It appears that the NC Dinos are trying to save ’20-win ace’ Eric Peddie (30) whenever possible. NC coach Kang In-kwon once again left room for questions that came up in Game 3 as well.
Coach Kang In-kwon said ahead of the 3rd game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Postseason Semi-Playoff (Semi-PO, Best of 5) against SSG Landers at Changwon NC Park on the 25th, “Peddy completed his training normally today (25th). “It is true that I have improved a little compared to before. However, I think it would be difficult to tell you with certainty about my current physical condition. I will tell you more accurately after the third game is over,” he said.
If NC, who won both the first and second away games, wins on this day, they will play the second-place team in the regular season, KT Wiz, in the playoffs starting on the 30th. Although the situation is more relaxed, NC is determined to end the match in the third game.
The physical strength of the players was the reason, but Ace Peddie’s physical condition, which was not yet at 100%, also played a role. Peddie, wearing the NC uniform this season, pitched 180⅓ innings in 30 games and achieved a record of 20 wins, 6 losses, 209 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.00. He ranked first in most wins, earned run average, and strikeouts, and became the first foreign player to win the pitcher’s triple crown (three crowns) 12 years after KIA Yoon Seok-min in 2011. In addition, he was the 5th player in history to record 20 wins and 200 strikeouts at the same time, and it was a record that came 37 years after Seon Dong-yeol of Haitai in 1986 (24 wins – 214 strikeouts).
However, he suffered an unexpected injury in the game against Gwangju KIA on the 16th, his last appearance in the regular season. He was hit on his right forearm by Go Jong-wook’s batted ball, and upon examination, he was diagnosed with a simple bruise on his right forearm. Afterwards, he did not step on the mound for three postseason games. Coach Kang said, “I don’t think (Pedi) will say no, but if he says no in Game 4, Choi Seong-young will go out. If Seong-young Choi takes the mound today, Peddy will go out tomorrow (26th), and if Seong-young Choi doesn’t come out today, Seong-young Choi will go out in Game 4. “I’m leaving. Actually, that’s my only choice,” he said with a smile.
There was a reason for not giving a definite answer. In an interview with reporters ahead of the second game, Coach Kang predicted Peddie’s participation, saying, “Now there is no place to postpone, so I will definitely go to the third game. I am feeling anxious, but I don’t think I am putting it off anymore.” However, after the interview and training ended, Peddie complained of his discomfort and a hospital examination revealed a diagnosis of simple collision syndrome.
In the end, Coach Kang had to correct his statement by saying, “I’m sorry for being a liar,” and “(Peddie) expressed a little discomfort and anxiety after training today. Game 3 will likely be difficult.”
If you want to see Peddie’s face even once against NC, who are trying to save their ace until the end, the prerequisite is to quickly defeat Tanner Turley, the starter in Game 3. Tanner, who has 5 wins, 2 losses, and an ERA of 2.92 in 11 regular season games, made his fall baseball debut in the wild card game against the Doosan Bears. However, he performed poorly, allowing 5 runs on 7 hits (1 home run) and 3 walks with no strikeouts in 4 innings.
SSG is Choo Shin-soo (designated hitter) – Guillermo Heredia 메이저놀이터(center fielder) – Choi Jeong (third baseman) – Han Yu-seom (right fielder) – Ha Jae-hoon (left fielder) – Park Seong-han (shortstop) – Kim Seong-hyeon (second baseman) – Oh Tae-gon (first baseman) – Kim Min-sik The batting lineup consisted of (catcher). It is a lineup with a strong will to score the first point by deploying Heredia, who has a good hitting feel, forward.
NC also has no intention of just backing down. NC is Son Ah-seop (designated hitter) – Park Min-woo (second baseman) – Park Geon-woo (right fielder) – Jason Martin (center fielder) – Kwon Hee-dong (left fielder) – Seo Ho-cheol (third baseman) – Kim Hyeong-jun (catcher) – Kim Joo-won (shortstop) – Do Tae-hoon ( 1st baseman).
Except for the first baseman being changed from Oh Young-soo to Do Tae-hoon, no players have changed from the second game. They are determined to once again take down left-hander Oh Won-seok with the lineup that targeted Kim Gwang-hyun. Oh Won-seok was not good with 8 wins, 10 losses, and an ERA of 5.23 in 28 games during the regular season, but after the relief win against Incheon Lotte on September 23, which was a turning point, he returned to a stable track with an ERA of 3.38 in 4 games. Against NC, it wasn’t good, with 4 games, 2 wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 4.98.
Coach Kang predicted an all-out effort, saying, “If possible, I will do my best to win today. The middle-field pitching team will also stand by until the end, including players who have pitched so far.”