Two American pitchers are set to duel in a crucial game in the ongoing South Korean baseball championship series this weekend.
The Kia Tigers and the Doosan Bears are knotted at one game apiece in this best-of-seven championship final in the Korea Baseball Organization. The Bears took Wednesday's opener 5-3, and the Tigers responded with a 1-0 victory behind starter Yang Hyeon jong's complete game shutout.
First-year left-hander Pat Dean will have a tough act to follow when he takes the mound for the Tigers in Game 3 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Saturday.
In this file photo taken Sept. 29, 2017, Pat Dean of the Kia Tigers throws a pitch against the Hanwha Eagles in their Korea Baseball Organization regular season game at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon. (Yonhap)
Dean was 9-7 with a 4.14 ERA in 30 starts. He was 1-1 and had a 4.67 ERA in three regular season meetings against the Bears.
Dean was sitting at 5-5 with a 4.88 ERA in 17 starts entering the All-Star break in July. He came back to go 4-2 in 13 second-half starts with a 3.18 ERA. He was touched for 15 homers in his first 99 2/3 innings but allowed seven homers over his next 76 1/3 innings. He also improved his strikeout rates.
He was particularly strong down the stretch. He posted a 2.38 ERA in his final five regular season starts and pitched into the seventh inning in four of those games while holding opponents to three or fewer earned runs in all five.
The Bears will have second-year right-hander Michael Bowden on the mound. In an injury-plagued season, Bowden was limited to 17 starts and posted a 3-5 record with a 4.64 ERA.
Last year, he was 18-7 in 30 starts with a 3.80 ERA.
He did pitch well in the Bears' championship run last year. Facing the NC Dinos in Game 3 of the 2016 Korean Series, Bowden tossed 7 2/3 shutout innings and struck out 11.
Bowden made one regular season start against the Tigers this year on July 29. He was the losing pitcher after allowing two earned runs on five hits and two walks in six innings. (Yonhap)