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Baseball pennant winner fully ready for championship final

All Headlines 09:06 October 26, 2016

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 26 (Yonhap) -- With their opponent in the championship final determined, the Doosan Bears, South Korean baseball's pennant winner, said they're ready for the battle.

The Bears dominated the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) regular season and claimed the pennant by nine games. They had the bye to the Korean Series, and the NC Dinos earned the right to face the Bears by knocking off the LG Twins in the second round on Tuesday.

The Korean Series starts Saturday at the Bears' home, Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, and Doosan manager Kim Tae-hyung said his club's preparations "are all complete."

"We'll try to play the type of baseball we played during the regular season," Kim said in a statement released by the club immediately after the Dinos beat the Twins 8-3 in Game 4 on Tuesday. "We will go for both the pennant and the Korean Series title this year."

Kim said the Dinos were "a well-balanced club" with solid pitching and offense, and added his club would have been ready for any opponent.

The Bears finished in first place by nine games over the Dinos, at 93-50-1 (wins-losses-ties). They set the KBO's single-season record for victories, and won the season series over the Dinos at 9-7.

Kim Tae-hyung, manager of the Doosan Bears in the Korea Baseball Organization, addresses fans at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul after winning the 92nd game of the 2016 season to set a new single-season record on Oct. 4, 2016. (Yonhap)

The Bears were one of the most complete KBO clubs in recent memory, and were hardly challenged at the top of the standings.

They became the first KBO team ever to boast four 15-game winners, with Dustin Nippert (22), Michael Bowden (18), Yoo Hee-kwan (15) and Jang Won-jun (15).

Nippert (2.95), Jang (3.32) and Bowden (3.80) finished first, second and sixth in the ERA.

Kim has already decided to start right-hander Nippert in Game 1, followed by left-hander Jang in Game 2.

The manager will also go right-left with his next two starters, as Bowden is scheduled to pitch in Game 3, followed by Yoo in Game 4.

On offense, seven regulars batted over .300, and five hit at least 20 home runs, led by Kim Jae-hwan's 37.

They ranked first in team ERA (4.45), team batting average (.298), home runs (183), runs scored (935), on-base percentage (.378) and slugging percentage (.473).

Head-to-head, the Bears had a 4.11 ERA against the Dinos in 16 regular season meetings, while the Dinos had a 4.86 ERA.

The Dinos batted .245 against the Bears while hitting 17 home runs and scoring 70 times. The Bears scored 80 runs while hitting .258 and 18 home runs in their meetings with the Dinos.


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