We started in Changwon, went to Incheon, and then back to Changwon. Then Suwon to Changwon to Suwon again. NC is having a rough fall. The 1730-kilometer road trip can’t end now. Without 20-win, 200-strikeout ace Eric Pedroia, it’s up to Shin Min-hyuk (24), the “Pedroia hopeful,” to continue the fall journey.
NC will play Game 5 of the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ postseason playoffs at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Friday. The starting pitcher will be Shin Min-hyuk, not the ace Pedi that everyone expected and anticipated.
NC was in a fierce battle for third place until the end of the regular season, but slipped to fourth place at the last minute and had to start their postseason schedule with the Wild Card Decision Game. The team defeated Doosan 14-9 in the first round of the Wild Card Decider to advance to the semifinals. It was the start of a fall run, but also the beginning of a bumpy road. With the top three teams – No. 3 SSG (Incheon), No. 2 KT (Suwon), and No. 1 (LG) – all located in the Seoul metropolitan area, NC had a lot of traveling to do.
In the semifinals, the team had to travel approximately 740 kilometers round-trip from Changwon NC Park to SSG Landers Field, based on the navigation system, but NC was able to capitalize on the momentum of the wildcard decider and finish the series with a three-game sweep. After wrapping up the series in Changwon, the team took a four-day break before traveling to Suwon for the playoffs.
It’s 330 kilometers to KT Wiz Park in Suwon. With two wins on Suwon’s home turf, the team had high hopes of clinching the best-of-three series. However, they dropped two games in Changwon to even the series at 2-2. After traveling 660 kilometers roundtrip, the team traveled back to Suwon for the fateful Game 5. Another 330 kilometers to go.
In total, NC has traveled a staggering 1,730 kilometers over the course of about 20 days of fall baseball. The traveling was already a burden during the regular season, but it was compounded by the physical exertion and focus of the postseason. The players suffer from the physical decline that comes with traveling long distances, and now it’s a battle with themselves, a battle with their limits and their focus.
If we’ve come this far, we can’t end this way. NC will be without their expected 20-win, 200-strikeout ace, Eric Peddie, due to fatigue, but Shin Min-hyuk, who has been more than a match for Peddie in fall baseball this year, will start. 토토사이트
Shin has been one of the bright spots of NC’s fall this year. He’s been the ace in the hole when Peddie hasn’t been able to pitch due to fatigue. He took over the mound in Game 1 of the semifinals on March 22 and threw 5⅔ innings of one-hit ball, striking out three and walking none. He neutralized the SSG bats with efficient pitch count management and a combination of his cutter and changeup. Set up the upset and the miracle run himself.