Oh and Hur singled in two more runs for a 5-0 lead. Samsung closed it to 5-2 in the bottom of the third against Yoo on a single by C Ji-young Lee, a RBI double by SS Sang-soo Kim and a RBI single by RF Han-lee Park.
In the top of the 4th, Jung and Hur singled and Min singled in Jung to chase Figaro after 10 hits and 6 runs in 3 1/3 IP in a his shortest outing of the year. In the bottom of the 4th, 3B Seok-min Park homered, DH Seung-yeop Lee doubled and 1B Chae singled to make it 6-4. Doosan got their last runs in the top of the 6th off Geun-hong Park on a walk to Jae-ho Kim, Jung getting hit by pitch, Hur drawing a walk and Hyun-soo Kim lashing a two-run single for a 8-4 cushion.
It wasn't cushiony enough, though, as Samsung roared back in the bottom of the 7th. Han-lee Park singled to chase Yoo after 106 pitches. Deok-joo Ham relieved and hit PH Young-seop Bae then served up a 3-run bomb to 2B Navarro. After an out, Han walked Seok-min Park. The offense continued with a single and a wild pitch. Ji-young Lee hit a grounder back to the mound for what should have been an inning-ending out but 1B Oh made an error on the catch, scoring two runs to put Samsung ahead for the first time, 9-8.
Doosan had a chance in the top of the 8th when Hur reached again, as did Min, bringing up the 4th and 5th hitters with one out but Cha struck out Hyun-soo Kim and retired Eui-ji Yang. Cha then fanned the side in the 9th for the save. Jeong-hyeon Baek got the win.
- October 27: Bears 6, Lions 1. Dustin Nippert stretched his postseason shutout streak to 24 innings, blanking Samsung for 7 frames on 3 hits and 2 walks, shutting down the mighty attack at Daegu Stadium. Meanwhile, Won-sam Jang matched him for four innings but faded in the 5th. 2B Jae-won Oh doubled and advanced on a fly from 1B Deibinson Romero then scored on a single by SS Jae-ho Kim (who would finish 2 for 2 with 2 runs, a RBI and strong defense at short). 3B Hur singled, as did RF Kun-woo Park. CF Min singled in two and LF Hyun-soo Kim singled in another for a 4-0 lead. In the top of the 7th, Chang-min Shim plunked Jae-ho Kim. Hur laid down a bunt and Shim threw to second but both runners were safe. Kun-woo Park walked, then Min hit a sacrifice fly. In the top of the 8th, they scored again when Hur singled in Oh. Samsung got their only run with two outs in the bottom of the 9th when DH Seung-yeop Lee singled home PR Chan-do Park.
- October 29: Bears 5, Lions 1. As the Series moved to Seoul and Jamsil Stadium, Doosan gave the 25,000 fans something to cheer about. They started off on a bad note as LF Koo opened with a single off Won-jun Jang, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a one-out hit by 2B Navarro. Jang settled down after that, giving up only four more hits, one walk and no more runs in the next 7 1/3 innings.
The Bears took the lead in the 4th. Tyler Cloyd walked LF Hyun-soo Kim and C Yang and 2B Jae-won Oh bunted them over. RF Kun-woo Park then had a broken-bat, two-run single to right-center. In the 5th, Doosan added insurance. DH Jung doubled and 3B Hur got hit. CF Min, yesterday's big RBI man and the #3 batter, bunted the men over. Cloyd intentionally walked Hyun-soo Kim but Yang made him pay with a sacrifice fly. Cloyd finished with five walks and three runs in five innings.
The Lions got two men in scoring position in the 6th but 3B Seok-min Park grounded out to end the threat. In the bottom of the 6th, PH Jae-il Oh drew a one-out walk from Shim. SS Jae-ho Kim bunted down the third base line and Seok-min Park let it go for an infield hit, hoping it would roll foul instead. Jung then drew yet another walk from Samsung's hurlers. Hur grounded to Navarro, who got an out at second, but his threw back to first went wild for a run-scoring error. Samsung loaded the bases in the 9th against Hyun-seung Lee but Koo grounded out to end it.
- October 30: Bears 4, Lions 3. Doosan moved one win from their first title in 14 years with a close game today. In the bottom of the first, DH Jung and 3B Hur singled off Figaro and CF Min bunted them over. LF Hyun-soo Kim hit one down the first-base line and 1B Koo made a great stop and touched the base, but his threw home went wild and both runners scored. In the top of the second, Samsung took the lead. 3B Seok-min Park and DH Seung-yeop Lee reached base, then RF Han-lee Park walked. A wild pitch by Hyun-ho Lee made it 2-1. C Ji-young Lee reached. After an out, Koo redeemed himself for the error with a two-run single. That knocked out Hyun-ho Lee after 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 runs in 1 2/3 IP. He was relieved by Kyung-eun Noh, who would toss 5 2/3 shutout innings for the win.
In the bottom of the 4th, Doosan knotted the score when C Yang hit into a run-scoring double play, bringing home Min. In the 5th, Jung and Hur had two-out singles off Figaro (Hur reaching 28 postseason hits, a new Korean record for a single postseason), chasing him early again (7 H in 4 2/3 IP). Cha relieved but Min greeted him with a liner off Seok-min Park's glove and into left field for a 4-3 lead.
Samsung had some chances to even the Series. In the top of the 8th, with CF Bae aboard, Navarro smashed a long drive over the fence, but just a tad foul. That scared Tae-hyeong Kim enough to yank Noh in favor of closer Hyun-seung Lee. Lee promptly retired #3 hitter Navarro and cleanup man Hyung-woo Choi to end the threat. In the 9th, with one out, Hyun-seung Lee gave up three straight singles to backup DH Hae-min Park, Han-lee Park and Ji-young Lee. SS Sang-soo Kim grounded to Hur at third and Hur threw home to force Hae-min Park and keep the lead. That brought up Koo, both goat and hero today and the same player who ended game 3 with the bases loaded. Hyun-seung Lee again retired him, this time on a grounder to finish with a five-out save.
- October 31: Bears 13, Lions 2. Yoo tossed a strong game (2 R in 6+ IP) and got support from Series MVP Jung (3-for-5, 4 RBI) most notably. Nippert (2 1/3 IP) and Hyun-seung Lee (2/3 IP) provided scoreless relief, while LF Hyun-soo Kim (3 for 4, 2 RBI) and 2B Jae-won Oh (3 RBI) also contributed at the plate. Jang was hammered for 8 hits and 7 runs in 2 2/3 IP for the loss.
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