The euphoria of reaching the postseason was short-lived. Now it’s time to get over the disappointment of not finishing the season in a higher position. That’s the challenge for the fourth-place NC Dinos and fifth-place Doosan Bears, who both finished above third place and will play for the wild card.
NC and Doosan will begin the first stage of the 2023 KBO Postseason, the Wild Card Decision Game, on April 19 at Changwon NC Park. NC finished the 144-game regular season with 75 wins, two ties, 67 losses and a winning percentage of 0.528, while Doosan finished with 74 wins, two ties, 68 losses and a winning percentage of 0.512.
NC returned to fall baseball three years after winning the 2020 title. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic at the time, the postseason was held at Gocheok SkyDome, and NC Park was unable to host fall baseball, so it was a belated ‘first fall in Changwon’. Doosan made it to the postseason for the second time in two years after falling to ninth place last year.
NC, Doosan and SSG Landers battled fiercely for third place, which would give them a direct path to the semifinals, in the final four days. On the 14th, all three teams were tied for third place with 74 wins and 65 losses (NC Doosan with two draws, SSG with three draws).
On the 15th, with SSG not playing, NC beat Samsung and Doosan lost to LG, so the standings changed to NC-SSG-Doosan heading into the final two days. However, on the 16th, the situation changed again within a day as NC lost to KIA and Doosan was swept by SSG. SSG moved into third place. Doosan was forced to prepare for the Wild Card Decider.
On the 17th, the standings were finalized in the order of 3rd place SSG, 4th place NC, and 5th place Doosan. NC slipped to fourth place after losing back-to-back games to KIA, which was eliminated from the postseason. Doosan also had to give up its dream of a third place finish as it ended the regular season with three straight losses. For both NC and Doosan, the losses were both physical and psychological, as they were forced to play for a wild-card spot.
NC tried to kill two birds with one stone and lost both. The plan was to start Eric Peddie against KIA on the 16th to try to get third place and then pull him out again for the second game of the wild card decider.
However, all plans were derailed when Peddy took a pitch to the arm during the game. KIA lost the game 2-4, and Pedi will not be able to play in the wild card deciding game. On the 17th, the team used five bullpen members, including closer Lee Yong-chan, in a 1-7 loss.
Doosan ended the season with three straight losses and did not get enough rest for its main players. They had to play eight consecutive games from the 10th against KT to the 17th against SSG, while trying to win. Even on the 17th,먹튀검증 when the fifth place was solidified, most of the main players entered the starting lineup.
Another challenge is overcoming losses.
Something similar happened in 2020. While NC secured the top spot in the regular season, the final game on October 30 settled the standings for the four teams in second through fifth place. Everyone was looking for a direct playoff berth, but two teams would have to play for the first wild-card spot. The game was played in the chilly air of fall baseball, not a festival.
Still, it’s a battle that can’t be lost. Both teams had practically set their starting pitchers for the wild-card game by the end of the regular season. NC will start Tanner Tully and Doosan will start Kwak-Bin Kwak in Game 1. The health of NC’s Park Gun-woo, who is dealing with a knee injury, and Doosan’s Yang Yang-ji, who has shown signs of fatigue, will also be important factors.
2023 postseason teams
LG Twins 86 wins, 2 ties, 56 losses, 0.606 winning percentage
KT Wiz 79 wins, 3 draws, 62 losses 0.560
SSG Landers 76 wins, 3 draws, 65 losses 0.539
NC Dinos 75 wins, 2 draws, 67 losses 0.528
Doosan Bears 74 wins, 2 draws, 68 losses 0.521
2023 Postseason Schedule (First Round Start Date)
Wild Card Elimination Game October 19th – October 22nd
Semi-Playoffs Oct. 22
Playoffs October 30
Korean Series November 7