‘Ace’ Eric Peddie (30, NC Dinos), who returned to the mound after 14 days, showed his continued good pitching. And he was also at the center of a controversy that summoned both teams’ coaches.
Peddy started on the mound in the first game (best of 5 games) of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Playoffs against KT Wiz held at Suwon Katy Wiz Park at 6:30 pm on the 30th, and pitched well, allowing 3 hits, 1 walk, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts, and 1 run in 6 innings. He became a winning pitcher.
On this day, Peddie appeared as a starting pitcher for the first time in this year’s postseason. He suffered a bruise after being hit on the right forearm by a batted ball in the Gwangju KIA game on the 16th. Meanwhile, Peddie was unable to pitch in the wild card game and semi-playoffs due to discomfort and anxiety in the injured area. However, he successfully completed a 43-pitch bullpen pitch on the 27th, and finally went into action after two weeks.
NC is on a 4-game winning streak in the postseason even without Peddy, but that does not mean that Peddy is not needed. Peddie, the best pitcher in the KBO league this season, pitched 180⅓ innings in 30 games during the regular season, recording 20 wins, 6 losses, 209 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.00. He created a 20-win, 200-strikeout season for the first time in 37 years since Seok-min Seok-min of Haitai in 1986, and won the triple crown as a pitcher for the first time in 12 years since Seok-min Yoon of KIA in 2011. It was a huge blow for such an ace to leave the battle line.
After a long break, Peddie started the game by bowing to the referee and hitting powerful balls from the beginning. He threw a mix of two-seam fastballs, sweepers, change-ups, and cutters, boasting a top speed of 155km and overwhelming the KT batting lineup. Peddie, who closed the first inning with two ground balls and a strikeout, struck out Park Byeong-ho and Jang Seong-woo in succession in the second inning, creating a three-way strike for the second consecutive inning.
In the bottom of the third inning, Peddie hit a solo home run that went over the right field fence from leadoff hitter Sangcheol Moon, and then hit an infield hit from the next hitter, Sangcheol Moon, but ended the inning with no runs given the Keystone combination’s heavy rain. In the bottom of the 4th inning, he struck out the cleanup trio of Anthony Alford, Byung-ho Park, and Seong-woo Jang in succession, overwhelming his opponent.
The scene in question occurred in episode 5. Peddie struck out the first batter, Cho Yong-ho, but the sweeper he threw to No. 7 Moon Sang-cheol at the end of a full-count match was ruled a ball. It was a ball that looked like a strike on the broadcast screen. In the end, he walked Moon Sang-cheol and survived to first base.
Fedi, who thought it was a strike, raised his arms in a strong gesture and strongly protested to referee Lee Min-ho about the ball decision. As a result, a near-miss situation occurred where referee Lee also approached Fedi. Then, second baseman Park Min-woo came to the mound and calmed down Peddy, and NC coach Kang In-kwon also came out of the dugout to stop the referee. Next, pitching coach Soo-kyung Kim came up to the mound, comforted Peddie, and went down.
Then this time, KT coach Lee Kang-cheol came to the ground and protested. KT fans on the first base side heightened their enthusiasm by chanting Coach Lee’s name. Coach Lee, who continued to protest for a while, returned to the dugout after hearing the referee’s explanation.
Why did Director Lee protest? At the post-game press conference, he explained, “Coach (Kang In-kwon) crossed the line, and the coach stepped up, so he thought he had to be replaced.” According to the rules, if a manager or coach goes on the mound twice in the same inning, the pitcher must be replaced, but since both Manager Kang and Coach Kim crossed the foul line, Peddie could have left the mound at his discretion. However, the umpires judged that Coach Kang came out toward the umpires, not the pitcher’s pedi, so they did not count Coach Kang’s appearance into the number of mound visits.
Coach Kang explained the reason for going on the mound after the game, saying, “I could see Peddie getting excited. I didn’t think he was in a good mood when he was ahead.” He continued by saying, “I thought it was right to restrain him.” Fedi, who was involved, explained, “Because it was the first game and an important game, that part came out. The coach came out and calmed us down.” He said, “I found my composure right away because I knew that refereeing is a difficult job.”안전놀이터
As a result, Pedi did not waver. Peddy, who caught Bae Jeong-dae with a fly to center field, was in danger when pinch hitter Lee Ho-yeon allowed a hit to the left field field. However, he ended the inning by striking out Sang-su Kim. Since the team was winning 8-1, Peddie met the requirements for a winning pitcher. Peddie, who threw 98 pitches, 2 short of the limit (100) that Coach Kang mentioned before the game, was replaced by Kim Young-gyu in the bottom of the 7th inning and completed his mission.
The NC batting lineup also helped Peddie. As the inning began in the top of the first inning, NC created a chance for second and third base with consecutive hits by Son Ah-seop and Park Min-woo, and scored the first run with Jason Martin’s sacrifice fly in the fourth. Then, in the top of the second inning, leadoff hitter Oh Young-soo hit a high fastball after a full count, hitting a solo home run with a distance of 120 meters that went over the left-center wall. In the beginning of the 3rd inning, NC added 2 runs with Park Geon-woo’s 1-RBI double and Kwon Hee-dong’s timely hit to right, and in the 4th inning, Son A-seop’s timely hit forced Cuevas to leave the mound early. It didn’t stop there, and with Park Geon-woo’s sacrifice fly and Kwon Hee-dong’s 2-RBI triple to right-center, NC scored 4 runs in the 4th inning alone.