‘Korean Series MVP two years ago’ 39-year-old veteran gets another start, “Miraculously… We’ve been playing really well”
KT Wiz captain and most senior player Park Kyung-soo (39-KT Wiz) is ready for the first fall baseball game of the year.
Park will bat ninth and play second base in the first game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Postseason Playoffs (best-of-five series) against the NC Dinos at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Sept. 30.
Park helped lead the team to the playoffs this year as a backup after not seeing much action in the regular season. In 107 games this season, Park batted .200 (37-for-185) with one home run, 12 RBI, 12 runs scored, 30 walks, one hit-by-pitch, 46 strikeouts, a .286 on-base percentage, a .315 slugging percentage, and a .601 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage).
Still, manager Lee Kang-cheol trusts Park’s experience in the big game of the postseason. “Defense is probably the most important thing in the short term,” he said at KT Wiz Park in Suwon the previous day (29th). “Even in the semi-playoffs, there were scenes where the game was decided by the decisive defense.
Park’s biggest strength is defense. According to KT’s power analyst, “Park’s true strength is in his quickness to handle hard-hit balls and his clean delivery that prevents runners from getting on base. His ability to execute tactics such as bunting is also excellent. He is also a good communicator between the players and the coaching staff with his soft leadership. As a captain, he is a solid support.” On this day, Lee chose Park as the starting second baseman.
KT’s starting lineup was Kim Sang-soo (shortstop), Hwang Jae-gyun (third base), Alford (left fielder), Park Byung-ho (first base), Jang Sung-woo (catcher), Cho Yong-ho (right fielder), Moon Sang-chul (designated hitter), Bae Jeong-dae (center fielder), and Park Kyung-soo (second base). In contrast, NC’s starting lineup was Son Asub (designated hitter), Park Min-woo (second base), Park Geon-woo (right field), Martin (center field), Kwon Hee-dong (left field), Seo Ho-chul (third base), Oh Young-soo (first base), Kim Hyung-joon (catcher), and Kim Joo-won (shortstop).
Park was at his best in 2021 when KT won the pennant race and went on to win the Korean Series. He was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Korean Series after a stellar performance that included a decisive “super catch” in the final game.
“Cuevas asked me if I was going to start,” Park laughed before the game, “and I think that means I’m going to focus more on defense than offense. Although it’s inevitable that my defensive range will be reduced, I’ve been focusing on the basics to avoid making mistakes as much as possible.”
“We spent a lot of time analyzing the power the day before,” Park said of NC’s starting pitcher, Eric Peddie, a top ace with 20 wins and 200 strikeouts. In the case of the NC, we also changed our catcher from Park Se-hyuk to Kim Hyung-joon. Pedi himself is also pitching for the first time in a long time, so there may be variables,” he said.카지노사이트
Two years ago, in 2021, KT advanced directly to the Korean Series after a tiebreaker with the Samsung Lions in the first-place game. This season, after finishing second and going straight to the playoffs, KT hopes to win the Korean Series once again.
“Compared to two years ago, the pressure is much less,” said Park. I didn’t tell the players anything in particular. This is a year where we went down to the bottom and then miraculously came back up. That doesn’t mean we’re complacent or lazy. We’ve been doing really well, so I think we can all enjoy it a little bit more.”
As for NC, Park said, “They were a good, good team. I watched the whole game. They had a lot of momentum,” he said, adding, “We have Wes Benjamin and Ko Young-pyo, who seemed to have regained their form from the Blue-Black match.” He was determined to win.