“We can be an ambush this postseason” (Son A-seop). “I will do my best to win” (Kim Joo-won).
NC Dinos’ key players, Son Ah-seop and Kim Joo-won, showed their determination.
NC will play the first game of the 2023 KBO postseason wild card match (best of 2) against the Doosan Bears at Changwon NC Park on the 19th.
NC, which recorded 75 wins, 2 draws, and 67 losses in the regular league, ranked 4th and returned to the fall baseball stage three years after 2020 (the combined championship at the time). With the advantage of giving 4th place one win, if they win this game, they can advance to the semi-playoffs.
However, the current atmosphere in NC is not good. This is because all plans went wrong at the end of the season. They fought fiercely for 3rd place until the last day of the regular season, but lost 3rd place to SSG Landers in the two-game series against KIA Tigers held at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field on the 16th and 17th.
There was also bad news about injuries. Super ace Eric Peddy, who had 20 wins, 6 losses, an ERA of 2.00, and 209 strikeouts in 30 games (180.1 innings) this season, was excluded from the roster for this series. This is the aftermath of being hit on the right forearm by Ko Jong-wook’s batted ball in the Gwangju KIA game on the 16th. In addition, outfielder Park Geon-woo was added to the list, but his back and knee conditions are not normal.
Nevertheless, Son Ah-seop, who led NC’s fall baseball by becoming the batting champion for the first time in his career this season (batting average 0.339) and the fourth most hits (189 hits) for the fourth time (2012, 2013, 2017, 2023), met with reporters before the game and said, “There are still no members on our team. There are many young players who have not played in big games. “It is disappointing that we did not advance directly to the semi-playoffs (because we did not reach third place), but just playing in such a big game will be of great help to our team,” he confidently said.
At the same time, he expressed confidence, saying, “If senior players like me, Park Geon-woo, and Park Min-woo ease the burden on the juniors, we can become a strong force in this postseason.”
Son Ah-seop tried to flood his body with dopamine before his fall baseball game. He tried to get rid of bad thoughts and energy by diligently searching through video channels.
He said, “The fall baseball stage naturally secretes dopamine. “Fatigue and feeling of hitting change drastically after the game starts,” he said. “I slept well the night before and woke up with good thoughts. “The postseason is such a precious game, so I want to do it without regrets,” he said, nodding his head.
This game is also the first fall baseball game held at Changwon NC Park, which opened in 2019. NC also participated in the postseason in 2020, when it achieved a combined championship, but at the time, it was held at Gocheok Sky Dome due to the aftermath of COVID-19.
Coincidentally, Son Ah-seop’s last fall baseball game was the 2017 semi-playoffs held at Masan Baseball Stadium, located right next to Changwon NC Park. At the time, Son Ah-seop was a member of the Lotte Giants.
He smiled brightly, saying, “We recently played the last postseason game at Masan Stadium right next door, and it is also amazing to play the first postseason game at Changwon NC Park after moving to NC.”
In addition, Son Ah-seop selected Kim Joo-won, who played a big role in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, as the player who will be most active in NC in the postseason.
Son Ah-seop said, “Now that Kim Joo-won has played a big game, I have more time to play and things like that. It may seem like nothing, but (its impact on the game) is very big. It will be his first time on the postseason stage, so I think (Kim) Joo-won will do well. “He didn’t tell the player because he was afraid it would put pressure on him,” he said with a grin.
Kim Joo-won, who I met afterwards, also promised a good performance. He said, “I think I’m less nervous because I played a big game first (at the Hangzhou Asian Games),” and added, “I’ll focus just as much as I did at the international competition.”
Kim Joo-won continued, “I think defense is the most important. Since it is a short-term game, if a mistake is made in defense, the team may collapse at once. “He is trying to think about defense first,” he pledged.
NC senior players said they tried to raise the team’s mood after losing two consecutive games against Gwangju KIA on the 16th and 17th.메이저놀이터
Kim Joo-won said, “We came back a little badly in the KIA 2-game series, but after it was over, everyone thought, ‘When we first started, didn’t everyone expect us to be in the bottom half? “He said, ‘4th place was good enough,’” he said, “and said, ‘Let’s think of this as the beginning, not the end, and try again.’” He nodded.
Also, regarding the first postseason game held at Changwon NC Park, he said, “This is my first fall baseball game at Changwon NC Park, and I am very honored to be able to play in the game. “I think it will be fun,” he said with an excited expression.
Lastly, Kim Joo-won’s eyes sparkled as he said, “It would be great if we could win right away (and advance to the semi-playoffs), so I will do my best to win.”