NC Dinos manager Kang Myung-ho said that he expected KT Wiz foreign pitcher William Cuevas to start Game 4 of the playoffs (PO).
Cuevas will start on only three days’ rest after the first game of the PO on March 30. It’s a turnaround card for KT, which wants to take the PO series to Game 5.
“I was somewhat aware of that pitch count (75 pitches) in Game 1 when I pulled Cuevas,” Kang said ahead of Game 4 of the PO at Changwon NC Park in Gyeongnam on Wednesday, adding, “It’s definitely time for Cuevas to come in.”
Cuevas was pulled after three innings after giving up seven runs (four earned) on six hits (one home run) and two walks.
“I think they will definitely prepare (in the bullpen) today,” Kang predicted, referring to KT’s lack of starting options.
After losing Game 2 of the PO, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol was coy about how he would utilize Cuevas and Exclusion, saying, “We’ll think about it after we win Game 3.”
Song Myung-ki will start the NC against Cuevas.
If Song, who went 4-9 with a 4.83 ERA in the regular season, falls apart early, right-hander Lee Jae-hak and left-hander Choi Sung-young will pitch in long relief, depending on the situation.
Kang, who suffered his first loss after six straight postseason victories, said he didn’t give his players a special message.
“Rather than having a meeting and delivering a message, I think it would be better to just smile and encourage them on the field,” Kang said, adding that he believes the players are doing their best right now.
“We’ve been in the postseason for almost a month now because we’ve been fighting for position since the beginning of October,” he said of the batting slump, adding, “When you have an upswing, sometimes you have a downswing.”
“Yesterday’s streak was broken, so I think there will be an upswing again in the future,” he said.
The NC batting order was the same as the previous day’s Game 3. Park Gun-woo, who has regained his form, will play right field again and leadoff hitter Son Ah-seop will bat designated hitter.
“We thought about the starting lineup, but in the end, we decided that the players in the existing starting lineup were in better shape than those on the bench,” Kang explained. 토토사이트