The best star of the 2023 KBO semi-playoffs was NC Dinos left-hander Young-gun Kim Young-gyu. Kim Young-gyu experienced the joy of being named semi-playoff MVP and met KT Wiz in the playoffs.
NC won 7-6 against SSG Landers in the third game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO postseason semi-playoffs (3 wins out of 5) held at Changwon NC Park on the 25th.도메인
NC previously won the first game 4-3 on the 22nd and the second game 7-3 on the 23rd away to Incheon, then swallowed up the third game played at home and settled in the playoffs with three consecutive wins in the series.
NC got off to a good start in Game 3 on this day, taking a 3-0 lead with Kwon Hee-dong’s 2-RBI hit and Seo Ho-cheol’s 1-RBI double in the bottom of the first inning. The batting line took the lead by successfully targeting SSG starting pitcher Oh Won-seok.
However, NC starting pitcher Tanner Turley collapsed with 5 runs in the top of the second inning and lost the lead. Tanner gave up a walk to Heredia with the bases loaded and two outs, then immediately allowed a bases-loaded home run to Jeong Choi, bringing the score to 3-5.
NC also responded with a strong attack. In the bottom of the second inning, with 1:00 on first and second base, Park Geon-woo’s 1 RBI hit made up for one run, and then Martin’s 3-run home run led to a 7-5 comeback.
NC then began playing baseball. Jaehak Lee hit an RBI double against Hanyu Island in the top of the 4th inning, narrowing the score gap to 7-6, but he did not waver. In particular, it was decisive that Kim Young-gyu, who came to the mound in the top of the 5th inning with 2 outs and runners on base, treated Jae-won Lee with a fly ball to center field and stopped the chase.
Kim Young-gyu walked Choi Jeong with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, but he caught Han Yu-seom with a fly ball to center field and did not allow a run. He earned the hold with 1 walk and no runs in 1⅓ innings.
Afterwards, NC silenced SSG’s resistance with Pil Seung-jo’s relay performance of Ryu Jin-wook’s ⅔ innings of scoreless innings, Lim Jeong-ho’s 1⅓ innings of scoreless runs, and Lee Yong-chan’s 1 inning of scoreless runs. They upset SSG, ranked 3rd in the regular league, and will clash with KT Wiz, ranked 2nd in the regular league, in the playoffs (3 wins out of 5) starting on the 30th.
The semi-playoff MVP went to Kim Young-gyu. Kim Young-gyu received 37 out of 78 votes in the press vote, followed by teammates Jason Martin (18 votes), Ryu Jin-wook (10 votes), Shin Min-hyuk (4 votes), Park Geon-woo (3 votes), Seo Ho-cheol (3 votes), and Son Ah-seop (2 votes). votes) and Kim Hyeong-jun (1 vote), and received the honor of MVP.
Kim Young-gyu dominated the semi-playoffs as the winning pitcher with 1⅓ perfect innings and no runs in Game 1 on the 22nd, a no-run hold with 1 hit, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout in 1 inning of Game 2 on the 23rd, and a no-run hold with 1⅓ innings of 1 walk and no runs in Game 3 on the 25th. The NC bullpen is being supported by a ‘salty pitch’ that has not allowed a single run in 4 postseason games this year, until the 1st inning of the wild card game against the Doosan Bears on the 19th.
In the official MVP interview immediately after winning Game 3, Kim Young-gyu said, “Pitching with confidence led to good results,” and “I think it was more effective to focus on facing each batter rather than thinking about pitching 1-2 innings.” reported.
He also said, “I wasn’t expecting the semi-playoff MVP at all. There were players who showed crazy performances in every game, so I didn’t think (that I would receive the MVP).” “I am very grateful. I will prepare well so that I can pitch well in the playoffs as well,” he said.
NC’s ace Eric Peddy is unable to pitch in the postseason due to an injury suffered by a batted ball in the game against Gwangju KIA Tigers on the 16th, which was his last appearance in the regular season. Naturally, in a situation where the burden was inevitably increased on the bullpen pitchers, Kim Young-gyu and other sure-winners did their part every time they appeared on the mound, allowing them to settle in the playoffs.
Kim Young-gyu is continuing the spirit of his performance in the regular league this year with 63 games, 61⅔ innings, 2 wins, 4 losses, 24 holds, and an ERA of 3.06 in the fall baseball season. In particular, he has become more stable after being selected as a member of the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games earlier this month and returning with a gold medal.
After appearing in one game in the 2020 Korean Series, in which NC achieved its first comprehensive championship since its founding, and gaining valuable experience by allowing 1 run (unearned) in 2⅔ innings, he is playing a pillar role for the team in the postseason held in 3 years.
Kim Young-gyu said, “Actually, I don’t think there is a special secret to pitching well in a big game. During the Korean Series three years ago, my older brothers really led me reliably. Now, I think that I have to be a big help in helping the team win, which is leading to good pitching.” “There is,” he explained.
He also emphasized, “Nothing has changed in particular since the Hangzhou Asian Games, but I felt that every game during the tournament was held in a hurry,” and added, “Those experiences are helping me when I return to Korea and pitch.”
Now Kim Young-gyu’s eyes turn to the playoffs. He wasn’t bad this season with an ERA of 3.60 in 6 games against KT, 5 innings, 5 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 loss, but he knows he needs to pitch more perfectly in fall baseball.
Kim Young-gyu expressed his determination, saying, “KT batters have long-hitting power and there are no easy players, but our NC batting lineup is also good, so I plan to pitch confidently. I don’t think we are behind KT. I will work harder and throw my best.”
NC coach Kang In-kwon also praised the team immediately after winning Game 3, saying, “We were able to win today because bullpen pitchers such as Kim Young-gyu, Ryu Jin-wook, Lim Jeong-ho, and Lee Yong-chan gave good pitching.”