KT Wiz manager Lee Kang-cheol laughed after the team clinched Game 1 of the Korean Series (KS), saying it was fortunate that he didn’t remove Moon Sang-cheol, who hit a triple, until the end.
“I was going to use substitute Kim Min-hyuk when Moon Sang-chul batted in the seventh inning (as the No. 7 hitter), but then the batting order was weak, so I used Moon Sang-chul and sent out Kim Min-hyuk (when No. 8 hitter Park Kyung-soo batted),” Lee said after the team won 3-2 in the first game of the KS against the LG Twins at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul.
Moon hit a triple while trying to bunt with runners on first and second in the second inning after falling behind 1-2.
To make matters worse, Moon struck out swinging in both the fifth and seventh innings as if he was mentally shaken.
However, in the top of the ninth inning, with the score tied 2-2, Moon hit a two-run double to left field off the opposing closer Go Woo-seok to win the game.
“He bunted himself,” Lee said of Moon’s triple, adding, “If we lost today, I was going to say I made him do it, but he hit the game-winning hit, so I can tell the truth.”
“I went 3-for-3 against Go Woo-seok in the regular season,” Lee said of his decision to leave Moon Sang-chul, who was mentally shaky, in the ninth inning without a pinch-hitter. “I thought it would be (rather) a good opportunity if the bases were loaded.”
The first baseman even attempted to steal a base when Moon was batting, and he said, “Even if he died trying to steal, I would still be able to start the offense in the next inning, so I made a stolen base sign.”
It means that he trusted Moon Sang-chul completely.
Lee also praised the pitching staff for holding the fierce LG bats to two runs.
“I thought the triple set the tone, but starter Ko Young-pyo pitched very well,” Lee said, “Especially the crisis in the fourth inning (second and third base). With Jang Jang-woo’s pitch mix, we were able to overcome the crisis and play the game to the end.”
Go threw three pitches against LG’s Park Hae-min, but after a full count, he got out of the jam with a changeup and a swinging strikeout.
As for bullpen Son Dong-hyun, who pitched two scoreless innings from the seventh, he said, “He threw two innings, so we were able to fight until the end.”
He also explained why he used set-up man Park Young-hyun instead of closer Kim Jae-yoon in the ninth inning.
“Today, we had to think about extending the game,” Lee said. “We thought about the 12th inning and left Kim Jae-yoon in. Park Young-hyun also loosened his arm, so I just went with him.”
After taking the first game, KT sent William Cuevas to the mound for the second game at the same venue on the 8th.
Manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “I will trust Cuevas. I’m looking forward to it.” 슬롯