NC-SSG to face off in Semi-Po 1st leg tomorrow
NC’s ‘batting king’ Son As-seop starts ‘2 in a row’ with SSG’s Choi Jeong leading the offense
‘One-two punch’ SSG dominance if 3-time champion Pedi is the biggest variable for 2 starts
Can NC, featuring ‘Son Ah-seop and the kids‘, overcome ‘defending champion’ SSG?
SSG, the third-place team in the KBO regular season, and NC, the fourth-place team that made it through the Wild Card Decision Game (WC), will play a best-of-five semi-playoffs (semi-PO) starting on April 22. Only one of the two teams will travel to Suwon, where second-place KT awaits, after a fierce three-way battle for third place down the stretch of the regular season.
In their head-to-head matchups this regular season, the two teams were evenly matched with eight wins and eight losses. SSG, who went straight to the Semi-Po, will have four days of honeyed rest before hosting NC at their home base of SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 22nd and 23rd. NC rode a wave of momentum in the WC, knocking out fifth-ranked Doosan in one game. From the introduction of the WC in 2015 until last year, the third- and fourth-ranked teams won four of the eight Semi-Finals.
NC Son “Follow me” Ah-seop vs SSG Choi “Follow me” Choi
The spearhead of the NC offense is Son Ah-seop (35). After struggling last year, Son hit for the first time in his career this season (.339) and went 2-for-5 in the WC on April 19, including a leadoff single to left field in the first inning. Ahead of the game, the NC captain said, “There are a lot of young players on the team. If a veteran like me can create a good atmosphere and the younger players can flow well, we can be a scary team,” he said before the game.
NC was led by shortstop Kim Joo-won (21) and catcher Kim Hyung-jun (24), who returned from the Hangzhou Asian Games with a gold medal. 카지노사이트랭크 Kim went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, including several walks, while Kim went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs.
SSG, which won the Korean Series (KS) title last year, will be led by center fielder Choi Jung (36) as they look to return to the top for a second straight year. The clubhouse leader suffered a hamstring injury at the end of the regular season, but was given time to recover as the team headed straight to the semi-postseason. Choi still ranks second in the category with 29 home runs this season.
SSG outfielder Choi Ji-hoon (26) and shortstop Park Sung-hyun (25), both of whom played in the Asian Games, will be facing off against now-enemies Kim Joo-won and Kim Hyung-jun. Choi Ji-hoon batted .333 (14-for-42) with five doubles against NC in the regular season.
NC’s Ace vs SSG’s One-Two Punch
The biggest variable in this series is whether NC ace Peddy (30) will start. Peddie, who won the triple crown of wins (20), ERA (2.00), and strikeouts (209) this season, has been out of the WC lineup since being hit by a pitch to the right arm on April 16 against KIA. However, with NC advancing to the Semifinals, Peddy’s chances of making a start increased. The best-case scenario for NC would be for Peddie to start Game 1. In that case, he could make one more appearance if the series goes to a final five-game series. Peddy has pitched well against SSG this season, with two wins and a 1.38 ERA.
As far as the second starter goes, SSG is ahead of NC with the “one-two punch” of Elias (35)-Kim Kwang-hyun (35). Kwang-hyun Kim pitched six scoreless innings in the regular season finale against Doosan on the 17th, and Elias pitched seven scoreless innings against Doosan a day earlier on the 16th. In that order, Elias would start Game 1 and Kwang-hyun Kim would start Game 2. However, the order could be reversed as Elias struggled in the regular season, going 1-1 with a 7.53 ERA in three games, while Kwang-hyun went 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA in three games. 섯다