The LG Twins, having crossed the ridge to win the Korean Series (KS) in Game 7, send their ace Casey Kelly (34) to the mound.
The KT WIZ, on the brink, will try to turn things around with homegrown ace Ko Young-pyo (32).
LG won the fourth game of the 2023 Baseball World Series KS 15-4 at Katie Wiz Park in Suwon on Nov. 11 to take a 3-1 lead in the series.
LG will win its first KS title in 29 years with a win in Game 5 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday.
LG has selected Kelly as the starting pitcher to close out the championship.
Kelly pitched well in Game 1 between KT and KS on April 7, going 6⅓ innings with four hits, two walks, six strikeouts and two runs (one earned).
LG lost the game, but Kelly’s steady performance was a consolation prize.
At the time, Kelly was cooking the KT bats with a new pitch, the forkball.
With five days of rest, Kelly will be throwing at full strength.
He also received a big gift before his start in Game 5 against KS.
LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop gave him a boost by suggesting that the club re-sign him for the 2024 season.
Kelly will take the mound with one less worry.
His record against KT isn’t bad either. In four regular-season games against KT this year, Kelly went 1-1 with a 3.96 ERA.
Ko Young-pyo, on the other hand, will take the mound with a heavy burden.
He can’t relax anytime soon, as a loss in any of the remaining three games would mean the KS title is out of reach.
Moreover, KT’s bullpen is exhausted.
Relievers Son Dong-hyun, Park Young-hyun, and Kim Jae-yoon are not at full strength.
Set-up man Park Young-hyun gave up the decisive home runs in Game 2 and closer Kim Jae-yoon in Games 3 and 4. Son Dong-hyun’s stamina has also dropped significantly.
Ko Young-pyo will have to take over as many innings as possible.
He didn’t pitch too badly in Game 1 against KS on July 7.
In six innings, he held the LG offense to two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
The performance was significant because it came in a messy atmosphere, with a series of fielding errors and a triple.
However, Ko was not very strong against LG in the regular season this year. In four starts against LG, he went winless with two losses and a 7.36 ERA.
Ko will have to fight through a lot of adverse conditions.
KT could use William Cuevas, who started Game 2 against KS, or Wes Benjamin, who started Game 3 against KS, out of the bullpen.
Cuevas shouldn’t be too much of a problem to pitch on four days rest after throwing in Game 2. Benjamin should also pitch in the bullpen between starts.
However, playing the Cuevas and Benjamin cards could complicate Games 6 and 7. In many ways, KT’s year rests on the shoulders of Ko Young-pyo. 무료슬롯게임