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Winning pitcher exploits opponents' aggressive approach in Korean Series

All Headlines 22:34 October 28, 2017

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) -- In picking up a victory for the Kia Tigers in the Korean Series on Saturday, left-hander Pat Dean said he exploited aggressive appoach by the opposing hitters on the Doosan Bears.

Dean picked up the win in the Tigers' 6-3 victory in Game 3 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. He was charged with three earned runs in seven innings -- one of them scored after he left the game in the eighth -- on six hits and two walks. He struck out three as the Tigers now lead the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) championship series two games to one.

And Dean was a picture of efficiency in this one. Or from another perspective, the Bears' hitters actually helped Dean by swinging early in the count and making weak contact.

Dean said his plan all along was to attack the zone early.

"Those guys were being very aggreesve and swinging early, and they put the ball in play," said Dean, named the Player of the Game for his efforts. "Luckily, a lot of it was weak contact, and they hit balls that our guys could get to. The plan from the beginning was to stay aggressive and try to execute my pitches."

Dean mostly cruised through seven innings. He needed just 88 pitches for those seven frames, and save for Nick Evans' solo home run in the seventh, the Bears didn't hit Dean all that hard.

Pat Dean of the Kia Tigers throws a pitch against the Doosan Bears in the bottom of the first inning in Game 3 of the Korean Series at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)

And the pitcher said he actually made a good pitch against Evans and the hitter just "put a really good swing on it."

Dean was lifted with the Tigers leading 4-2 in the eighth, after giving up a leadoff single and a walk. Three relievers took care of business, though left-hander Sim Dong-sub let in an inherited runner to make it 4-3.

Dean and the rest of the Tigers could breathe a bit easier after Na Ji-wan delivered a pinch-hit, two-run home run in the top ninth. Dean said he never lost faith in his teammates to come through.

"I felt terrible coming out of the eighth inning and leaving it the way I did, putting all the pressure on the bullpen," Dean said. "And I can't thank those guys (from the bullpen) enough for going out there and finishing the inning off. And once (Na) hit that home run, I thought the game was over. That was definitely a huge relief."

Dean had a tough act to follow, after Game 2 starter Yang Hyeong-jong twirled a complete game shutout in a 1-0 win. Dean said he was inspired by that rousing performance for his own turn in the rotation, and he knew the vaunted Bears' offense could be contained.

"It definitely helped show that these guys are human, too," Dean said. "Yang shut those guys down and showed that we can pitch these guys, as long as we execute pitches and stay aggressive. That's what Yang did. I was trying to match that and give the team a chance to win."

Pat Dean of the Kia Tigers (L) talks to his catcher Kim Min-sik as he leaves the field in the bottom of the eighth inning in Game 3 of the Korean Series against the Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)


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