‘Dinosaur Army’ NC Dinos’ fall gusts are fierce. Following the Doosan Bears, a traditional fall baseball powerhouse, they also swallowed up last season’s overall championship team, the SSG Landers. Now the hunt for KT Wiz, the second-place team in the regular league, has begun in earnest.
NC won all 3 games in the series in the semi-playoffs (semi-PO, 3 wins out of 5) against SSG, which ended at Changwon NC Park on the 25th, and won the right to participate in the playoffs (PO, 3 wins out of 5).
NC, which also won the wild card game against Doosan, won four straight games without losing once in this fall baseball season. In particular, NC’s breakthrough is even more surprising in that it took place while ‘special ace’ Eric Peddy did not appear in a single game.
After playing as a full-time starter in the Major League of American Professional Baseball, Peddie took a flight to Korea this year and dominated the KBO League as soon as he came to Korea. With a fastball in the 150km range and a ‘sweeper’ (a modified slider that bends significantly laterally), which is also well-known as the main weapon of ‘Japanese baseball genius’ Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), he recorded a season record of 20 wins, 6 losses, an ERA of 2.00, and 209 strikeouts. He ranked first in most wins, ERA, and strikeouts, also known as the pitcher’s triple crown.
In addition, Peddie became the fifth player in history to achieve 20 wins and 200 strikeouts at the same time. In 1983, Sammi Superstars’ Jang Myeong-bu (30 wins, 220 strikeouts), in 1984, Lotte Giants’ late Choi Dong-won (27 wins, 223 strikeouts), in 1985, Samsung Lions’ Kim Si-jin (25 wins, 201 strikeouts), and in 1986, Haitai Tigers’ Sun Dong-yeol (24 wins, 214 strikeouts), standing proudly on par with great pitchers who have graced Korean professional baseball.
Although Peddie received praise for ‘accounting for half of NC’s strength’ during the regular season, he failed to appear in the most important fall baseball season. In the game against the KIA Tigers on the 16th, which was his last appearance in the regular season, he was replaced after suffering a bruise on his right forearm after being hit by a batted ball from Ko Jong-wook.
Although some time has passed and he has started pitching in the bullpen, he is still experiencing aftereffects. Initially, NC coach Kang In-kwon designated Peddie as the starter for the third game of the semi-PO and also revealed it in an interview with reporters. However, after pitching in the bullpen, Peddie complained of discomfort and received medical treatment, and the starting pitcher for Game 3 was hastily changed to Tanner Turley.
Peddie’s physical condition was a big negative for NC starting fall baseball. However, he succeeded in advancing to PO after persevering with ‘gums instead of teeth’. At this point, greeting the PO without a pedi can be seen as a blessing in disguise.
NC will play a best-of-five PO series against KT, second place in the regular season, starting on the 30th. Thanks to finishing the semi-PO early with 3 consecutive wins, I was able to enjoy 4 days of rest. Typically, the performance of teams coming up from the bottom declines as the game progresses due to physical exhaustion, but this year’s NC is an exception.
Above all, NC can operate Pedi in earnest starting from PO. After ending the semi-PO game with a win, NC coach Kang In-kwon said, “Unless other problems arise in the remaining time, the starting point for the first game of PO will be Peddie.” Coach Kang In-kwon planned to appoint Peddie as the starter for Game 4 if NC lost in Game 3 of the semi-PO.
Of course, NC can’t just be happy about Pedi’s return. Peddie has not pitched in practice for nearly 15 days since his last appearance in the regular season. It is still unclear whether the ace we knew will appear. In addition to his physical condition, his pitching sense is a variable.메이저놀이터
KT has a solid starting pitcher lineup including Wes Benjamin, William Cuevas, Ko Young-pyo, and Bae Seong. In order for NC to not fall behind in the starting battle with KT, Peddie must return as close to 100% as possible.
NC’s best-case scenario is for Peddie to appear as a starter in games 1, 4, or 5 as expected and take responsibility for victory. It is no exaggeration to say that NC’s final fall baseball report card will be determined by how well Peddie regains the power of winning three awards as a pitcher.