KT Wiz earned a 3-2 victory over the LG Twins in Game 1 of the best-of-seven Korean Series of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Postseason at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Sunday.
Historically, the winner of Game 1 of the Korean Series has a 74.4 percent (29 of 39) winning percentage (excluding the 1982 Game 1 tie). KT had the advantage. They also went on a four-game postseason winning streak. After winning Games 3, 4, and 5 of their best-of-5 playoff series against the NC Dinos, they were all smiles in Game 1 of the Korean Series.
KT scored one run in the top of the first inning and then two in the bottom of the first. They added a run in the top of the fourth to tie the game at 2-2. They scored a run in the top of the ninth to take a 3-2 lead. They closed out the win in the bottom of the ninth.
Ko Young-pyo, who started on four days’ rest, pitched well. He allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts in six innings, throwing 97 pitches. He followed up his six innings of scoreless relief in Game 3 of the playoffs on Feb. 2 with a 105-pitch performance. After struggling in the regular season with a 7.36 ERA in four games and 18 1/3 innings in the LG Series, he roared in the Korean Series.굿모닝토토 주소
Son pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win. Son has appeared in all six games of the postseason, including five playoff games and Game 1. Park Young-hyun earned the save with one scoreless inning of relief. He was hit in the shin by a pitch, but managed to finish the game.
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “Young-pyo Ko showed really good, excellent crisis management skills in a situation where he could have been pulled. It was good that he didn’t give the game away,” Lee said, “He pitched really well. He did a really good job.” Lee also praised Son Dong-hyun’s two innings of relief, saying, “It gave us a chance to fight until the end.”
At the plate, Moon Sang-chul had the final hit. He went 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. With the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning, he hit a huge double to left field off reliever Ko Woo-seok. Earned Daily MVP honors.
It was a bases-clearing double in the top of the second inning. Moon Sang-chul hit a bunt single in front of the catcher with runners on first and second. Jang Sung-woo out at third, Moon Sang-chul to first. Choi Byeong-dae, who advanced to second, was thrown out trying to steal third.
Hwang Jae-gyun went 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI, and Jang Sung-woo went 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
“Moon Sang-chul tried to bunt himself (in the second inning),” Lee said. If we lost the game, I was going to say I made him do it, but since we won, it’s okay,” Lee said, adding, “Moon Sang-chul hit a long ball well at the end.”
William Cuevas will start Game 2 in Jamsil on Aug. 8. Cuevas pitched the first game of the playoffs on March 30 and then took three days off before starting the fourth game on March 3. After four days of rest, he will start the Korean Series. “I’m looking forward to Cuevas because I’ve told him a lot of things,” Lee said. We have to trust him.”
It could have been a comfortable game with a quick win early on, but we made one or two mistakes. Young-pyo Ko showed really good, excellent crisis management in a situation where he could have lost the game. In the bottom of the fourth inning (with runners on second and third and Park Hae-min at the plate), he prevented a run from scoring by striking out on a full count. Catcher Jang Sung-woo made a great pitch. Son Dong-hyun’s two innings pitched also gave us a chance to fight until the end. Moon Sang-chul pitched really well at the end.
In the top of the seventh inning, with runners on first and second, you didn’t consider a pinch-hitter (Moon struck out).
I thought about it, but the batting order behind me was not good, so leaving him on was a factor in the win.
In the second inning, did you give Moon a bunt sign?
I think I tried to do it the other way around. I think the momentum shifted then, but it was good that Ko Young-pyo blocked it well and didn’t give up the win. He threw really well. He made a really good save.
When I saw him pitch in the first inning, I knew it wasn’t going to be a one-run game. I thought we had to score runs, so I ordered an aggressive at-bat. He tried to bunt himself. If we lost, I’d say I made him do it, but we won, so it’s fine.
In the top of the ninth inning, you considered a substitute for Moon Sang-chul.
Moon Sang-chul was 3-for-3 against Go Woo-seok. For a moment, I thought I took him out and regretted it, but he stayed in. I wanted only the designated hitter to get on base, but Moon Sang-chul hit a long ball.
In the ninth inning, I sent Park Young-hyun to the plate instead of Kim Jae-yoon.
I planned it from the beginning. I told the pitchers that there is no fixed finish. This time, I had to consider an extension. I thought about it until the 12th inning and kept Kim Jae-yoon.
Catcher Jang Sung-woo is playing full-time.
I’m really only using Jang Sung-woo. As you can see, I can’t take him out. He’s really good at hitting, and he’s really good in defense. I don’t have anything else to say about him.
We need to prepare for Game 2.
Today (July 7), I thought that if Ko Young-pyo could hold on in the early innings, he would be fine, but he handled the situation well. (Game 2 starter) Cuevas, I talked to him about a lot of things, so I’m looking forward to it. Anyway, you have to trust him.