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Postseason baseball becoming reality for all 3 Seoul clubs

All Headlines 10:57 September 19, 2016

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- With each passing day, it's becoming increasingly likely that postseason baseball will be in the autumn air in the nation's capital.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) has three teams based in Seoul, and all three, the Doosan Bears, the Nexen Heroes and the LG Twins, are in position to reach the postseason through Sunday action. Of the 10 clubs, the top three get postseason berths, and the No. 4 and No. 5 clubs face each other in a wild-card game for the last playoff spot. The pennant winner advances straight to the championship Korean Series.

The last and the only time all three clubs competed in the playoffs was in 2013.

The Bears have been the dominant force at the top all season, and at 88-46-1 (wins-losses-ties), their magic number to clinch the pennant is three with nine games left. They hold a whopping 10.5-game lead over the second-place NC Dinos.

The Heroes are in third place at 73-59-1 with 11 games remaining and need just one more victory to clinch a playoff berth. They have an 11-game lead on the sixth-seed SK Wyverns.

The Twins have made a strong second-half push and are sitting in fourth place at 67-66-1. They have won four in a row and boast a 10-2 record in their last dozen games.

The Kia Tigers trail the Twins in fifth place by 2.5 games and have 11 games left, one more than the Twins. The Wyverns are 4.5 games back of the Twins but have only six games remaining. If the Twins can maintain their current pace, they likely won't fall further than fifth place at worst.

The Bears and the Twins share Jamsil Stadium in southern Seoul as their home and switch dugouts depending on which side is the home team. The Heroes are based at the brand new Gocheok Sky Dome in the western part of the city.

In 2013, the Heroes and the Bears met in the first round of the postseason as the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, and the Bears won in five games. They went on to face the Twins in what fans dubbed the "Dugout Series," and the Bears took the best-of-five series in four games.

The Bears then built a 3-1 Korean Series lead over the Samsung Lions, before losing three straight games to finish second.

No two Seoul clubs have met in the Korean Series in the KBO's 34-year history, but it could well happen this year.

The Bears are almost a lock to get the bye to the Korean Series. If the Heroes or the Twins can get past the first two rounds, then an all-Seoul showdown will materialize.

Fans take in the Korea Baseball Organization game between the home team LG Twins and the Samsung Lions at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Sept. 18, 2016. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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