I was hit with a shocking blow in front of a 10,000-won crowd that filled the Incheon stadium. Now we need to come to our senses and keep a glimmer of hope alive.
SSG Landers lost by 1 point in the first game of the semi-playoffs.
SSG lost 3 to 4 in the first game of the semi-playoffs against NC Dinos held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 22nd.메이저놀이터
It was a shocking defeat for the ‘defending champion’ in front of a packed crowd that sold out all 22,500 seats early.
It was even more disappointing because starting pitcher Roenis Elias threw the ‘fight of his life’.
SSG selected Elias, the most reliable player at the moment, as the starter in Game 1, and as expected, he pitched without giving up until the 7th inning, completely shutting down the NC batting lineup.
The problem was the batting lineup. Even though SSG had more chances, they were unable to score a single point until the 7th inning.
They formed a ‘table setter’ with Oh Tae-gon and Park Seong-han to match the opponent’s starting pitcher Shin Min-hyuk, but they continued to have a difficult situation as they missed many opportunities. Instead of a strategy, they pushed for a strong attack, but the only result was a loss of base.
SSG collapsed when Elias, who held on well until the 7th inning, allowed pinch hitter Kim Seong-wook to score the go-ahead two runs in the 8th.
The scoring came late in the bottom of the 8th inning, but this time the bullpen was shaken. Noh Kyung-eun and Seo Jin-yong of Pil Seung-joo, who had been invincible all season, allowed consecutive runs in the 9th inning. Ha Jae-hoon’s two-run home run in the bottom of the 9th inning was dramatic, but the scores already given up were too large to turn things around.
In the past, the probability that a team that lost in the first round of the semi-playoffs advanced to the playoffs is only 12.5% (4/32).
They finished the regular season in 3rd place and started the series in a better position, but now they are in a position to turn things around.
SSG coach Kim Won-hyung also expressed his disappointment after losing the first game, saying, “We had a chance to score early on, but it didn’t turn out to be a score, so we lost. There didn’t seem to be any problems with our overall condition, but we didn’t score a single point.”
It is still too early to give up hope. Since it is a best-of-five series, there is still a possibility.
What is urgent is a win in the second game. After finishing with 1 win and 1 loss at home, we have to go to Changwon.
SSG will begin a counterattack with Kim Gwang-hyun as the starter in the second game held in Incheon on the 23rd. We are in a situation where we have to rely on ‘eternal ace’ Kim Gwang-hyun for everything. It was a solid bullpen during the regular season, but we realized through Game 1 that there is uncertainty in short-term games. Considering that the batters are not yet fully warmed up, starting pitcher Gwang-Hyun Kim has to lead as many innings as possible without giving up any runs in Game 2 to have a chance of winning.
Gwang-Hyun Kim is a veteran among veterans, having pitched in a total of 22 postseason games. Although he does not have the skills of his prime, he is an ‘ace’ with his track record, experience, and ability to overcome the pressure of a big game. There were some ups and downs in his pitching this season, but he still consistently pitched more than 5 to 6 innings. On the 17th, after confirming the regular season rankings, he started in the final game of the season against Doosan and became the winning pitcher with 6 scoreless innings, and will appear in the second game after a 5-day break. The key is to overcome his burden.
Now it is the batting line’s turn to help Gwang-Hyun Kim. NC’s starting pitcher for Game 2 is ‘Young Gun’ Song Myeong-ki. In order to give ’20-win pitcher’ Eric Peddy more rest, Shin Min-hyuk and Song Myung-ki were selected as starters for the first and second games, but NC’s Shin Min-hyuk card has already achieved success. Song Myung-ki also had the experience of showing a surprising performance when winning the Korean Series in 2020. Considering that SSG batters are more picky about young pitchers than NC’s foreign pitchers, the second game will have a chance of winning only if a concentrated attack is carried out from the beginning.