Doosan Bears v Nexen Heroes, Wednesday 31st August 2011, 6.30pm

If it looks like I’m slacking a bit with these posts, that’s probably because I have been. I’ve just got back from a fortnight in the UK where amongst other things, Jen and I walked forty odd miles along Hadrian’s Wall and embarked on a culture frenzy that included Macbeth at Stratford, British Sea Power at the Galtres Festival and, in what was a bit of an unexpected bonus, Paul Daniels pulling a rabbit from a hat in a lecture hall at Edinburgh.

If I tell you that what seemed like the only low points in the entire fortnight were The Wedding Present choosing not to play Kennedy in what was an otherwise excellent Town Hall gig and the majority of the nesting birds on the Farne Islands sodding off to The Congo or somewhere the day before our boat trip to see them, then you’ll get the idea of how good it all was. The Boro had even read the script and came from behind to beat Birmingham and maintain our unbeaten record.

This pair seem to have it too good at home to want to fly South

Still, I’m sure too much excitement can’t be good for you and so once we got back to Korea I thought that I’d restore the balance a little by taking a walk along to the Jamsil Stadium to see Doosan Bears battle it out with Nexen Heroes in a sixth plays eighth encounter in the Korean Baseball League. It’s the arse end of the regular season now and with five weeks to go, the play-off positions are just about settled. The closest that any of the players in this game will get to them will be if they happen to stumble across a game on the telly whilst on their holidays. Still, even when the result matters as little to the players as it usually does to me, it’s a pleasant way to spend an evening with a few cans and a bit of a picnic.

I got there forty minutes after the start and bought a ticket for the outfield. It was definitely the smallest crowd that I’d seen at a baseball fixture, if you exclude the games on a Sunday morning played between mates down by the river. The stadium was no more than a quarter full, with the turnout from the visitors being particularly poor. I’d estimate that only around a hundred fans had made made the short trip from nearby Mokdong. Perhaps Heroes fans all fly south at this time of year too.

Nexen fans - rarer than Farne Islands cormorants.

The third innings was just drawing to a close when I took my seat and it was still scoreless. I’ve no idea who the starting pitcher for Doosan was, but he did pretty well. By the time he got the nod to sit down early in the seventh he hadn’t conceded a run and had only given up four hits.

Kim Soo Kyung was pitching for Nexen and he had a good game too. The former Rookie of the Year and veteran of four Korean Series wins back when Nexen were Hyundai Unicorns didn’t even get hit until the fourth innings, although that might be more a reflection on the Doosan batting. It was the sixth innings before he conceded the opening run of the match.

Kim Soo Kyung - Nexen Heroes

 Doosan’s Jung Soo Bin cracked one far enough to get to second and then made it to third when the next bloke in did that tippy tappy sacrificial thing. The next two fellas both got walked meaning the Bears had batters on bases one, two and three. It was all set for Kim Dong Joo to be the hero but he got caught in the deep. Choi Joon Seok had the next opportunity and Kim Soo Kyung sent him down an atrocious delivery that bounced before it got to him, deceiving the catcher behind the plate who fumbled it and allowed Jung Soo Bin to scramble home in a play that didn’t reflect at all well on the fielding side.

Jung Soo Bin gets ready to make a dash for it.

Nexen bounced back in the seventh though as one of the Doosan relief pitchers had to watch what was only his second ball being hit high into the seats near to me for two home runs. The away fans celebrated as best they could, although in the absence of any cheerleaders they struggled a bit. Mind you, Doosan weren’t much better off, their usual complement of four girls had been reduced to just the two.

Still two more than Nexen had.

The visitors held their lead until the ninth innings when Doosan somehow managed to equalise and send the game into overtime at 2-2. I must admit, it took me a bit by surprise as I don’t imagine that anyone, apart from Choi Joon Seok who scored the home run, will have been too happy about staying late in a meaningless game.

Choi Joon Seok - Doosan Bears

Still, I’m sure the additional exercise will do the Bears some good as a few of their players looked somewhat out of condition to me. Have you ever seen the Tom and Jerry cartoon where one of them, probably Tom, gets into a bit of trouble whilst ten pin bowling and gets moulded into the shape of a skittle? Well, without naming individuals, there are a couple of Bears players that look like that.

I didn’t have to hang about for long though as Nexen notched another couple of runs in the tenth to seal a 4-2 away win and send their handful of fans away happy. A rare feat when you are bottom of the league.

2 Responses to “Doosan Bears v Nexen Heroes, Wednesday 31st August 2011, 6.30pm”

  1. Martyrs Forever Says:

    Have you ever been to a Doosan reserves game out at Ichon? Boro beat Burnley which really upset me. Even Nexen win when you show up! Unbelievable!

  2. onthetrailofthelionking Says:

    The Boro are doing really well these days. Despite having to reduce the wage bill to something more appropriate for a strawberry picking farm, Tony Mowbray has got the players he can afford to keep playing good football. Away games suit us too, with the opposition usually playing that bit further forward.

    I haven’t been to Ichon, the reserve league has passed me by so far. I’d like to get around some of the smaller grounds though, so hopefully I’ll work it all out in time for next season.

    In a rare change of fortune I saw Doosan beat LG last week. It must have been down to my lucky new insulated beer bag. I’ll make a point of taking it next time too.

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