William Cuevas (33-KT WIZ) will start Game 4 of the playoffs (PO) on just three days’ rest.
It is a card of conversion from KT manager Lee Kang-chul (57), who wants to drag the PO to Game 5.
The NC Dinos have chosen Young-gun Song-Myeong-ki (23) to start Game 4.
NC needs a strong performance from Song to clinch a spot in the Korean Series (KS) at home, Changwon NC Park, and to put ‘ace’ Eric Peddy (30) in the lineup for Game 1.
NC and KT will play the fourth game of the PO at Changwon NC Park on the 3rd.
After dropping both the first and second games of the PO at home in Suwon, KT took a breather with a 3-0 win in the third game at Changwon NC Park on the 2nd.
Before the game, Lee was confident that “if we win today, we can take the lead in the battle for the starting pitcher in Game 4.”
The pitcher Lee chose to start Game 4 was Cuevas.
Cuevas took the loss in Game 1 of the PO on October 30, giving up seven runs (four earned) on six hits (one home run) in three innings.
Cuevas, who went 12-0 in the regular season, suffered his first loss of 2023 in the team’s first game of the fall stage.
Four days later, Cuevas would get his chance at redemption.
In Game 1 of the POs, Cuevas threw 75 pitches. Under normal circumstances, a start after three days of rest might seem like a “no brainer.
However, in the postseason, ace pitchers are forced to pitch on three days’ rest.
There were more dramatic moments for Cuevas.
On October 28, 2021, he threw 108 pitches in his first start against NC, then took just two days off before pitching a miraculous seven-inning no-hitter in the regular season title game against the Samsung Lions on October 31.
KT expects a “miracle comeback” from Cuevas in 2023.
In Game 1 of the PO, Cuevas was targeted by Son Ah-seop (3-for-2), Park Min-woo (2-for-1), Park Gun-woo (2-for-1), and Oh Young-soo (2-for-1, 1 home run).
Lee believes Cuevas won’t be beaten twice.
“As soon as the second game ended, I didn’t think twice and told Cuevas to prepare for the fourth game,” Lee said.
Song Myung-ki started the second game of the Semi-Po on October 22 against the SSG Landers and struggled, giving up two runs on three hits and one walk in two innings.
In the regular season this year, Song bounced between the starting rotation and the bullpen, posting a 4-9 record with a 4.83 ERA.
His record against KT in the regular season was 3-1 with a 4.76 ERA.
However, Song still holds a thrilling memory of his start in Game 4 of the 2020 Korean Series, when NC won its first championship, pitching five innings of two-hit ball and allowing five runs.
Kim Sang-soo (4-for-2), Park Byung-ho (5-for-2), Moon Sang-chul (6-for-2), and Oh Yoon-seok (2-for-2) have all hit Song well this year for KT. 슬롯