The black bear corps led by the director of ‘Gom Mask’ (a fox in a bear’s mask) was also strong in the fall. They made it to the playoffs seven years in a row.
The Doosan Bears played against the LG Twins, placed 3rd in the regular league, in the third round of the 2021 KBO League postseason semi-playoff (best-of-two) held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium, which was packed with full audiences (23,800 people) for the first time in two years on the 7th. They beat it 10-3. Doosan, which has continued the formula for the winning team in the first game to advance to the playoffs 100%, will aim to advance to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years against the Samsung Lions (2nd place in the regular league). This year’s playoffs will be held on the 9th at Daegu Lions Park in a best-of-two system.
Doosan Table Setters No. 1 and No. 2 didn’t just set the table. Su-bin ‘Chu Soo-bin’, who showed excellent defense several times in the postseason, flew his body one or two times in a row on this day and caught the batted ball. It was a ‘super catch’ that defeated LG’s early spirit. In the at bat, he also played an active role with 3 hits in 5 at-bats, 4 RBIs and 2 runs, including a sweeping triple in the first 5 innings with 2 full bases leading 6-1. He was also the semi-playoff Most Valuable Player (MVP). Jose Miguel Fernandes, in the second batting order, took the lead with a double from right middle in the first inning without a hitch at second base, and in the third inning, he made a two-run shot. In the 5th inning, he recorded a just-time hit that gave the team a double-digit score. 5 at-bats, 3 hits and 4 RBIs.
On the other hand, LG was still unable to escape from ‘constipation baseball’. In the bottom of the first inning, Kim Min-seong withdrew with a strikeout of a swing, and Kim Hyeon-soo was the only outfielder in the 2nd and 1st and 2nd bases at the bottom of the second inning, who fell 0-3. At the bottom of the 3rd inning, 2 out 1st and 2nd baseman Moon Seong-joo struck out and continued to miss the opportunity to score in the early stages.
Doosan manager Kim Tae-hyung has been playing fall baseball for the 7th year since his debut as the head coach (2015). On the other hand, LG coach Ryu Ji-hyeon is a novice manager who will play the postseason for the first time this year. The autumn baseball experience of the two commanders was revealed at the time of pitching change.
Manager Kim replaced starting pitcher Kim Min-gyu with the most trusted bullpen pitcher Lee Young-ha right away in the second inning after Kim Min-gyu was shaken at the end of the first inning. It was a bold choice despite the accumulated fatigue of the bullpen during the wild card game. Lee Young-ha blocked 4 innings (66 pitches) with 2 hits and no runs in 4 4 balls.
Ryu’s pitching replacement timing was delayed by one beat. Starter Chan-gyu Lim faced Fernandes, who conceded a double in the previous at-bat, in the first half of the third inning, but did not move. Eventually, after a home run to Fernandes, Andrew Suarez, who had only two days off, was mounded. In the beginning of the 5th inning, behind 1-4, Kim Yoon-sik, not Pil Seung-jo, was placed on the mound. In a game that requires an all-out battle, he drew out a second card, not the best card, and conceded 6 points only in the 5th inning, further leaning towards the win.
LG played the semi-playoff game without a starting shortstop as Oh Ji-hwan suffered a collarbone injury at the end of the regular season. Koo Bon-hyeok, who was replaced by Oh Ji-hwan, made small mistakes in defense. It wasn’t just Koo Bon-hyuk. Even third baseman Kim Min-seong was shaken, and in the 5th inning of Game 3, he missed Park Gye-beom’s batted ball in the 5th inning, providing an excuse for a big inning. In the first game, LG also lost due to an error by second baseman Jung Joo-hyeon, widening the score gap.
Oh Ji-hwan’s vacancy was also felt in the attack. Bon-hyuk Koo recorded no hits in eight at-bats during the first and third games, and was unable to draw a single hit. Without a foreign hitter and Oh Ji-hwan, LG Tasoon continued to accumulate only remaining bases (13 in the third game) with a frustrating attack, and eventually lost to Jamsil’s rival Doosan in the semi-playoffs for the second year in a row.