Ace’ was responsible for starting the series. Now the NC Dinos are looking for their second win in a row in the series. Shin Min-hyuk, a 4-year professional, will take the starting mound.
NC, led by coach Kang In-kwon, will play the second game against KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Playoffs at Suwon KT Wiz Park on the 31st. Shin Min-hyuk and Wes Benjamin face off as starters.
NC took the advantage by winning the first game. The probability of the team winning the first game of the past KBO playoffs (based on best-of-five series, excluding the two major leagues in 1999-2000, 1995, 2008, and 2021) reaching the Korean Series is 78.1% (25/32). Moreover, it was even more meaningful in that we won the first game away.
The role of the batting line, which defeated KT starter Cuevas by scoring in four consecutive innings from the top of the first inning, was also decisive, but the presence of foreign pitcher Eric Peddy stood out as expected. Peddie completely blocked the KT batting lineup with 3 hits (1 home run), 1 walk, 12 strikeouts, and 1 run in 6 innings.
Peddie, who struck out 12 batters in 6 innings, broke the record for most strikeouts in a single playoff game. The previous record was 11 by Sun Dong-yeol (Haitai, Game 3 vs. Pacific) in 1989 and Chris Flexen (Doosan, Game 1 vs. KT) in 2020.
Kim Si-hoon and Lee Yong-chan, who appeared in relief in the bottom of the 9th inning, performed poorly, allowing 3 runs in ⅔ innings and 1 run in ⅓ innings, respectively, but second pitcher Kim Young-gyu and third pitcher Ryu Jin-wook still showed off their good form by allowing no runs in 1 inning. In many ways, it was the first game where NC had a lot to gain.
NC, which is one step closer to advancing to the Korean Series, secretly wants to win the second game and return to its home stadium, Changwon NC Park. If NC ends their trip to Suwon with two consecutive wins, their chances of advancing to the Korean Series may increase.
The pitcher who took on the responsibility of starting is Shin Min-hyuk. Shin Min-hyuk, who joined NC with the 49th pick in the 2nd 5th round of the 2020 rookie draft, has played more than 10 games in the first team every year since his first year, and even pitched 145 innings as a starting pitcher in 2021, his second year in the league. This year’s regular season records were 29 games, 122 innings, 5 wins, 5 losses, and an ERA of 3.98.
In particular, Shin Min-hyuk left a strong impression in his last two appearances, including the regular season. In the final game of the regular season, against the Gwangju KIA Tigers on the 17th, he pitched well with 2 hits, no walks, 5 strikeouts, and no runs in 5 innings, and then in the first game of the semi-playoff against SSG Landers on the 22nd, he pitched 5⅔ innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, and no runs. contributed greatly to the victory.
Shin Min-hyuk, who had been having ups and downs until just early this month, found stability by pitching scoreless pitches in two consecutive games. Moreover, he was able to boost his confidence as he achieved good results in the starting matchup against formidable pitchers such as Yang Hyun-jong and Roenis Elias. In fact, Shin Min-hyuk is one of the pitchers in the best condition in the current starting lineup, so much so that it is not an exaggeration to say that he played the role of an ace after leaving the starting pitch against KIA on the 16th.
Against KT this season, he recorded 5 games, 24⅓ innings, 2 wins, 2 losses, and an average ERA of 3.70. If we narrow the scope to the Suwon KT Wiz Park away trip, he recorded 3 games, 14⅓ innings, 1 win, 1 loss, and an average ERA of 4.40.스포츠토토
However, NC has already proven through the first game that regular season performance is not very meaningful. Although NC was inferior to KT with 6 wins and 10 losses, they did not care much about their opponent’s record, which soon led to a victory in the first game. Oh Young-soo, who had three hits including a home run in the first game, said, “The players didn’t seem to really think about the opponent’s record, and I didn’t care about that either.”
The same goes for Shin Min-hyuk. Regardless of the relative performance, good results can be achieved just by maintaining recent condition. If Shin Min-hyuk pitches well once again, the team can get closer to a second straight win and advancing to the Korean Series. Attention is being paid to whether he will revive the memories of the first game of the semi-playoffs when he did not give up in the match against Elias.