“I’ll use him in the back of the bullpen”
LG Twins’ Choi Won-tae (26) will pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of the Korean Series.
“(Choi) Won-tae will go into the bullpen for the time being,” LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said in an interview before Game 3 of the best-of-seven Shinhan Bank SOL Korean Series against KT Wiz at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Tuesday.
LG acquired Choi from Kiwoom in a trade on July 29 in exchange for Lee Ju-hyung, Kim Dong-gyu, and a first-round rookie pick (Jeon Jun-pyo). The move was made to bolster the starting lineup and ensure a regular season title. Choi Won-tae made a successful LG debut on July 30 against Doosan, pitching six innings of two-hit ball with five strikeouts and no runs allowed.
However, he has struggled since then, going just 3-3 with a 6.70 ERA in nine games (44⅓ innings) for the LG.
Nevertheless, Yoon Kyung-yeop gave Choi the key role of starting pitcher for Game 2 of the Korean Series. After LG lost Game 1, Choi’s role became even more crucial, but he struggled in Game 2, giving up four runs on two hits and two walks in ⅓ of an inning. Fortunately for LG, Park Dong-won’s game-winning two-run homer in the eighth inning gave them a 5-4 victory in Game 2.
Coach Yeom Kyung-yeop said, “First of all, our pitchers are not bad. So, with Seung-jo in the front and Choi Won-tae in the back, I think there’s a chance that he’ll be able to pitch. There are a lot of players who are more confident than Choi Won-tae right now, so rather than playing him in the front, I’m going to play the Choi Won-tae card when I’ve used all the pitchers in the must-win group,” he said.
Choi has spent most of his career as a starter. However, 먹튀검증토토사이트 he is not without experience in the bullpen. In last year’s postseason with Kiwoom, he was also used exclusively out of the bullpen, going 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA in nine games (9 1/3 innings) with one save and three holds.
LG is evenly matched with KT at 1-1.
The series is likely to be decided in the third and subsequent fourth games, when the series will be balanced again. Coach Yeom Kyung-yup said, “Depending on the outcome of today’s game, there may be a change in the starting pitcher for Game 4. If we win, the starting pitcher for Game 4 will return to the rotation. However, if we lose the game today, we will have to make an abnormal operation because if we lose tomorrow, we will have lost three games and will be over 70-80%.” If LG sticks with its starting rotation, Kim Yoon-sik will likely start Game 4.
For the crucial Game 3, LG has called up Im Chan-kyu. In 30 games (144⅔ innings) this season, Im has a 14-3 record with one save and a 3.42 ERA. With his strong performance, he ranks third in wins (and first in homegrown wins) behind Eric Peddy (NC, 20) and Benjamin (15). Im had more than three weeks off since his last start, a 5⅔-inning, one-run win over Doosan on October 15.
Wes Benjamin will start for KT. Benjamin has been strong against LG this year, going 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA (3 ER in 32 1/3 innings) in five appearances, the most of any of the nine clubs.