I won when I was crazy, I lost when I was tired… The sweet six-peat is over, and I’m fighting my limits.
“Today we’re crazy.
Captain Son Ah-seop shouted it in a meeting of players just before the regular season. “If we get tired, we lose. But if you’re crazy, you win. Today, we are crazy,” to boost the morale of his players.
It became the slogan for NC’s fall baseball this year. It’s also on the cheerleaders’ current chants. The team did indeed make a run. They finished the regular season in fourth place. It was a shame that they didn’t start at a higher level as their pace dropped at the end of the regular season.
But 4th place took them from game 1 of the wildcard decider against Doosan, through 3 semi-finals games against 3rd place SSG, to game 2 of the playoffs against 2nd place KT. 바카라사이트 Over the course of the six-game series, the team went on a six-game winning streak in fall baseball this year, with crazy players appearing in every game.
In the wild-card game,
Seo Ho-cheol led the charge with a six-hit performance, including a walk-off home run. In Game 1 of the semifinals, starter Shin Min-hyuk pitched a strong game and pinch-hitter Kim Sung-wook hit a game-winning two-run shot. In Game 2, Son As-seop and Park Gun-woo played well, and Kim Hyung-joon’s two-run homer was the difference. In Game 3, Jason Martin hit a three-run homer and franchise ace Lee Jae-hak pitched a gem to win the game and advance to the playoffs.
Game 1 of the playoffs against KT saw the return of ace Eric Peddy. Peddy’s 12-strikeout performance was backed up by three hits, including a home run by Oh Young-soo that knocked out opposing ace Cuevas. In Game 2, Park Gun-woo hit a two-run homer and shortstop Kim Joo-won made a super diving catch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth to end the game. Every game had its moments, and those moments were crazy.
But NC’s postseason journey,
which began at the bottom of the ladder, is exhausting. They’d been drunk on the sweetness of a six-game winning streak, and they’d played tirelessly on the high of victory.
However, the effect of the wake-up call was fading, and the team was starting to show signs of physical decline. The third game of the playoffs, which was played back at home in Changwon on the 2nd, confirmed that NC’s strength was slowly diminishing.
First of all, the team’s offense, which had scored 44 points in the previous six games, began to decline. They won the second game of the playoffs, but were held to three runs, resulting in a hard-fought 3-2 victory. The batting lineup started to lose steam, and in Game 3, they were swept by a tricky pitcher in Ko Young-pyo, managing just three hits. Their six-game postseason winning streak came to an end.
Out of the bullpen, Kim Young-gyu gave up a solo home run to Moon Sang-chul in the seventh inning. Bad signs were emerging.
We’ve been winning because we’re crazy, and now we’re losing because we’re tired
The manager was aware of this and was wary, but he couldn’t raise the players’ stamina alone. “It’s a time when the graph of the batting lineup is going down,”
Kang said before the third game, “and it’s true that the fatigue level of the players is high. It’s not just physical fatigue, but mental fatigue as well. There is a limit to how much concentration you can have. It’s a two-game, one-day rest schedule, so we had a day off yesterday and practiced today, so I think the team was in good shape.” However, the team was not as active and energized as before.
After the game, he said, “I was disappointed that the batsmen couldn’t convert their scoring chances. I think the fact that we couldn’t target Ko Young-pyo was the reason why it was a difficult game,” and “Kim Young-gyu’s restraint hasn’t recovered yet. His fatigue level is high. There are no injuries, so we’ll see.”
Now it’s really a fight to the limit
Park Gun-woo has been suffering from a cold, and other key players such as Park Min-woo, Kwon Hee-dong and Seo Ho-cheol have hamstring, shoulder and ankle problems. There are few players with full bodies. The anesthetic of a six-game winning streak has worn off.
NC still has an advantage. They are 2-1 up in the series. They only need one more win to advance to the Korean Series.
For now, the starting matchup for Game 4 is William Cuevas for KT and Song Myung-ki for NC. KT is still on the edge of a cliff, so they’re resting their ace Cuevas on three days’ rest. NC will stay the course. Even if they lose Game 4 and take the series 2-2, NC will still have their superstar ace Eric Peddie waiting for them in Game 5.
Now, NC will have to fight again against the limitations that they have forgotten for a while. Only by overcoming these limitations can the Korean Series be seen.