Nowhere to go but up. The ‘defending champions’ SSG Landers will look to turn things around in Changwon.
SSG, led by head coach Kim Won-hyung, will play the third game of their semi-final against the NC Dinos in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League postseason at Changwon NC Park on May 25. In the previous two games, SSG was pushed to the brink with back-to-back losses of 3-4 in Game 1 and 3-7 in Game 2. One loss and SSG’s fall baseball career is over.
By the end of the regular season, SSG was in a three-way tie for third place with NC and was headed directly to the semifinals. By the beginning of October, NC’s third-place finish was in doubt, but the team lost 1-4 in five games against SSG in October. On the other hand, SSG, which had fallen to sixth place in September with a record of 6-2-2 and 15 losses, rebounded in October and ended the regular season in third place.카지노사이트
As SSG waited for their opponent, fourth-ranked NC took down fifth-ranked Doosan Bears in a one-game wildcard matchup to advance to the semifinals. SSG and NC were tied at 8-8 in the regular season. However, in the semi-finals, NC gained an advantage by taking both games, even without their ‘ace’ Eric Peddie.
With a playoff berth on the line, NC returns Tanner Tully to the mound after five days of rest following his start in the wild-card deciding game. The starting lineup is Son Asub (designated hitter)-Park Min-woo (second base)-Park Geon-woo (right field)-Martin (center field)-Kwon Hee-dong (left field)-Seo Ho-cheol (third base)-Kim Hyung-joon (catcher)-Kim Joo-won (shortstop)-Do Tae-hoon (first base).
SSG, which must win the third game, had a starting lineup of Choo Shin-soo (designated hitter), Eredia (center fielder), Choi Jeong (third baseman), Han Yu-seom (right fielder), Ha Jae-hoon (left fielder), Park Sung-sung (shortstop), Kim Sung-hyun (second baseman), Oh Tae-gon (first baseman), and Kim Min-sik (catcher). Oh Won-seok was the starting pitcher, while Kim Kwang-hyun, who started the second game, and Moon Seung-won, who came in after Kim Kwang-hyun, were classified as non-players. Here’s what Kim Won-hyung had to say before the game.
-Is the lineup based on the opponent’s starting lineup?
There is a part of it, and we changed the lineup once because we had to win today.
-On the status of Kim Kwang-hyun, who had a gaping wound on his left thumb.
“I saw a little cut in the outfield earlier, but fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be a big deal.
-Who are you thinking of starting tomorrow if you win today?
No one. I’ll have to see after today’s game. I originally planned to start (Moon) Seung-won in Game 4, but he had a good ball in Game 2 and threw a lot of pitches until the end. It’s hard to play until tomorrow. So I think we’ll see who starts tomorrow after today’s game.
-You faced Tanner once at the end of the season, and your impression was.
He has a good slider. We had our chances then and couldn’t capitalize. Today, we’re in a tight spot. Even then, we were battling for position, so we tried to attack as hard as we could, but there were some pitches we didn’t take advantage of. I think it’s important to deal with the changeup. That was the case in Game 1, that was the case in Game 2, and I think when you score runs, the guys behind you have a little more confidence to throw the ball. It seems like we’re in a constant cycle of not taking the lead and coming from behind.
-There were a lot of disappointing moments in scoring position in the previous game. Was there a sense of urgency on the part of the players?
I don’t think I can say we were in a hurry. Hitting is something that happens when you make contact, but I think I was thinking too much about it, so I didn’t have the swing speed or anything like that. I think it’s clear that he’s trying to make contact, but there are times when he doesn’t make contact because he can’t get his swing speed up. That’s why I didn’t make it in scoring situations, but I’ll have to see how I feel today. You have to trust your players.
-On whether Elias, who pitched in Game 1, will be available again.
It’s hard to say today because it’s only been two days since he pitched, but I think he’ll be available tomorrow. I checked him before the game and communicated to him that he felt fine and that he could play tomorrow in the bullpen. But I don’t think I’m going to start. I think they realize that it’s not easy to stick to your routine in a short game like this, no matter what country you’re playing in. They’re putting the team before themselves.
-Will McCarty be able to play?
He’s on the bench today. I think we’ll have to make a decision based on whether he plays today or not. He played today, so it’s difficult for him to start tomorrow. It’s too early to talk about starting tomorrow, but if McCarty plays today, it’s tough to start tomorrow, and if he doesn’t, there’s definitely a possibility (of starting). But I think we’ll have to play him in the opener tomorrow.
-Did you have a message for the team yesterday and today?
Nothing special. We played like this last year in the Korean Series, we played like this last year, and we have a lot of senior players. I think those players can move well.
-Oh Won-seok on whether he thinks about making early substitutions depending on the situation.
“We have to do that, but there are some ambiguities. A lot of times a starter is shaky in the first inning, and you can score runs and drag out the inning. Today, I think we need to check Won Seok-yi’s condition more closely. It’s important that the ball is good or bad. If the ball is good, you can keep it going even if you give up a run, but if the ball is too bad or looks out of shape, you have to move quickly.
-Ha Jae-hoon is the reason behind Hanyusum.
“Actually, I think Jae-hoon is better at number six or seven than number five. But he has a manager who hit a home run in the first inning, and he has long power. A hitter has to be able to make good contact with the bat. Jae-hoon has improved a lot this year, and he’s made a lot of progress, but I’d say it’s a work in progress. He’s doing well, but he still needs to be more in sync with the team to be more of a centerpiece. But that’s where the coaches tell me that Jae-hoon is working really hard in practice. He can be better next year than this year.
-Haven’t you thought about a combination of a middle-of-the-order hitter like Park Sung-hwan between Han Yoo-seom and Ha Jae-hoon?
NC has a good left-handed bullpen, and when we had lefties and righties, we were careful about the timing of pitching changes.