Three-time 2023 pitcher of the year Eric Peddie (30-NC Dinos) made a strong showing in his return from a two-week absence.
Pedi started Game 1 of the playoffs (best-of-three PO-5) against the KT Wiz at Katie Wiz Park in Suwon on April 30 and pitched six innings, allowing one run (one earned) on three hits (one home run) with one walk and 12 strikeouts.
The 12 strikeouts were the most in a single game in playoff history. The previous record was 11 strikeouts by Sun Dong-yeol (Hattae Tigers) in 1989 and Chris Flexen (Doosan Bears) in 2020.
With the NC bats coming alive, Peddie came off the mound in the top of the seventh inning with an 8-1 lead.
As the game ended 9-5, Pedi was not only the winning pitcher, but also the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the day and took home $1 million in prize money.
Peddy was hit in the forearm by a pitch on March 16, his last start of the regular season, and missed Game 1 of the Wild Card Game and all three semifinals.
As if to reward his teammates for going through the postseason without an ace, Peddie shut down the KT lineup with a dominant performance.
He threw a total of 98 pitches, mixing in 49 curves, 37 two-seam fastballs, seven changeups, and five cut fastballs.
His fastball ranged from 150 to 155 kilometers per hour and his curveball from 131 to 139 kilometers per hour. His command was also excellent, with 62 strikes and 36 balls.
Pedi set the pace early, striking out the first and second batters in a row.
He got leadoff hitters Kim Sang-soo and Hwang Jae-gyun to ground out to shortstop and Anthony Alford, who went 5-for-8 with two home runs in the regular season series, to fly out to center field.
There was a brief crisis in the bottom of the third.
On a three-pitch, one-strike count, Moon threw a two-seam fastball to leadoff hitter Sang-chul Moon, who hit a solo shot to right field. The home run cut KT’s lead to 1-4.
A grounder to the next batter in the order bounced off the second base bag for an infield hit.
However, Pedi kept his composure and quickly ended the inning without allowing another hit.
The NC bats also took the pressure off Pedi’s shoulders in the top of the fourth inning with a four-run “big inning” that sent KT starter William Cuevas packing after three innings.
Pedi, who was well-rested during the long fourth inning, struck out three straight batters against KT center fielders Alford, Park Byung-ho, and Jang Jang-woo in the bottom of the fourth.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, he showed both passion and coolness on the mound.
With one out and a full count, a ball in the upper part of the strike zone was ruled a ball, and Pedi left the mound to make a strong appeal.
NC manager Kang In-hwa immediately jumped out of the dugout and started to evolve, and the NC coaching staff also visited the mound separately to calm Pedi down.
KT manager Lee Kang-chul then protested, asking if it was possible to visit the mound twice in a row, but the umpires decided that Kang had no intention of visiting the mound.
Pedi, who drew a walk in a chaotic atmosphere, gave up a single to pinch-hitter Lee Ho-yeon to left, but struck out Kim Sang-soo on a wild pitch.
He then retired Hwang Jae-gyun, Alford, and Park Byung-ho in order in the sixth inning to set a PO record for most strikeouts in a game.
NC used Kim Young-gyu and Ryu Jin-wook in the seventh and eighth innings to keep the game scoreless, but Kim Si-hoon and Lee Yong-chan faltered in the ninth and gave up four runs. 토토사이트