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Tigers pounce, Heroes fall and Eagles clipped

The Hanwha Eagles had a lot to look forward to this season: They brought in Korean pitching legend Park Chan-ho as a starting pitcher and saw their veteran slugger Kim Tae-kyun return from his two-year run in Japan.

But the Eagles just can’t seem to pull themselves up. Although it is still early in the season, the team has an abysmal winning percentage and is in danger of repeating its 2009-2010 last-place slump.

However, Kim continues to dominate the batting race with a .435 batting average and a .521 on-base percentage. Both stats are well above contenders Lee Seung-yeop’s batting average of .364 for the Samsung Lions and Kang Jung-ho’s .443 on-base percentage for the Nexen Heroes. Also, the team has the second-highest batting average this season, and the highest team OPS.

But the offense’s albatross is its defense, which has some of the worst stats in the league. The Hanwha Eagles have the highest team ERA with 4.92, 0.6 points more than the second-highest team, and also lead with 40 home runs allowed.

However, things may be looking up for Hanwha now that it has finished off a week with a three-game winning streak for the first time this season against Nexen.

But the Eagles’ wins seemed to be a turning point for the Nexen Heroes. The Heroes had enjoyed a moment of glory with eight straight wins, placing the team at top of the standings for the first time in years. Since their loss to the LG Twins before the Hanwha Eagles game, the Heroes have been on a downhill slide which may only get steeper as the team faces the Wyverns, last year’s runners-up, on Tuesday.

The Kia Tigers have enjoyed a sudden boost from seventh to fourth in the league after winning all their games last week. Many attribute the winning streak to the return of third baseman and power hitter Lee Bum-ho, who led the team’s charge to bring up the batting average from last to sixth in just a week.

By Robert  Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)
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