Park Young-hyun and Kim Jae-yoon aren’t the only ones in the KT WIZ bullpen in the KBO. While Park Young-hyun and Kim Jae-yoon were responsible for the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, Son Dong-hyun (22), who appeared in 64 regular-season games and collected eight wins, 15 holds, and one save, came in before them and served as a crisis reliever. In her first fall baseball appearance, Son, who was a “bullpen supporting cast member” in the regular season, stood out as the star of the show.
In the top of the sixth inning of a 2-2 game against the NC Dinos in the best-of-five playoffs (PO-5) at Katie Weeds Park in Suwon, South Korea, Son entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs. After starter Wes Benjamin walked Kwon Hee-dong after throwing just one pitch, Son laid down a sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and second. With just one hit away from a run, Son pumped his fist in the air as he got Jason Martin to fly out to center field and Oh to ground out to short.
Even though KT scored a run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 3-2, it was Son’s turn on the mound in the top of the seventh. Son gave up a double to Son Ah-seob two batters later, but he got Seo Ho-chul to fly out to center field for the sixth out of Game 5 of the PO.In the end, KT won 3-2 to punch their ticket to the Korean Series with a reverse sweep, meaning three straight wins after two losses, and Son Dong-hyun was the winning pitcher in Game 5.
He pitched all five games in the PO, totaling seven innings, allowing four hits, no walks and no runs. Combined with his Game 4 hold and the win, he finished with a 5-1 record, 1 hold, and a 0.00 ERA.
After the series, Son was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the series, receiving 39 of the 71 votes cast by journalists, ahead of Choi Jae-dae (17), William Cuevas, Park Young-hyun (5+), Kim Min-hyuk (3), and Jang Jang-woo (2).
The award is worth 3 million won. Son has earned the nickname “Strong Hearted Player” for his performance in the fall baseball season, which is more physically and mentally demanding than the regular season. This PO is his first fall baseball .In 2019, his rookie year, the team failed to qualify for the postseason, and 2020 was unimpressive.
In 2021, 카지노사이트 when KT won its first unified championship, and last year, he served in the Armed Forces Athletic Corps (Commerce).After the game, Son said, “I’m happy that the team turned it around with a reverse sweep in a crisis situation. Even though I pitched the entire game, I didn’t feel tired. I feel like I helped the team win a little bit.” He smiled broadly.
When asked about the fatigue of pitching in all the games, he said, “When we lost the first two games, my arm was sore the next day, but when we won, there was no such thing and I just wanted to keep going.” He attested to the adrenaline rush. “In the season, I had some bad days when I pitched more than one inning. When I came to fall baseball, I didn’t care about it at all and didn’t feel any pain,” he added.
After the series, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “I didn’t think Son Dong-hyun would be this good, but I think the vacancy of Park Young-hyun at the end of the season helped. I could see his pitching from the first game. He did a great job.” Son took over as the team’s set-up man when Park was called up to the Hangzhou Asian Games at the end of the season.
“I felt that I was well prepared for the postseason, and the confidence gave me good results,” he said, adding that the experience of filling in for Park helped him. Just as left-handed reliever Kim Young-kyu, who pitched every game for NC in the semifinals, was named Series MVP in the previous PO, the bullpen was the star of the show in the PO.
“I wasn’t thinking about the series MVP at all,” Kim Min-hyuk booed, but Son Dong-hyun remained steadfast: “I just wanted to win. Yesterday, the day before the match, I was so nervous that I couldn’t sleep.” After dominating the PO, Son will now head to Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, where the LG Twins are waiting. “It feels like a dream to win the PO now. I don’t know what the Korean Series will be like until I get there, but I’m looking forward to it because we have a great team atmosphere.”