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Losing manager in Korean Series thanks players for postseason run

All Headlines 00:25 October 31, 2017

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 31 (Yonhap) -- The Doosan Bears came up well short of winning their third straight Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) championship on Monday, but their manager Kim Tae-hyung still thanked the players for their postseason run this fall.

The Bears lost to the Kia Tigers 7-6 to bow out of the Korean Series in five games at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. It ended the Bears' bid for a rare "three-peat."

Only two teams have ever won at least three consecutive titles -- 1986-1989 Haitai Tigers and 2011-2014 Samsung Lions.

Kim took over the Bears before the 2015 season and won the Korean Series in his first two seasons. The third time wasn't quite the charm.

"I'm extremely grateful for our players for giving me the chance to manage in three straight Korean Series," Kim said. "It's been a very challenging season. With so many injuries, I didn't think we'd get this far in the postseason."

Kim Tae-hyung, manager of the Doosan Bears, speaks to reporters in the dugout before Game 5 of the Korean Series against the Kia Tigers at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Oct. 30, 2017. (Yonhap)

The Bears started out the regular season slowly and entered the All-Star break in fifth place. A second-half surge took them all the way to second place -- they briefly tied the Tigers at the top in late September -- and they advance directly to the second round of the postseason.

They then knocked out the NC Dinos in four games, scoring a whopping 50 runs on 12 home runs. But the bats went cold -- save for a six-run burst in the seventh inning on Monday -- and their starting rotation, the key to last year's title, didn't live up to hype this time.

"Someone has to lose in this game, and managers have to take all the responsibility," Kim said. "It's always tough to swallow losses."

The Bears went down 7-0 before storming back with six runs in the seventh. They blew a scoring opportunity in the eighth, and left the bases loaded in the bottom ninth to bow out of the series.

"I was hoping we'd at least tie the score in the ninth inning," Kim said. "We'll try to address our shortcomings and try to win the Korean Series next year."

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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