20-year-old reigning MVP and 22-year-old MVP are well rested
KT’s vaunted Young-gun duo has been rested and refreshed both physically and mentally. “We’ll use them again today,” said Lee Kang-cheol, expressing his confidence in them.
Son Dong-hyun and Park Young-hyun suffered their first setback of the fall in Game 2 of the Korean Series against LG on. It was the first time the duo, who had been on a scoreless streak since the start of the playoffs against the NC, faltered, and their sluggishness led to the team’s loss.
In the seventh inning with a 4-2 lead, KT brought in its usual closer, Son Dong-hyun. The reigning playoff MVP retired the first two batters he faced, 먹튀검증 Shin Min-jae and Hong Chang-ki, but gave up a walk to Park Hae-min before handing the mound over to “King of Holds” Park Young-hyun.
The trusted Young-hyun gave up an RBI double down the right field line to Kim Hyun-soo to cut the deficit to 4-3. Compared to his last playoff outing, Game 1 of the Korean Series, he didn’t look as strong.
Park Young-hyun took the mound in the eighth inning, but faltered when he walked leadoff hitter Oh Ji-hwan. He then faced Park Dong-won with runners on first and second after Moon Bo-kyung’s sacrifice bunt. It was the final blow of the day.
After suffering his first setback of the fall,
Park was replaced by Kim Jae-yoon to end the game on a bittersweet note. He was hit in the shin by Moon Sung-joo’s bat in the first game and suffered a superficial bruise, but his injury struggles didn’t translate into victory.
“I saw Park for the first time today, and the area where he was hit in Game 1 was much better,” said KT manager Lee Kang-cheol ahead of Game 3 at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Tuesday. “Both players have thrown a lot, but we have to go with them today. Park Dong-won hit the changeup well. I can’t blame Young-hyun Park for that.”
In Game 3, KT’s must-win pair will be Son Dong-hyun and Park Young-hyun. There was no other option, and fortunately, the nine days and one day off allowed them to recover their strength.
“Both players said their stamina was better after a day off,” said Lee. We need to use them today,” Lee said, adding, “In the season, even after a game like this, they didn’t falter in the next game. The players’ mentality is very good,” he said.
KT had the following starting lineup for LG’s Chan-kyu Lim:
Choi Jae-dae (center fielder), Kim Sang-soo (shortstop), Hwang Jae-gyun (third baseman), Park Byung-ho (first baseman), Jang Jang-woo (catcher), Moon Sang-cheol (designated hitter), Anthony Alford (left fielder), Oh Yun-seok (second baseman), and Cho Myung-ho (right fielder). The starting pitcher was Wes Benjamin.
Compared to Games 1 and 2, the lineup changed drastically. He batted top of the order and dropped the struggling Alford from the third to the seventh spot.
Lee said, “Park Byung-ho and Alford didn’t match up well, so I dropped them. Hwang Jae-gyun has a good batting average against Im Chan-kyu,” he said. “The table setter is Kim Sang-soo, who has good contact and can solve the problem if the batsmen get on base. Kim Sang-soo kept going out to lead off, so his stamina dropped. I hope he hits well,” and wished for a victory in the third game.