It’s so hot. The team is on a five-game winning streak in fall baseball with an overwhelming destructive power that is so hot that it can scald them. However, the unreliable back door is a concern. If things continue as they are now, it could become a time bomb that will blow away the enthusiasm of the entire team. This is the story of NC, which increased its chances of advancing to the Korean Series by winning the wild card game and all three semi-playoff games and then capturing the first game of the playoffs.
NC defeated KT 9-5 in the first game of the 2023 KBO League Playoffs (3 wins out of 5) held at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on the 30th. In the past 32 POs held with 3 wins out of 5, the team that won the first game has succeeded in advancing to the Korean Series 25 times. NC has a 78.1% chance of advancing to the Korean Series.먹튀검증
NC’s performance was perfect until the 9th inning. After returning to Korea as a substitute foreign player this season, he recorded 12 wins, no losses, and an ERA of 2.60 in 18 games, crushing William Cuevas, who led KT, which had been in the bottom place until May, to second place in the regular league. Cuevas gave up 6 hits, 4 walks, and 2 walks in 3 innings, allowing 7 runs (4 earned). The man with a 100% win rate’s first loss of the season happened in the most important game.
The batting power of the three hitters of Son Ah-seop, Park Min-woo, and Park Geon-woo continued in the playoffs. Captain Son Ah-seop, who won the batting title for the first time in his career, played well with 3 hits in 5 at-bats, 2 runs, and 1 RBI, while Park Min-woo had 2 hits in 4 at-bats, 2 runs, and Park Geon-woo had 1 hit in 4 at-bats, 2 RBI, and 1 run. Number 5 Kwon Hee-dong hit a 2-RBI triple that actually decided the game that day, and Oh Young-soo, whom coach Kang In-kwon placed at number 7 because of his high opponent batting average against KT (0.381), had 3 hits in 5 at-bats, including a thunderous solo shot in the second inning. He lived up to the manager’s expectations with 2 RBIs and 1 run.
On the mound, the fightback of Eric Peddie, who was sidelined through the wild card game and semi-playoff after being hit on the right forearm in the game against KIA on the 16th, stood out. With a two-seamer that reached a maximum speed of 155 km/h and a sweeper that was Jeonga’s report, he blew away the KT batting lineup like fallen leaves in a cold wind. Except for the solo shot by Moon Sang-cheol in the third inning, there was no crisis. 6 innings, 3 hits, 1 run. There were 12 strikeouts. Since the number of outs he caught was 18, he caught 66% of them with his own strength. Peddie’s 12 strikeouts are a new record for most strikeouts in a playoff game. Fedi, who achieved the Triple Crown in the regular league and virtually booked the regular league MVP, showed off his presence in the fall as well.
The only exception that day was the NC bullpen. Even with a comfortable 9-1 lead, coach Kang In-kwon placed Kim Si-hoon, a sure-winner. Kim Si-hoon gave up two hits and a walk and had the bases loaded with two outs, so Manager Kang chose to pitch closer Lee Yong-chan. Although it was not a save situation, it was read as an attempt to boost confidence in Lee Yong-chan, who showed extreme sluggishness in the wild card game and semi-playoffs. Lee Yong-chan pitched 1.1 innings and allowed 3 runs in the wild card game against Doosan, and in the semi-playoffs against SSG, he appeared in 3 games and recorded 2 saves, but was not refreshed as he allowed 2 runs in 3 innings.
Why aren’t sad premonitions wrong? As soon as Lee Yong-chan came up, he hit a grand slam from Bae Jeong-dae. He ended the game by disposing of the follow-up batter Lee Sang-ho with a pitcher’s fly, but Lee Yong-chan could never smile.
After the game, coach Kang In-kwon also expressed his disappointment over the poor ending of the 9th inning. He said, “It is a worrying point. I thought that if Kim Si-hoon had made a clean block in that situation, there would be more room to use the mound. I got two good outs, but the finish wasn’t good. “Kim Si-hoon has strengths before KT, so we will use him as much as possible according to the game situation,” he said, making no direct mention of Lee Yong-chan. The passage reads that Lee Yong-chan is a bigger concern than Kim Si-hoon.
Will Coach Kang In-kwon be able to confidently pull out the Lee Yong-chan card in a tight game with a one-point lead in the remaining games? It is one of the highlights of the remaining playoffs.