Eric Peddy, 30, the NC Dinos’ “ace” whose start was repeatedly pushed back, finally threw a practice session without incident. His eagerly awaited postseason debut is also approaching.
“Pedi threw 43 pitches in the bullpen today, and there was nothing unusual,” an NC official told Star News on the 27th. On the same day, NC manager Kang Myung-hwa, who was conducting training for the playoffs at Changwon NC Park, said, “(Pedi) will throw bullpen pitches today to check his condition. If there is nothing wrong, he will pitch (in the first game of the playoffs).” While it’s not unusual for a pitcher to be fine after pitching out of the bullpen, it’s a different story when it’s Pedi.
After finishing fourth in the pennant race, the Nats have continued to exceed expectations this fall. They advanced to the semifinals with a 14-9 win over the Doosan Bears in the wild-card game. They then swept the semifinals against the SSG Landers, who finished one spot above them in the regular season, in a best-of-three series. The sweep in the best-of-five semifinals was the first in 15 years since the Samsung Lions swept the Lotte Giants in 2008.
The starters, however, did not contribute much. Foreign pitcher Tanner Tully, who pitched in the first game of the wild-card decider and the third game of the semifinals, gave up five runs in four innings and five runs in two innings, respectively. Game 1 starter Shin Min-hyuk pitched 5⅔ scoreless innings to earn the win, but Game 2 starter Song Myung-ki pitched three scoreless innings before giving up a two-run homer to Han Yoo-seom in the fourth without recording a single out.
It was Pil Seung-jo who filled the void. The left-hander pitched 3⅔ innings in three semifinal games, posting a 1-0 record with two shutouts. Right-hander Ryu Jin-wook, who recorded 22 strikeouts in the regular season, also appeared in all three games and earned three strikeouts. He gave up one run in three innings, but never gave up a lead. “In the regular season, even if a pitcher was a little shaky, we kept going because we were thinking about the next game,” Kang said, “but in the postseason, we’re making quick changes.
But the biggest problem for NC’s starting pitching staff isn’t Tanner’s struggles or the somewhat weak homegrown lineup. It’s that ace Peddie hasn’t thrown a single pitch. Without the man who is supposed to be their centerpiece, NC is facing a tough schedule despite their winning streak.
Pedi has been arguably the best pitcher in the KBO this season. In 30 regular-season games and 180⅓ innings pitched, he has a 20-6 record with 209 strikeouts and a 2.00 ERA. Although he missed out on a 20-1 record and a 2.00 ERA by ⅓ of an inning, the 20-win, 200-strikeout season was the first in 37 years since Hae-tae Seon in 1986. He also became the seventh pitcher in history to win the Triple Crown, something only three other pitchers have accomplished: Seon (1986, 1989, 1990, 1991), Ryu Hyun-jin (2006), and Yoon Seok-min (2011).
For his performance, Pedi became the 10th winner of the Choi Dong-won Award, which recognizes the league’s best player, and is a favorite to win the KBO Golden Glove in the pitching category. He’s also in the running for the MVP award. In a survey of 50 players from 10 clubs that Star News conducted in August to celebrate its 19th anniversary (Sept. 1), Pedi was the choice of 32 players (64%), more than half, when asked, “If you were to vote for MVP this season, who would you choose?
Pedi has been “closed” for more than 10 days as of Aug. 28. Pedi made his last start on April 16 against the Gwangju KIA. After throwing 5⅔ innings of three-hit ball, striking out five and walking none, Pedi was hit in the right forearm by a Ko Jong-wook single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. He remained on the mound and was replaced by Kim Young-gyu. Upon examination, he was diagnosed with a simple right forearm contusion.
Due to his physical condition and pitching schedule, Pedi did not make the roster for the Wild Card Game, but he did make the semifinals. However, he did not make a single appearance in the series. After throwing 19 pitches out of the bullpen on the 22nd in Game 1, Pedi complained of anxiety and did not pitch in Game 2. Kang initially announced Peddie as the starter for Game 3, but then switched to Tanner in the postgame press conference, saying, “I apologize for being a liar.” “I’m so sorry to the other team (SSG) that I sent a message to them through the head coach,” Kang said.메이저사이트
Of course, it’s a positive that they’ve won four straight postseason games without him. Catcher Kim Hyung-jun said after Game 3, “Of course, it’s good to have him. But we showed that we can do it without him. All the other players were strong and pitched well, so I think we were able to win three games in a row (in the semifinals).” Still, Pedira is glad to have the “big guns” back.
Pedi had been showing signs of discomfort and anxiety, but it didn’t show in his pitch on Sunday. He was seen walking into the locker room with a bright expression on his face. It’s a good sign that he’s feeling much better.
NC will begin the best-of-five playoffs against the regular season runner-up KT Wiz on April 30. This season, NC has been a bit of a pushover against KT with a 6-10 record. Pedi hasn’t had much luck against KT this season, going 1-2 with a 2.65 ERA in three starts. He has shown excellent command, striking out 23 batters in 17 innings pitched.