2016 Korean Series

From BR Bullpen

The 2016 Korean Series was the 34th Korean Series. The Doosan Bears defended their 2015 Korean Series title with a sweep, beating the NC Dinos, a newcomer to the Series. It was the first Series sweep in six years.

The Teams[edit]

Doosan Bears[edit]

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The Doosan Bears, managed by Tae-hyeong Kim, were 93-50-1 to finish first in the 2016 KBO. They led the league easily in offense with 935 runs, by 78 runs. The team average was a league-best .298 and their staff allowed a league-low 682 runs, pacing the circuit with a 4.45 ERA. Five players hit 20+ homers: Jae-hwan Kim (.325/.407/.524, 107 R, 124 RBI, 37 HR) was third in the league in homers and RBI and he was supported by Jae-il Oh (.316/.411/.592), Kun-woo Park (.335/.390/.550), Eui-ji Yang (.319/.404/.569) and Nick Evans (.308/.410/.565). Their staff was dominant as Dustin Nippert (22-3, 2.98) led the league in wins and ERA, Michael Bowden (18-7, 3.80) was second in wins and led with 160 strikeouts and Hae-kwan Yoo (15-6, 4.41) and Won-jun Chang (15-6, 3.32) tied for third in wins, Chang also finishing second in ERA. They were the first KBO team with four hurlers winning 15+ games. Hyun-seung Lee (1-4, 4.84) was 5th with 25 saves.

NC Dinos[edit]

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The NC Dinos were guided by Kyung-moon Kim and finished second in the regular season at 83-58-3 then topped the LG Twins 3 games to 1 in the playoffs. They were second in Doosan in both offense (857) and pitching/defense (690 runs allowed, 4.48 ERA). It was only their fourth season in the league, having joined in 2013 as an expansion team. Eric Thames (.321/.427/.679) tied for the home run lead (40), tied for second in runs (118) and was 4th in RBI (121) while Seok-min Park hit .307/.404/.578 and Sung-bum Na (.309/.388/.497) was 4th with 116 runs. Eric Hacker (13-3, 3.45) was the top starter while Chang-min Lim (1-3, 26 Sv, 2.57) tied for third in saves.

The Games[edit]

  • October 29: Bears 1, Dinos 0. The Series ended with a strong pitching duel at Jamsil Stadium between imports Nippert and Zach Stewart. Nippert threw a no-hitter for six innings before SS Min-woo Park singled and allowed only two hits in eight before Yong-chan Lee relieved and turned in 2 1/3 shutout innings, giving up one hit. Meanwhile, NC's Stewart tossed six shutout innings, if not quite as sharp as Nippert and Jong-hyun Won and Min-ho Lee combined for four shutout innings of relief. In the top of the 10th, Jong-ho Kim got to third for the Dinos with one out but was caught in a rundown on Seong-wook Kim's grounder and was retired. In the top of the 11th, NC got two on with one out. Hyun-seung Lee relieved Yong-chan Lee and got RF Na to hit into a rally-killing 6-3 double play. In the bottom of the 11th, the Dinos turned to closer Lim. 3B Kyoung-min Hur singled for his third hit, equaling the NC team total. SS Jae-ho Kim hit a towering fly to CF but Seong-wook Kim lost it in the lights and it dropped in a single. Both runners advanced on a fly by CF Kun-woo Park then 2B Jae-won Oh was intentionally walked. 1B Jae-il Oh hit a game-ending sacrifice fly to make it the first Korean Series game to end on a sacrifice fly.
  • October 30: Bears 5, Dinos 1. After a first pitch by golfing star In-bee Park, Won-jan Chang turned in a fine start for Doosan, allowing only one run in 8 2/3 IP before Hyun-seung Lee closed it out. In the 4th, the Bears took the lead as RF Byung-hun Min, LF Jae-hwan Kim and DH? Evans all singled off Hacker and C Eui-ji Yang had a one-out single. NC tied it in the 8th, though, when LF Jong-wook Lee singled in Chang-min Mo. In the bottom of the 8th, Doosan scored four times. Hacker hit CF Kun-woo Park, who advanced on a sacrifice and a grounder. A wild pitch scored Park. Jae-hwan Kim then homered. Hacker was relieved and Doosan notched two insurance runs off the bullpen, Yang getting his third hit and second RBI.
  • November 1: Bears 6, Dinos 0. Going on the road at Masan Stadium did not slow the Bears or their superb staff as Bowden fanned 11 in 7 2/3 IP and Yong-chan Lee struck out two more in closing it up, combining on another three-hitter. 3B Hur drove in three.
  • November 2: Bears 8, Dinos 1. Doosan's starters turned in yet another gem as Hee-kwan Yoo tossed five shutout innings (3 H, 2 BB, 5 K) to give the starters one run only in 29 1/3 IP. Hyun-seung Lee then pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings, fanning four, before Yong-chan lee allowed a homer in the 9th to Thames, only the second run allowed by Doosan in 38 innings. In the top of the 2nd, C Eui-ji Yang homered off Stewart; he would go 3 for 4 and win Series MVP. In the top of the 6th, Yang singled in one run and Hur drove in two on a double. In the bottom of the sixth, NC got their best shot with two aboard and none out but their big three - Na, Thames and Seok-min Park - were retired by Hyun-seung Lee. In the top of the 9th, Jae-won Oh hit a three-run homer for extra insurance.
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