Three-time World Series pitcher Eric Peddy (NC Dinos) was benched for fall baseball in 2023.
Without him, the Dinos rattled off four straight postseason wins, reaching the wild-card game and then the semifinals.
NC defeated SSG Landers 7-6 in the third game of the semi-playoffs (best-of-five) at Changwon NC Park in Gyeongnam, South Korea, on May 25 to qualify for the playoffs (best-of-three) with a 3-game series sweep.
NC, who sent another foreign pitcher, Tanner Tully, to the mound in Game 3, could have easily lost the entire series if they had lost that game.
There was no guarantee that Peddie would be able to pitch well in Game 4, as he was still suffering from bruising after being hit in the right forearm by a Kia Tigers’ Ko Jong-wook on April 16.
“Pedi was being prepared as the starter for the fourth game of the semifinals,” NC manager Kang Myung-ho said at a press conference after confirming the playoffs, “and if there are no major abnormalities, he will pitch in the first game of the playoffs.”
However, since the team is going into the playoffs without having pitched for nearly a month, whether or not Pedi can regain his feel for the game could be a factor for the NC.
Regardless of the severity of Pedi’s injury, Kang removed him from the roster for the wild-card game against the Doosan Bears on April 19 due to his pitching gap.
After the Bears beat Doosan to reach the semifinals, Kang added Pedi to the roster to start the game, but Pedi didn’t give the OK sign.
Kang, who had originally planned to put Pedi on the mound for Game 2 or Game 3, postponed his start until Game 4.
As a result, Shin Min-hyuk, Song Myung-ki, and Tanner started games 1-3 of the Semifinals, and either Pedi or Choi Sung-young was scheduled to start game 4.
With an unclear starting lineup, it was difficult to manage the mound, which made the Game 3 victory all the more valuable.
We don’t know if NC will be smiling at the fact that they defeated SSG in the semifinals without Pedi.
Pedi, who led the team in wins (20), ERA (2.00), and strikeouts (209) this year, has contributed so much to the team’s success that he’s been called half of NC’s power.
Even without him, it’s encouraging for NC to have swept SSG, a fall baseball regular.
However, it also confirmed the sobering reality that the PO against KT will not be easy without Pedi.
The wildcard decider and the third game of the semifinals proved that Tanner, whose fastball is underpowered and whose changeup is underpowered, is simply not enough to take on a strong team.
With KT and NC having solid starting pitchers in Wes Benjamin, William Cuevas, Ko Young-pyo, and Choi Byeol-sung, it will be a battle for Pedi to return to his ‘super ace’ form.
The cohesiveness of NC’s up-and-down lineup, which is a good mix of veterans and fall baseball rookies, and its bullpen have been stronger as the postseason has progressed.
Even if Peddy can’t pitch at 100% after his injury, the final outcome of NC’s fall baseball season will depend on how much of the trio regains their form. 파워볼분석