LG took a 2-1 loss in Game 1 of the Korean Series against KT in the 2023 KBO League postseason on Sunday at Jamsil Baseball Stadium.
In the top of the ninth inning with the score tied 2-2, closer Woo-seok Ko dedicated the game-winning run. He pitched one inning and gave up one run.굿모닝토토 도메인
It’s fair to say that Goh didn’t do enough to lose the game.
In fact, if the starters gave up two runs and the bullpen gave up one run in nine innings, the pitchers did their job.
LG scored two runs in the bottom of the first and then went silent. They didn’t score a single run from the second to the ninth inning.
Even the two runs in the first inning were thanks to KT’s mistakes. If Austin’s bunt with runners on first and third hadn’t been picked off by Park, the game would have been scoreless.
LG had three chances in the second, fourth, and fifth innings to win the game.
In the second inning, with runners on first and second, Kim Hyun-soo grounded out to first base. In the fourth inning, Hong Chang-ki was caught on a grounder to first base with runners on first and third, and Park Hae-min struck out swinging with runners on second and third. In the bottom of the fifth, with runners on second and third, Park Dong-won struck out swinging.
The four outs above have something in common. They were all hit by KT starter Ko Young-pyo’s changeup. Ko’s changeup, which comes and goes like a fastball, can only be dealt with by either waiting for it or letting it drop and catch the bat. Unless it’s a live pitch, it’s extremely tricky to handle. It can be said that Ko Young-pyo blocked it well.
However, LG was not without timing. Kim Hyun-soo fouled off the first pitch and swung at the second pitch. In the fourth inning, Hong Chang-ki grounded out with runners on first and third. The next batter, Park Hae-min, saw two strikes on three pitches. If the LG batters had been hitting well, they could have gotten a result before Ko took out his changeup after two strikes.
It’s not uncommon for a team heading straight to the Korean Series to lose Game 1 due to unfamiliarity with their bats. Just last year, SSG lost Game 1 and went on to win 4-2. In 2017, KIA also won four straight games after losing Game 1. In 2013 and 2014, Samsung also dropped Game 1 but still managed to win the overall title.
The key to the series will be the LG batting lineup. It will come down to when the bats wake up.