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(Asian Games) Baseball manager not concerned about number crunching

All Headlines 18:45 August 30, 2018

By Yoo Jee-ho

JAKARTA, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's path to the Asian Games baseball final is fraught with headache-inducing scenarios.

And yet manager Sun Dong-yol isn't worried about any of those.

South Korea, two-time defending champion, defeated Japan 5-1 to win the first super round game at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta on Thursday. If South Korea beats China in the final super round game Friday, then it will advance to the gold medal game on Saturday.

South Korean baseball manager Sun Dong-yol bows to the crowd at GBK Baseball Field in Jakarta after a 5-1 win over Japan in the super round at the 18th Asian Games on Aug. 30, 2018. (Yonhap)

But the results of two other contestants, Chinese Taipei and Japan, could complicate things. For instance, if Chinese Taipei beats China on Thursday and loses to Japan on Friday while South Korea beats China on Friday, then South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Japan will all end up with two wins and a loss.

In that scenario, the three tied teams will need a tiebreaking formula called Team Quality Balance to determine which two will go to the final.

It's an index of the number of runs scored divided by the innings the team batted, minus runs allowed divided by the innings the team pitched. The two teams with the highest TQB will clash for the gold medal.

Simply put, it's best to score as many runs as possible and allow as few as possible.

Beating Japan by four runs certainly didn't hurt Sun's team -- not that he was thinking about any of that.

"I am really too busy to be thinking about those things," Sun said with a chuckle. "I am only worried about making sure we play our best in every game from here on."

More than a few things were on Sun's mind during the game. His starter, right-hander Choi Won-tae, complained of right elbow pains in the second inning. He did finish the inning but Sun was forced to send in right-hander Lee Yong-chan to take care of the next 3 2/3 innings.

Sun said it wasn't immediately clear how seriously Choi was hurting and whether he'd be available for future games.

South Korea belted out three solo home runs in the victory but they came in the third and fourth innings. South Korea's last runs came in the fifth.

"We had home runs early on and the guys were swinging the bat quite well," Sun said. "I wish we would have kept scoring runs after the fifth inning."

South Korean baseball players celebrate their 5-1 victory over Japan in the super round at the 18th Asian Games at GBK Baseball Field in Jakarta on Aug. 30, 2018. (Yonhap)

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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