The highly anticipated Korean Series bracket is complete. KT, which has won three straight games after losing two in a row, will face the LG Twins, who are looking to win their first Korean Series title in 29 years.
KT Wiz earned a thrilling 3-2 one-run victory at home against the NC Dinos in Game 5 of the best-of-five Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Postseason Playoffs 2023 at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on May 5. With the win, KT improved to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series and advanced to the Korean Series.
This is only the third time in the history of the best-of-five playoffs that KT has rebounded from two straight losses with three straight wins.굿모닝토토 도메인
The first was in 1996, when the Hyundai Unicorns dropped two games to the Ssangbangwool Raiders before winning Games 3-5 to complete the reverse sweep. Then, in 2009, the SK Wyverns dropped Games 1 and 2 to the Doosan Bears before winning three straight to reach the Korean Series. It is also the second time in two years that KT has advanced to the Korean Series since 2021.
KT has been on a magical streak, literally. KT lost the first game of the playoffs 5-9 at home to Suwon on March 30. They followed that up with a 2-3 loss in Game 2 the next day, leaving them 0-2 in the series and on the brink of elimination.
At the time, NC had an 88.2 percent chance of advancing to the Korean Series. KT’s chances of advancing to the Korean Series were 11.8 percent, making it an uphill battle.
Then the magic happened. With the game on the line, KT and manager Lee Kang-cheol called on homegrown ace Ko Young-pyo to start Game 3, and it proved to be a game-changer. In Game 3, Ko threw six innings of five-strikeout ball to secure KT’s 3-0 victory, setting the stage for a reverse sweep.
On Game 3, KT sent Game 1 starter William Cuevas back to the mound. The bats exploded in a big way to win 11-2 and put the series back on track.
In Game 5, KT’s starting lineup was Kim Sang-soo (shortstop), Hwang Jae-gyun (third base), Anthony Alford (left field), Park Byung-ho (first base), Jang Sung-woo (catcher), Moon Sang-chul (designated hitter), Oh Yoon-seok (second base), Bae Jeong-dae (center field), and Cho Yong-ho (right field). The starting pitcher is Wes Benjamin.
NC followed with Son Asub (designated hitter), Seo Ho-cheol (third base), Park Min-woo (second base), Park Gun-woo (right field), Kwon Hee-dong (left field), Jason Martin (center field), Oh Young-soo (first base), Kim Hyung-joon (catcher), and Kim Joo-won (shortstop). Shin Min-hyuk to start.
NC took the early lead on the day. In the top of the third inning, Kim Hyung-jun reached on a throwing error by KT shortstop Kim Sang-soo. Kim Joo-won then reached on a throwing error by the shortstop, putting runners on first and second. Son Asub followed with a single, and Seo Ho-cheol followed with a sacrifice fly to take the lead.
In the fifth inning, NC added another run. Kim Hyung-jun led off with a double to right and scored on Son’s RBI single.
In the bottom of the fifth, KT fought back. One out later, Jang Jang-woo doubled to right field. Moon Sang-chul followed with an RBI single, and pinch-hitter Kim Min-hyuk followed with an RBI double to tie the game.
In the sixth inning, KT finally took the lead. After leading off with a single, Hwang Jae-gyun singled to right-center off reliever Ryu Jin-wook. Alford then drew a walk to load the bases, and when Park Byung-ho singled, Kim Sang-soo came home from third to give KT the lead for good.
There were no more runs for either team in the seventh and eighth innings until the bottom of the ninth. In the top of the ninth, KT closer Kim Jae-yoon struck out the side to end the inning and secure KT’s spot in the Korean Series.
On the day, KT starter Benjamin pitched five innings, allowing two runs on five hits. The bullpen of Son Dong-hyun (two scoreless innings), Park Young-hyun (one scoreless inning), and Kim Jae-yoon (one scoreless inning) shut down the NC bats.
On the other hand, NC succumbed to the bats of Shin Min-hyuk, who gave up two runs on three hits in 4.1 innings, Kim Young-gyu, who pitched 0.2 innings of one run, Ryu Jin-wook, who pitched two scoreless innings, and Lee Yong-chan, who pitched one scoreless inning.
Meanwhile, Son Dong-hyun was named the playoff MVP. Son appeared in all five games of the series, going 1-1 with a 0.00 ERA. In the postgame press poll, Son received 39 of the 71 total votes to be named the series MVP, ahead of Choi Jae-dae (17), William Cuevas, Park Young-hyun (5), Kim Min-hyuk (3), and Jang Jang-woo (2).
The Korean Series between LG and KT has been decided. LG will attempt to win its first Korean Series title in 29 years, having last won the title in 1994. KT is returning to the Korean Series for the second time in 2021. Now, KT is looking to win its second Korean Series title in the history of the franchise.
KT’s momentum is frightening. Judging by their performance in Game 3 of the playoffs, it’s safe to say that their bats and pitching staff have returned to form. Nevertheless, manager Yoon Kyung-yup said, “The desire is stronger than ever,” and the team is desperate to win the title.
LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop and Moon Bo-kyung high-five after the LG Twins won 7-5 against the NC Dinos in a baseball game. (SEOUL, South Korea)
“After the regular season, we spent three weeks checking the team’s needs,” Yeom said through the LG organization. Above all, we focused on maintaining the sense of the game through practice matches,” he explained.
“Our players’ desire to win is stronger than ever, so we expect them to perform well in the Korean Series against KT Wiz as we have prepared,” said Yoon.
“At the end of the season, we will do our best to give our fans the results they have been hoping for in the Korean Series.”
In the regular season, LG has a dominant head-to-head record against KT with 10 wins and 6 losses, with LG batting 0.279 and KT batting 0.265, and a better team ERA of 3.67 for LG and 3.94 for KT.
However, due to the short-term nature of the Korean Series, there are many variables, making it difficult to predict the winner. It will be a battle between KT, which has been on a winning streak, and LG, which has been in the best shape of its life this season.
Meanwhile, the media day for the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Korean Series will be held on June 6 at 2 p.m. at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul.
LG will be represented by head coach Yeom Kyung-yup and players Oh Ji-hwan and Lim Chan-kyu. KT will be represented by head coach Lee Kang-cheol and players Ko Young-pyo and Park Kyung-soo. Managers and players from both teams will take the stage at the media day to share their thoughts on the Korean Series.