Korea proved yet again that the country is a burgeoning baseball power, advancing to the World Baseball Classic final with a 10-2 rout against Venezuela in the semifinals in front of 43,378 on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
Now Korea, which also won the gold in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, will test its mettle against baseball superpower the United States or heated rival Japan in the finals at 9 p.m. ET on Monday.
Korea won behind right-hander Suk-Min Yoon, who pitched 6 1/3 strong innings, with the offense being paced by Shin-Soo Choo and Tae Kyun Kim, who both homered.
Korea jumped all over Venezuela starter Carlos Silva early, scoring five runs in the first inning, including three on a home run to center by Choo. The first four batters reached base for Korea and Venezuela made two errors in the frame, including a dropped fly ball by Bobby Abreu in right field.
The major league filled roster of Venezuela was no match for Korea as their pitcher Silva thought he was playing for the lowly Seattle Mariners and gave up 5 in the first inning. The advantage the Koreans had over the Venezuelans was all mental. Silva was a nutcase on the mound. Yes Abreu's error didn't help but at that point it was still 0-0 with 1st and 2nd, 0 outs. A pitcher has to pick up his outfielder's mistake and get out of the inning giving up 1 maybe 2 runs. He can't pout and cry on the mound and serve up gopherballs. The Koreans were calm and professional and it really showed.