The NC Dinos have one of the strongest pitchers in the league this year in Eric Peddy. A card you can confidently play in the short game no matter who your opponent is starting. The presence of such an ace becomes even more significant in the short term.
If and when they decide to call up Peddie, who skipped the Wild Card Decider to prepare for the semi-playoffs, could change the course of the series.
The NC and SSG Landers will begin the semifinals of the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Postseason’ on April 22 at SSG Landers Field in Incheon. The starting pitchers and 30-man rosters will be announced on the 21st before Game 1. NC, which wrapped up the wild-card deciding game in Game 1, plans to use Pedi again in the semifinals. However, the timing is unclear. It could be the first game on the 22nd, but it’s not out of the question that it could be later.
Pedi. Byun Hye-mi Reporter
Pedi started against the KIA Tigers on Oct. 16 and pitched 5⅔ innings of three-hit ball with five strikeouts before being hit by a pitch and replaced. He had already reached 20 wins (6) and 200 strikeouts on October 10 against Hanwha, making him a strong candidate for MVP this season. However, he injured his right arm in the 16th game of the season when he was pitching for the team, not for himself.
Ko Jong-wook’s hard-hit pitch hit him in the right arm. He was immediately replaced and taken to the hospital. The medical examination revealed a simple bruise. This allowed him to prepare for the semifinals. He was able to ride his bike home on the 19th, showing that simple exercises were not a problem.
NC put Pedi in the game on the 16th to fight for third place. They thought they could secure third place if they took the last two games against KIA, so they pulled out their ace, but Pedi was injured and they lost the game 2-4. With the final standings in fourth place, Tanner Tully was scheduled to pitch Game 1 and Song Myung-ki was scheduled to pitch Game 2.
Even without the injury, pitching the second game of the wild-card deciding series was not an easy task. He had only three days’ rest after Game 1. NC won the first game on the 19th 14-9 and passed the first stage without Pedi.
At the press conference after the wild card deciding game on the 19th, head coach Kang Myung-ho said about Pedi’s condition, “He seems to be recovering a little bit every day. He’s a little better today than yesterday. We’ll train tomorrow and see how he’s doing, and then we’ll decide when he’ll pitch. It’s too early to talk about it now.”
Along with the positive news, there was a cautious tone that suggested a return date was not yet possible. Peddy was with the team for the 19th. As is his custom, he posed for photos with a Polaroid camera after each home run, looking upbeat. However, it’s hard to tell from this alone what his condition is. Taking into account Kang Myung-hyun’s comments, there was no clear signal that Pedi would take charge of the first game of the semi-playoffs.
With Tanner pitching in the wild-card game, NC’s Plan B without Pedi would be a domestic starter. Song Myung-ki, who was named the starter for Game 2 of the Wild Card Decision, and Shin Min-hyuk, who threw five scoreless innings in the regular season finale, are the favorites.
Song appeared in 35 games this year, splitting time between the starting rotation and the bullpen. In the final two games of the regular season, he pitched seven innings, allowing five runs on seven hits (two home runs) with four walks and two strikeouts. One of those games was against SSG on the 8th (4⅓ innings, 3 runs, 2 earned). He had six days off since his last start.
Shin Min-hyuk tossed five scoreless innings against KIA on the 17th, lowering his ERA from the four-run range to 3.98. Like Song Myung-ki, he has pitched in both the starting and bullpen roles. After struggling in the first three of four October games, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits (one home run) in 9 1/3 innings, he rebounded dramatically in the regular season finale. He’ll be on four days’ rest when he starts Game 1 on Oct. 22.
Meanwhile, Tanner, who was NC’s starter in the first game of the wild-card deciding series, struggled against the Doosan offense on the 19th, giving up five runs on seven hits 메이저놀이터(one home run) and three walks in four innings. He didn’t give up a single big inning, but he gave up a steady stream of runs in the first through third innings. In the fifth inning, he was replaced with runners on first and second with no outs, and both runners came home to extend the lead to five runs.
Tanner was a “calculated” pitcher in the regular season, getting quality starts in eight of 11 games. The first game of the postseason was an uneasy one. The NC’s challenge could be long if they don’t get someone back to back up Peddy.