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Teams unveil starting rotations for baseball championship series

All Headlines 18:24 November 04, 2014

DAEGU, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- The two contestants in the South Korean baseball championship final unveiled their starting rotations on Tuesday, moments before the start of their first game.

The first game of the Korean Series between the Samsung Lions, the three-time defending Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) champs, and the Nexen Heroes, is scheduled to begin later Tuesday at Daegu Stadium, the Lions' home some 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The Lions will start right-hander Rick van den Hurk, the league leader in ERA and strikeouts, and the Heroes will counter with left-hander Andy Van Hekken, the KBO's only 20-game winner this year.

Samsung manager Ryu Joong-il said he will use a four-man rotation during the best-of-seven series. After van den Hurk, right-hander Yun Sung-hwan, lefty Jang Won-sam and righty J.D. Martin will take the mound.

Bae Young-soo, a starter during the regular season, will move to the bullpen.

The Lions posted the best team ERA in the regular season at 4.52.

Ryu said he thought about sending Martin to the bullpen but decided to stick with the American because "he is a breaking ball pitcher who doesn't throw hard."

Nexen manager Yeom Kyung-yup said he will have a three-man rotation. After Van Hekken, it will be right-hander Henry Sosa in Game 2 and left-hander Oh Jae-young.

If the series goes the distance, Van Hekken is slated to make three starts, in Games 1, 4 and 7.

Yeom said he's confident Van Hekken, 35, could pitch on short rest during the Korean Series.

"He had about 10 days off before the start of our previous playoff series, and only made one start there," Yeom said. "I think he should be able to go on three days' rest in the Korean Series. It depends on how he feels and how well he can pitch, and I think Van Hekken will pull that off."

The Heroes' rotation is thinner than the Lions', though Oh got a surprise victory over the LG Twins in Game 3 of the previous round. In that series, Sosa started Game 1 and then Game 4 on three days' rest.


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