“I have a role to play,” says commander who reads the minds of veteran catchers on the bench
The NC Dinos’ starting catcher in the regular season this year was veteran Park Se-hyuk (33). He signed a four-year, 4.6 billion won free agent contract after last season and played in 88 regular-season games this year, batting .211 (51-for-242) with six home runs and 32 RBIs. Despite missing 41 days with a season-ending wrist injury, he wore the catcher’s mask for 620 innings, the most on the team. The presence of an experienced catcher is crucial in a short-term event like the postseason (PS), so it was expected that he would play a big role in the PS, where he started 36 games.
However, in NC’s three PS games, from the first game against the Doosan Bears in the Wild Card (WC) deciding game on the 19th (Changwon) to the second game of the semi-playoffs (Semi-PO-5 best-of-3) against SSG Landers on the 23rd, Park did not step on the field even once. Junior Kim Hyung-jun (24) defended home plate in all three games. With only 26 regular-season games under his belt, but with the confidence boosted by his gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games and a strong late-season form, NC head coach Kang Myung-hwa took a gamble and pulled out the Kim Hyung-jun card. In the first three games of the PS, Kim led the team to victory and hit three home runs. On the 25th, he was named to the starting lineup for the third game of the Semi-Po at Changwon NC Park.스포츠토토
For the NC, Kim’s performance has been so outstanding that it’s hard to make a change. For Park Se-hyuk, who has been waiting for his first fall baseball game since changing uniforms, his pride might be hurt. That’s why Kang had a message for Park before Game 3 of the Quarterfinals.
“With Kim Hyung-joon in the game, we’re in a good flow,” Kang said. That’s why I’ll continue to use him as a starter for now.” “Park Se-hyuk’s form is good right now. As the games go on, there will definitely be a role for Park Se-hyuk. He is also preparing well behind the scenes.” These are words that Park Se-hyuk can take heart from. It is proof that Coach Kang is also gaining experience as a commander.