SUWON, South Korea — As the KT Wiz prepares to face the NC Dinos in the second round of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) postseason, Wiz manager Lee Kang-chul expressed hopes that the Dinos' previously strong offense would show signs of cooling off. The Wiz, who had a bye to this phase, have enjoyed a 19-day break since the conclusion of the regular season. After sweeping the SSG Landers last Wednesday, the Wiz players also had four additional days off.
According to Yonhap News Agency, the manager said, "I think their pitchers may be refreshed after those four days off. But I've been hoping their batters would have cooled off by now after their break. They were hitting really well in some earlier games. Maybe those hitters will be slightly off today."
In their prior series against the Landers, the Dinos posted team statistics of a .283 batting average, a .385 on-base percentage, and a .404 slugging percentage. They scored 18 runs in three games, amassing 28 hits which included three home runs and three doubles.
Dinos leadoff batter Son Ah-seop reflected on the impact of the four-day break between series. "Honestly, we were a little fatigued, and we were fortunate to have some time off," Son said. "On the other hand, it could have helped us if we'd kept on playing because we had some momentum behind us. We have to work our way back into the swing of things starting tonight."
Lee faces challenges with his own lineup as well. Left-handed slugger Kang Baek-ho is out for the season due to an oblique tear sustained during a scrimmage last week. As a result, Lee opted for a lineup featuring eight right-handed batters against Dinos right-hander Erick Fedde.
Fedde, who led the league in wins, ERA, and strikeouts during the regular season, is set to make his KBO postseason debut. He had missed some action after being hit in the right forearm by a batted ball in his final regular-season start on October 16.