In the first round of the semi-playoff, he chose a head-to-head match instead of intentional four pitches even when the game could be reversed with just one home run. It was against Choi Jeong, the batter who ranked second in his career home run and second in this year’s home run.
The result was a first-round victory. The NC Dinos won 4-3 over SSG Landers in the first round of the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ semi-playoff at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 22nd. There was a crisis in both the eighth and ninth innings and even a run came out, but they did not allow a tie in the end. In the eighth inning, he met SSG’s central batting order in a reversal crisis, and he fought head-to-head.
NC had only two hits and no runs until the seventh inning, but took the lead with Kim Sung-wook’s two-run home run as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. In the defense that followed, Ryu Jin-wook, the hero of the wild card game, took the mound.
Ryu Jin-wook took the mound after two outs in the sixth inning in the first round of the wild card decision against Doosan on the 19th, and helped him win 14-9 by taking charge of six outcounts until the eighth inning with two outs.
From the beginning, the power-driven pitch was effective with a long inning pitch in mind. He had two hits while going head-to-head, but both had one-base hits after two outs, which did not turn into a major crisis. 파친코
However, this game was a crisis from the start. Ryu Jin-wook was hit by SSG’s consecutive pinch-hit operations. He gave up a right-center hit to leadoff hitter Choo Shin-soo and a heavy hit to the next batter Choi Joo-hwan. The equalizer went out in no time.
SSG showed a willingness to follow it step by step with a sacrifice bunt here. Choi Jung and Eredia were waiting for Ryu Jin-wook in the second and third bases with one out.
Choi Jung finished the regular season early due to thigh pain and prepared for the postseason. He finished the season with 29 home runs, just two behind No. 1 home run player Noh Si-hwan (31). The relaxation effect was clearly visible. Choi Jung hit a good ball from the beginning, overshadowing the gap in the actual game.
Ryu went head-to-head against Choi Jung. There was a sacrifice fly to left field on the first pitch.
On the score 2-1, Ryu once again showed off his strong heart. He played against Eredia, who ranked fifth in batting average (0.323) in the regular season with two outs and runners on second base. Ryu Jin-wook won then, too. Ryu Jin-wook overcame the crisis by throwing a 138km/h cutter at the ball count 2-2.
After the game, head coach Kang In-kwon told the back story of Ryu Jin-wook’s head-to-head breakthrough. Regarding the reason why the intentional four-pitch signing did not come out in the eighth inning, he said, “I told the battery coach to play while watching the count (at the top at-bat). If the count is concentrated, it is right to avoid Choi Jung and face Herredia. “I thought it would be enough to tie the game if I didn’t hit a long shot,” he said.
As Choi Jung faced off with a first pitch, NC was able to face Herredia without having to worry. It was a choice that risked a tie, but it did not go to a tie, and the game ended with NC’s victory.