메이저사이트The NC Dinos have extended their winning streak to two games, giving them an advantage in the series against Incheon.
NC swept SSG Landers 7-3 in Game 2 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Semi-Finals at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Wednesday. With a 2-1 series lead, NC needs just one win in the remaining games to clinch a playoff spot.
The game started well. After a Martin RBI double in the top of the first inning, NC added two more runs on Kwon Hee-dong’s RBI single and Seo Ho-chul’s sacrifice fly to complete the big inning. Considering that the opposing team’s starter was Kim Kwang-hyun, the big inning was even more meaningful for NC.
In the top of the second inning, the team showed a lot of focus after the second inning. Son As-seop and Park Min-woo drew walks, and then, with runners on second and third, Park Gun-woo singled to bring home Son As-seop from second base.
Of course, it wasn’t all smooth sailing throughout the game. After starting pitcher Song Myung-ki pitched three scoreless innings, he gave up a two-run homer to Han Yoo-seom in the bottom of the fourth, forcing NC to quickly activate its bullpen.
However, second pitcher Choi Sung-young kept SSG at bay with 1⅔ innings of one-hit ball, striking out three and walking none, and third pitcher Lee Jae-hak finished his duties without much trouble, except for a solo shot to Han Yoo-seom.
Leading 4-3, NC solidified the win in the top of the eighth. Leadoff hitter Kim Hyung-jun hit a solo home run and Son As-seob followed with an RBI double to center field. Park Min-woo then walked, but Park Gun-woo followed with a single to plate Son and end SSG’s hopes of a comeback.
Pil Seung-jo, who took charge of the second half of the game, put together a scoreless relay. Fourth pitcher Kim Young-gyu pitched a scoreless inning, while Ryu Jin-wook and Lee Yong-chan closed out the game with one and one-third scoreless innings, respectively.
“The middle of the game was difficult because we scored in the first inning, but we didn’t get any more runs after that,” said manager Kang Myung-hyun. “The three runs in the top of the eighth inning, including Kim Hyung-joon’s home run, were the key to the victory. The veterans, including the younger players, have a strong desire to win the game. I think the veterans, including the young players, have a strong desire to win the game.” He praised the players for this aspect.
“I wanted Song Myung-ki to go a little bit longer, but after the home run by Han Yoo-seom, I thought it would be difficult in the middle of the game to wait, so I put Choi Sung-young in right away, and he did a great job. The role of the middle setup men was very good,” he said, not forgetting to mention the pitchers.
However, contrary to his pre-game interview, ‘foreign ace’ Eric Peddy will not be available for Game 3. Peddie complained of discomfort after completing the pre-game drills on the day, and he will take some time to rest as he was diagnosed with simple impingement syndrome after a medical examination.
An NC official said, “Pedi was diagnosed with mild elbow impingement syndrome by a doctor. It is said to be a mild level that does not interfere with throwing and training, but Pedi mentioned that he was having some discomfort,” said a spokesperson on Pedi’s condition. Tanner Tulowitzki will start Game 3.
The following is a one-on-one interview with manager Kang Myung-hwa.
Recap of today’s game.
-We scored early in the game, but then we didn’t score any runs, so it was difficult in the middle of the game. Three runs, including Kim Hyung-jun’s home run in the top of the eighth inning, were the key to our victory.
The moment that sealed the victory
Kim Hyung-jun’s home run in the top of the eighth inning was the decisive moment that sealed the victory.
Both the first and second games were won in the eighth inning.
-Well, I think the batting lineup has gotten a little stronger. The veterans, including the younger players, have a strong desire to win the game. I think that’s one of the things that helped us stick together late in the game.
Park Gun-woo was sent down to the second team because of his disappointing performance during the season, but he didn’t save himself today.
Park Gun-woo’s back and knees aren’t at 100 percent right now, but I think he’s playing his best without showing any embarrassment (about being sick) because there is a part of the game where the seniors lead the juniors.
You replaced Song Myung-ki early.
I was hoping that Song Myung-ki could go a little bit longer, but after Han Yoo-seom hit a home run, I thought it would be difficult in the middle of the game to wait any longer, so I put Choi Sung-young on right away, and he did a good job. The role of the middle setup men was very good.
How did you decide to use Choi Sung-young in the batting order?
-When I looked at his record against Ha Jae-hoon, I realized that he was better, so I chose Choi Sung-young.
Why did you change the first baseman from Oh Young-soo to Do Tae-hoon in the fifth inning?
-After scoring 4 runs, I thought that if an error was made in the process of scoring 2 runs, the atmosphere would shift to SSG, so I switched to strengthen the defense.
Is it possible for Pedi to pitch in Game 3?
-I said in the pregame interview that Pedi could play (in Game 3), but after training today, he expressed some discomfort and anxiety. He went to the doctor afterward and it was a simple impingement syndrome, so I don’t think he’ll be able to pitch in Game 3 right now. For Games 4 and 5, we’ll have to wait and see. We’ll have Tanner ready for Game 3. I apologize for being a liar.
We keep seeing left-handed starters.
-I think the hitters have adjusted. I will prepare well for Won-seok Oh in Game 3.
On whether he cares about his best matchup.
-The center of SSG’s batting lineup is Choi Jung. When I get hit by Choi Jung, I get excited. I think stopping Choi and Heredia is the first priority, so that’s often the focus of pitching changes.
Will Pedi be able to come out at all in the third game?
-I don’t think so. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow (April 24) and the next day (April 25). It’s also important to listen to his doctor. For now, we decided to start Tanner in Game 3.
Did the result of Game 2 affect your decision to start Tanner in Game 3?
-No, not at all. In the pregame interview, I was very confident (about Pedi’s availability). Regardless of today’s match, I wanted him to have a medical checkup after training, so he did, and that’s what happened. We don’t necessarily need him to play to win, but we have Tanner and our offense is on the rise (against them), so we’ll try to play a good game.
On Lee Yong-chan.
-I’ll trust him.