Ahead of Game 3 of the 2023 Professional Baseball Semi-Playoffs (Semi-PO, 3 wins out of 5), Game 3 clashed at Changwon NC Park on the 25th, NC coach Kang In-kwon and SSG coach Kim Won-hyung decided that the success of this series will depend on how long innings the starting pitcher throws . I predicted that the outcome would depend. Coach Kang expected a good pitch, saying, “The most important thing is how long Song Myeong-gi (23), who is not a nervous type, can hold out in the second game.” Coach Kim also said, “If (Kim) Gwang-hyeon (35) plays his role sufficiently, he can take a day off and move on to Changwon without much wasting of the bullpen,” and added, “Oh Won-seok (22) and Moon Seung-won (33) will be selected as starters for the 3rd and 4th games, respectively. He introduced, “It is an internal decision.”
However, the two managers’ wishes did not come true, and NC, whose starting pitcher allowed fewer runs in this game, took the first game and the second game, leaving only one win left until the playoffs (PO, 3 wins out of 5 games). NC defeated SSG 7-3 in the semi-PO held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 23rd. NC, which won two wins first, takes a day’s rest and then invites SSG to their home, Changwon NC Park, on the 25th for a two-game series. If NC wins just one win in this game, it will advance to PO. If NC loses both games, the 5th game will have to be played in Incheon on the 28th. Of the 14 times that the semi-PO was played in a best-of-five format, there were 8 cases in which the team took the first two games, and of these, 6 times the team with 2 consecutive wins advanced to the PO. The probability reaches 75%.안전놀이터
SSG was unstable from the start. Starting pitcher Gwang-Hyun Kim showed a disappointing performance, allowing 4 hits and 3 runs in the first inning alone. In the end, Gwang-Hyun Kim gave up 5 hits, 4 runs, and 4 walks in 3 innings and left the mound in the 4th inning due to a callus injury on his left thumb. With this day’s starting pitch, Gwang-Hyun Kim set the record for the most postseason starts, surpassing Min-Tae Jeong (18), but had to swallow tears over the disappointing result. In the end, Coach Kim faced NC by putting Moon Seung-won, who had been selected as the starter in Game 4, on the mound.
NC Song Myeong-gi did not receive a passing grade. Song Myung-ki went on the mound in the fourth inning with a 3-0 lead after allowing no runs until the third inning. Song Myung-ki, who walked leadoff hitter Guillermo Heredia (32), was knocked out in a 4-2 situation after hitting a two-run home run that went over the right-field fence to the next hitter, Han Yu-seom (34). Song Myung-ki also did not show a satisfactory performance on this day, allowing 2 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs, and 4 walks in 3 innings.
Afterwards, NC operated a bee swarm mound. Choi Seong-young (26) pitched 1.2 innings with 1 hit and no runs, and Lee Jae-hak (33), who came in after 2 outs in the 5th inning, hit a solo home run against Hanyu Island in the 6th inning and was chased down to 4-3, but Kim Young-gyu (23) and Ryu Jin-wook (23) 27) neatly closed out the inning.
SSG’s Moon Seung-won, who had been holding on with no innings, suddenly collapsed in the 8th inning. In the 8th inning, leadoff hitter Kim Hyeong-jun (24) allowed a left-field home run, Do Tae-hoon (30) got hit by a ball, a double to Son A-seop (35), and Park Geon-woo (33) hit a left-field hit, allowing three runs. With the score down to 3-7, the mound was handed over to Ko Hyo-jun (40). On this day, Park Geon-woo recorded 3 hits and 2 RBIs in 5 at-bats and was selected as Daily MVP.
Now NC has crossed the 9th division ridge in advancing to PO. NC is about to launch Eric Peddie (30), the ace of ‘ecosystem disturbing species’. Peddie is a candidate for Most Valuable Player (MVP), having pitched 180.1 innings in 30 games this season and recorded 20 wins, 6 losses, and an ERA of 2.00. However, in the last game of the regular season against KIA on the 16th, Peddie came down from the mound after being hit on the right arm by a ball from Ko Jong-wook (34). Although it wasn’t a major injury, Peddie had difficulty pitching normally, so he pitched in the bullpen. Coach Kang said, “It’s not 100% yet, but it’s about 90%,” but added, “Pedi will definitely play in the third game.”
On the other hand, SSG was pushed to the edge. In addition to having to deal with Fedi, the cards for Kim Gwang-hyun and Roenis Elias (35) have been used up. Coach Kim ignited his fighting spirit by saying, “Oh Won-seok is also a good pitcher and a good thrower.”