It was a chilling outing in a hail of cannon fire.
Baseball’s NC is heading to the semifinals with a slim victory. With a 14-9 victory over Doosan in Game 1 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League Postseason Wild Card Decision Game at Changwon NC Park on April 19, NC dented Doosan’s hopes and punched its ticket to Incheon.
It was a thrilling come-from-behind victory. After starter Tanner Tully was tagged with five runs in four innings, NC blasted Doosan for 14 runs on 12 hits, led by the hot bats of Seo Ho-cheol, who had six hits, including a grand slam, and Kim Hyung-joon, who hit a multi-homer game.
Doosan did the same. They responded with 14 hits of offensive baseball to heat up Changwon. There was one pitcher who remained cool in the heat. NC’s Ryu Jin-wook, who pitched two innings of one-run (non-hit) relief. His save gave NC the upper hand in a wild game.
In the top of the sixth inning, with his team leading 6-5, he was up to the challenge of picking off Yang Ji from second base. In the top of the seventh, he gave up a hit to Kim In-tae but closed the inning without allowing a run, and in the top of the eighth, he quickly got two outs. Although he had to leave the mound after being hit by Kim Jae-ho, the six outs he recorded were enough to bring a standing ovation from the Changwon fans.
메이저사이트After the game, Ryu Jin-wook reflected on the moment he walked off the mound. “My heart was so hot. I was so excited because I was getting what I saw on TV, and baseball was so much fun at that moment,” he said.
“I thought I was going to pitch faster than I normally would (because it was such a close game). I thought if I gave up the first run, I’d be chased in the second and be at a disadvantage. “I was like, ‘This isn’t working. I pitched with the mindset of ‘I can’t give up any more points,’ and that’s how it turned out,” he said, looking back on his performance.
Most importantly, it was a day that imprinted the name “Ryu Jin-wook” on the entire KBO league. In 70 games this season, Ryu finished with a record of 1-4, 22 holds, and a 2.15 ERA (16 earned runs in 67 innings). But his performance has garnered little attention. It was a performance too good to be relegated to the fate of an unpopular team.
He vented his frustration with a fastball that reached nearly 150 kilometers per hour. “I was kind of working on it,” he said, smiling. “I’m going to keep doing this. I want to laugh until the end,” he said.
To do that, they’ll have to climb back up the ladder, starting with the semifinals against SSG on April 22. “We didn’t win today just to play (at least) three more games. We started with our eyes on something higher. We’re going to play longer,” he said.