SUWON, South Korea: In Game 1 of the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) postseason's second round, the KT Wiz struggled against NC Dinos' ace Erick Fedde, who recorded 12 strikeouts in six innings, contributing to a 9-5 loss for the Wiz.
According to Yonhap News Agency, despite the challenging start to the series, he sees an optimistic angle: his team won't have to face a starter as effective as Fedde in the immediate future.
Lee credited Fedde for his performance, acknowledging that the pitcher's breaking balls and two-seam fastballs were hard for the Wiz hitters to manage. Fedde, this season's Triple Crown winner, led the league with 20 wins, 209 strikeouts, and a 2.00 ERA.
In an attempt to uplift his team, Lee offered perspective before Tuesday's game against Dinos' starter Shin Min-hyeok. "One way to look at it is, at least we're not going up against a pitcher better than Fedde tonight," Lee said. Shin, a 24-year-old making his postseason debut, held a 3.70 ERA and a 2-2 record in five regular-season games against the Wiz.
Acknowledging Shin's performance, especially his effective changeup, Lee still sees opportunities for his team. He noted that the Wiz managed to rally late in Game 1, highlighted by a grand slam from Bae Jung-dae in the ninth inning. Lee also emphasized that the extended layoff allowed key bullpen arms to see some game action. "In late innings, we pieced together some hits and made a push," he said. "They looked pretty good."
In terms of strategy, Lee made minor adjustments to the lineup. Designated hitter Moon Sang-chul, who hit a solo home run off Fedde, was moved from the No. 7 spot to No. 6, swapping places with Cho Yong-ho.
On the other side, Dinos manager Kang In-kwon saw no reason to alter a lineup that had generated 13 hits and nine runs in the previous game. The Dinos' offense has been consistent throughout the postseason, particularly from their top three hitters. No. 7 hitter Oh Young-soo also made a significant contribution in Monday's game with a solo homer.
"I am not going to change anything when we're hitting the way we have," Kang said. "Everyone is swinging the bat great now."