After closing out the semi-playoffs (Semi-Po) with a three-game sweep of the SSG Landers, NC Dinos head coach Kang Myung-ho has announced that ace Eric Peddy will be available for the playoffs (PO) against the KT Wiz.
NC defeated SSG 7-6 in the third game of the 2023 KBO Postseason Semi-Po at NC Park in Changwon, Gyeongnam, on May 25 to clinch a spot in the PO with a three-game sweep. NC will take on regular season runner-up KT in the first round of the PO at 6:30 p.m. on April 30 at Katie Wise Park in Suwon.
For NC, the series win was a bit of a blessing in disguise, as their ace, Peddie, was injured by a pitch in his last appearance of the regular season and was unable to play in the Semi-Po. Closing out the series with three straight wins gave Pedi plenty of time to recover.
“If we had lost Game 3 today, he would have been ready for tomorrow,” Kang said after the game, adding, “If there are no special circumstances, I think he will be able to pitch in Game 1.”
Pedi hasn’t pitched since his last appearance on the 16th. “I think he’ll be a little off sensation-wise, but he’ll have time to get his sensation up with bullpen pitching,” he said. “It’ll be hard at first, but I think he’ll be fine after throwing one inning.”
For NC, the third game was not an easy battle. Despite scoring seven runs in the second inning, they were unable to add to their lead in the third and had to hold on to a precarious one-run lead.
“After scoring early in the game today, we had a hard time scoring additional runs,” Kang said, “but the middle pitchers did their job and we were able to finish the semifinals in a good mood.”
“When Lee Jae-hak was injured, Pil Seung-jo came out ahead,” he said, adding, “I was going to leave Ryu Jin-wook until the eighth inning, but as the pitch count increased, Lim Jung-ho had to close the eighth inning regardless of the left-handed batter.”
Regarding Lee Jae-hak, who was replaced in the top of the fifth inning after being hit in the right hand by Oh Tae-gon’s hard-hit bat, he said, “I haven’t received an accurate report yet, but I know it’s not a major injury, just a bruise.” “We’ll listen to the details of the injury and decide what to do next,” he said.
After a shaky showing in the first game, he was positive about the improved performance of finisher Lee Yong-chan. “I think he’s found his form,” Kang said. He looked relaxed as a closer,” and expressed his expectation that “he will continue to pitch well as he has found his groove.”
“The players seem to have picked up the momentum. “I’m glad we got a break because the players must have been physically and mentally tired. We will try to play a good game against KT.”