Two years ago, the defending champions KT Wiz were on the verge of missing out on the playoffs, but now they’re back. The team is starting to fight back as the gameplans thrown by the ‘no tomorrow’ coach continue to work.
KT Wiz won Game 4 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Playoffs against the NC Dinos on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. behind the power of its bats and a strong performance from starter William Cuevas. KT, which traveled to Changwon after losing two games at home, will return to Suwon with two wins on the road.
KT finished the regular season with 79 wins, 62 losses, and three ties (0.560 winning percentage), 6.5 games behind the first-place LG Twins and three games behind the third-place SSG Landers. After a slow start to the season that saw them slip to last place by June, they rebounded to quickly break into the top half of the standings. KT, which was in contention for third place at the end of last year’s season before falling to fourth, ended the season two spots higher in one year.
However, the first and second games were disappointing. In the first game, which was played after a 20-day break from the regular season finale, KT struggled to get back into the game. After taking the lead in the first inning, KT fell behind 0-2 in the second inning when Oh Young-soo hit a solo home run. Mistakes followed on defense, including errors by third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun in the third and pitcher Cuevas in the fourth. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Choi Jae-dae hit a grand slam, but it was too late, and the team lost 5-9. In the second game, they gave up three runs in the first inning, including a two-run home run to Park Gun-woo. They rallied with two runs in the eighth, but missed a golden opportunity with runners on first and third in the ninth, ultimately losing 2-3.
However, in the third game, which was moved to Changwon NC Park, KT started to fight back. After starting pitcher Ko Young-pyo pitched six innings of three-hit ball with two walks and five strikeouts, KT took the lead in the top of the second inning with a two-run homer by Bae Jae-dae, and eventually won 3-0 in the seventh inning when Moon Sang-chul hit a two-run solo home run. 무지개토토 주소
In the fourth game, Lee threw a game-winner. He announced Cuevas, who had gone down after 75 pitches in Game 1, as the starter for Game 4 after three days of rest. “I didn’t think about it, but after Game 1, I already told him (Cuevas) to prepare for Game 4 because his pitch count was right. I looked at his pitch count and made a quick change.” “I didn’t think we were going to lose Game 2, so I had Cuevas ready from then on,” he said.
He also made changes to the lineup. It was similar in general, but instead of Park Kyung-soo, who had been the starter in Game 3, Oh Yoon-seok came in to bat second and hit seventh. Lee joked, “(Park) was tired after that (lake rain) yesterday,” and then added, “He said his adductor muscle is a little tight. He can play defense later with the lead. Oh Yoon-seok has a high batting average against Song Myung-ki (7-for-4). His batting feel is not bad either.”