Magical native ace, overcame ‘natural enemy’ and saved KT from the brink “Amazing Kyung-Su-hyung, goes for reverse sweep”
It was literally a cliffhanger. The two outsiders quickly collapsed and lost the starting battle where they had a comparative advantage.
However, KT Wiz had ‘Wizard’ Ko Young-pyo. He cooled down the hot bats of the NC Dinos, setting the stage for a counterattack.
KT won the third game of the playoffs against NC 3-0 at Changwon NC Park on April 2, sending the series to a best-of-four series.
With a series record of 0-2, third-place KT, who had been waiting patiently, became more desperate. NC, on the other hand, swept through the wildcard and semifinals, and then the playoffs, winning all six games.
The magic of Ko Young-pyo stifled the powerful momentum. Ko started the game and held the NC bats to three hits, two walks, and no runs over six innings in a 3-0 victory.
While his 12 wins (7 losses) this season are a bit disappointing, he is one of only two Korean pitchers with an ERA in the double digits (2.78), along with Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom, 2.39). All foreign pitchers combined rank 6th overall. 바카라사이트 Leads the league with 17 quality starts (7+ innings pitched and 3 or fewer earned runs allowed) this year (2nd place Buchanan has 12). His ERA (6.44) also leads the league.
In 174⅔ innings (8th overall), he allowed just 19 walks. His walks per nine innings (0.98) was the best single-season mark in KBO history. His Wins Above Replacement (WAR) of 6.14 was second in the league among pitchers, behind only Eric Peddy (NC, 7.28).
In short, it’s been a season that would have been worthy of a Pitcher’s Glove if it weren’t for Peddie, and it was a day of dominance.
NC coach Kang In-hwa continued with his ‘must-win’ lineup
However, he turned Park Gun-woo, who was suffering from a nagging cold, into a designated hitter and used Son Ah-seop in right field. There were five left-handed hitters in the lineup, including Son, Park, Min-woo, Martin, Oh, Young-soo, and Kim, Joo-won (switch).
NC starter Tanner bounced back from his postseason struggles with six innings of two-run ball. Aside from the two-run homer he gave up in the second inning, he was outstanding.
Go has struggled against NC’s top hitters this season, including Park Min-woo (13-for-9), Park Gun-woo (13-for-8), Kwon Hee-dong (8-for-3), Son Ah-seop (11-for-4) and Martin (9-for-3).
However, the responsibility of being the ace that Ko Young-pyo has taken on has made him a completely different pitcher. He walked two batters, an uncharacteristic number for a pitcher with only 19 walks on the season, and was very picky with his pitches. But he held them to just three hits.
In his postgame interview, Ko said, “I was conscious of the fact that the team was in a difficult situation and that I could easily go in and get hit like I did last season. I tried to take advantage of the batters’ weaknesses as much as possible, which led to a lot of balls. It led to a good result because the NC bats are hot right now,” and admitted that it was a difficult game by design.
In the first inning, Son struck out three straight batters, including Park Min-woo. In the second, he gave up a single to Kwon Hee-dong, but got out of the jam.
In the bottom of the third,
He gave up his first hit to NC’s leadoff hitter and two-time batting champion Son Ah-seob. But he induced Park Min-woo to fly out to center field. The fourth was a three-run inning. In the fifth, he gave up a leadoff single to Oh Young-soo, but induced back-to-back infield grounders against Seo Ho-cheol and Kim Hyung-joon.
In the sixth, he gave up a single to leadoff hitter Kim Joo-won. However, Son Asub struck out again, and Jang Sung-woo prevented Kim from stealing second base. He gave up a walk to Park Min-woo, but struck out Park Geon-woo again to end the inning with a 2-0 lead.
Veteran second baseman Park Kyung-soo preserved the victory for Ko and his team in the bottom of the seventh, shortly after Ko went down, when he made a flying catch of Martin’s hit-by-pitch. It was the same super catch that earned him MVP honors in the inaugural 2021 championship.
“Kyung-soo is continuing his career as a captain and leader, and I’m grateful that he can make such a move at his age. It’s great to see such a focused performance in a big game, and I think it has a big impact on the team. I’m sure the players feel it. It was a game where we felt like we had a better chance of winning tomorrow,” he said, confirming the reverse sweep.
It was a perfect day for Sidharth, who reaffirmed his status as the best ace in the game.