▲ Goo Chang-mo, who started as a starter on the 22nd, but recorded a loss. ⓒ NC Dinos
The momentum of the NC Dinos, who had entered the quarterfinals ahead of the fateful three-game battle, pierced the sky, and the fifth-placed KIA Tigers, who were desperately in the swamp of 9 straight losses, seemed to have no hole to rise. Moreover, in the starting matchup on the 22nd, NC seemed to have an advantage. On the 22nd, KIA’s starting lineup was Yang Hyun-jong, who had been sluggish since the second half of the season, and NC’s selection was Koo Chang-mo, who has won the last two games in a row. The majority chose the home team, NC, as the winner of the match on the 22nd.
The fateful three-game battle between KIA and NC, which could have changed the owner of 5th place immediately depending on the result of the first game, just 0.5 game difference, took a breather as KIA, who had been pushed to the edge of the brink, broke 9 consecutive losses. KIA won 3-1 at the start of the game and terrifyingly attacked Gu Chang-mo and kept three points in the first inning until the end. Ace Yang Hyun-jong overcame the elbow pain that occurred during the match and reaped a valuable victory.
As a result, the gap between the two teams widened by 1.5 games again. The momentum of NC, which seemed to retake 5th place at once and run towards autumn baseball, was also weakened.
An interesting point is that KIA and NC will battle each other. If NC misses the match on the 23rd, the gap will widen to 2.5 games, and it may become a situation where they cannot catch up on their own during the remaining period. Just two days ago, the 5th place that was approaching the foot would quickly disappear. This is the reason why all-out battles are held in head-to-head matches between competing teams.
※ NC Luchinsky KBO league record
▲ NC Luchinsky’s Major Pitching Records (Source = KBReport.com) ⓒ KB Report
Foreign ace Drew Luchinsky will enter the match on the 23rd, which is desperate for NC, where it is over with one step behind. Luchinsky, who has been playing the role of the team’s ace since 2019, has not been particularly lucky this season.
In the 2020 season, when the NC won the combined championship, Luchinsky, who appeared in 30 games and recorded 19 wins with an ERA of 3.05, is still showing off his skills this season, recording an ERA of 3.04 in 28 games. However, his winning streak is less than half of 8 wins (11 losses). Both NC, whose goal is 5th place, and Luchinsky, who is aiming for double-digit wins, are desperate for a win.
There was only one confrontation this season with KIA, who would be the opponent of fate. In the game at that time, the team was not able to record a victory due to sluggishness with 5 runs in 6 innings, but the team batting line exploded and the team won 14-8. I can’t say it’s a good memory, but I didn’t lose in that game and played 6 innings, fulfilling my responsibilities as a starting pitcher.
▲ Luchinsky is out of luck this season
ⓒ NC Dinos
As long as Gu Chang-mo, the card he trusted, was defeated, the only thing NC can trust is ace Luchinsky. In the game on the 24th, the last of three consecutive matches, Kim Tae-kyung, who is still inexperienced, is scheduled to play, so it is necessary to win the Luchinsky back-up match and create an atmosphere of reclaiming 5th place.
After the 2019 season, Luchinsky, who has been playing an active role as a top-notch starting pitcher in the league for four consecutive years, will face off against Ki-Young Lim of KIA, who has won only three wins in the season on the 23rd. It is noteworthy whether Luchinsky, who is predicted to have an overwhelming advantage in the matchup, will win as expected and prepare a bridgehead for NC’s round of 5.
[관련 기사] ‘Second half runaway’ Noh Jin-hyuk, lead NC miracle and hit FA?
[기록 참조: 야구기록실 KBReport.com(케이비리포트), KBO기록실]
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