“I hadn’t thought of that yet. I’ll start thinking about it now.”
KT Wiz will try to regain the Korean Series title for the first time in two years. The team came from behind to win Game 5 of the playoffs against the NC Dinos, 3-2, for a reverse sweep. The celebration is short-lived, as KT returns to its Korean Series schedule with a media day on Saturday, where it will announce its starting pitcher for Game 1 on Sunday.
Manager Lee Kang-cheol played the playoffs like a champion, pulling from his starting lineup. He had five options, including Yeo Byung-seong and Uhm Sang-baek, but he chose to go with William Cuevas, Wes Benjamin, and Ko Young-pyo to improve his chances of winning. Uhm Sang-baek was turned into a long reliever early on, while Choi Jeok-seong was planned to be used as a swingman, but didn’t actually start a game.
After dropping Cuevas after 75 pitches as the momentum shifted in Game 1 on March 30, they turned the tide by utilizing him in Game 3 and 4. We figured we had a better chance with Cuevas than we did with Exclusion, and we were right.
They used Cuevas and Benjamin twice in four and five days, respectively, to get through the playoffs. So how will the starting lineup work in the Korean Series? Lee Kang-cheol avoided answering immediately after Game 5. He didn’t really seem to have a plan.
The situation is expected to be Ko Young-pyo in Game 1 on the 7th, Cuevas in Game 2 on the 8th, and Benjamin in Game 3 on the 10th. It’s a pattern of four days off and five days on. The first game of the Korean Series is important, but unlike the best-of-seven series, the Korean Series is a short-term game with a long-term nature, unlike the best-of-three playoffs.
Crucially, Cuevas was smiling after his Game 4 start and said he hoped his next start would come after more rest days. No matter how resilient a team is, it’s hard to put a starter on three days’ rest twice in a row. They have a great starter in Ko Young-pyo.
It would have been best for KT to use LG killer Benjamin from Game 1, but it didn’t work out as the playoffs went to Game 5. Benjamin, who started Game 5 of the playoffs, will be available for Game 3 of the Korean Series in Suwon on April 10 at the earliest.
Another concern is the use of exclusivity. He can be used as a swingman, virtually like a center fielder, or he can suddenly be scheduled to start after Game 2 or 3. His exclusivity was strong in two games against the LG in the regular season, allowing one run (unearned) on four hits in 4⅔ innings. He took one loss, but had a zero ERA. With a maximum of seven games, it’s a lot to ask for a third starter.
It’s important to note that this is the start of the bench battle, and it’s clear that LG’s weakest link is the starting rotation. With five games 토토사이트 left in the playoffs, the pressure is on. However, how they deploy their starting lineup could make all the difference in the Korean Series. Here’s what to watch for at the media day on the 6th.