It’s a lonely seat at the table.
KT Wiz dropped both Games 1 and 2 of the playoffs on March 30-31, tying the NC Dinos’ postseason record of nine straight wins. If KT loses Game 3 against NC in Changwon on Feb. 2, it will go down in the yearbook as a postseason “bust” and the KBO’s longest postseason winning streak at 10 games.
The key to KT’s Game 1 and 2 losses was their bats. In the two games, KT batted .227 with 15 hits in 66 at-bats, two home runs, seven RBIs, and seven runs scored. Of course, NC isn’t hitting at a great pace either, batting .243 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in two playoff games, but there’s a clear difference in opportunity cohesion.
Most notably, Anthony Alford, who went 0-for-7 in Game 2. With a 2-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning of Game 2 and a chance to tie or win the game, Alford struck out on a three-pitch strikeout of NC closer Lee Yong-chan. Park Byung-ho, who went 2-for-8, Sang-soo Kim, who went 1-for-8, and Hwang Jae-gyun also struggled. Jang Jang-woo, who went 2-for-7, was also not good.
He’s been about evenly distributed, going 3-for-7 with a .429 batting average, including a walk-off home run in Game 1. Moon Sang-chul is doing okay with a 0.333 batting average in 6 at-bats, including one home run. In the end, the center fielders like Park Byung-ho, Alford, Hwang Jae-gyun, and other high-paid players need to step up.
Turn the clock back 35 years to the 1988 Korean Series, when the Binggrae Eagles, who became Hattae’s ninth straight postseason victim, rode a 20-hit outburst in Game 4 of the Korean Series to a 14-3 win over Hattae. The momentum carried them to a 5-1 victory in Game 5. While Haetae eventually won the series 4-2, it’s ideal to have a hot bat to turn the tide in a short series. At the time, Binggrae also struggled in Games 1-3 of the Korean Series with 16 hits and five runs scored.
It’s not all doom and gloom for KT. NC’s Game 3 starter, Tanner Tully, struggled in both Game 1 of the Wild Card Decision and Game 3 of the semifinals. In the regular season, he gave up two runs on four hits and three walks in six innings on September 13 while striking out eight times.
Moreover, NC showed signs of losing strength in the batting lineup in the second game. The Ryu-Jin-wook-Yong-chan top of the lineup looked unstable. KT has the 바카라사이트 potential to fight back if their native ace Ko Young-pyo doesn’t collapse. In the end, the batting lineup is what keeps them alive. History also tells us that Haetae’s failure to win 10 straight postseason games was due to their inability to stop the Binggrae bats.