The heavy footsteps of the dinosaurs continue.
The Korea Baseball Organization has made another leap to third place in the league. After taking over the top spot with a win over Changwon Kiwoom on the 7th, they are holding on in a tight race. The Dinosaurs, who weren’t even in the top five a season ago, have booked a spot in fall baseball. The goal is to get as much of a head start as possible for the rest of the season.
The 5 percent rule
A 5 percent winning percentage in the KBO is considered a basic requirement to qualify for fall baseball. The basic ranking is based on the win-loss margin. The current leaderboard also seems to draw a line where the 5 percent win rate is invisible.
NC is a team that has been protecting this 5% win rate like a ghost. They have only missed the 5% mark once since the 20-game mark, when we have a decent sample size. On April 27, they were 11-12 after a loss to Gwangju KIA. However, they quickly recovered with a win in the next game and have never had a negative margin since then.
While the team hasn’t made an impact with huge winning streaks like Doosan and KIA, they’ve been able to hang in there through consistency. Even when the bad luck struck, with starters like Koo Chang-mo, Choi Sung-young, and Lee Jae-hak going down with injuries, the right replacements stepped up to the plate. The team’s ability to bounce back after back-to-back losses and get back on track also shone through.
A solid bullpen will pay dividends in September. Stable mound. He leads the league with a 2.43 monthly ERA and ranks third with a .283 team batting average. The team is on a roll, going 8-2 in its last 10 games.
◆From filial piety to homegrown ‘trusted men’
The performance of foreign players is essential for success, and NC has met this challenge perfectly this season. Eric Peddy, who turned into a superstar ace in his first season in Korea, is a prime example. He has 18 wins (6 losses) and a 2.21 ERA (37 earned runs in 150⅔ innings). With 20 wins and a sub-1 ERA in his sights, he’s looking to become just the fourth player in history and the first foreigner to win the pitching triple crown of wins, ERA, and strikeouts. His performance so far has already made KBO history.
Jason Martin and Tanner Tulley are the next two pitchers on the list. Martin has come out of his adjustment period to bat .296 (101-for-341) with 14 home runs and 72 RBIs in the No. 4 spot. Tanner is 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in five starts since joining the team in August. With four quality starts (six or more innings and three or fewer earned runs), the team is 4-1 in Tanner’s starts.
Homegrown talent adds to the mix. NC’s vaunted riflemen Son Ah-seop, Park Min-woo, and Park Gun-woo have lived up to their reputation. Son is in contention for the batting title with a 0.341 batting average (second), while Park (0.315) and Park Min-woo (0.307) are both hitting in the triple digits. Together, they rank first through third on the team in batting average.
They are backed by an enviable bullpen. Kim Young-kyu (19 holds) and Ryu Jin-wook (16 holds) do a great job as set-up men, while Lee Yong-chan closes with 23 saves. The NC bullpen ranks second in the league with a 3.56 ERA.메이저놀이터
Having overtaken the falling SSG, NC is within striking distance of KT in second place. As of the 11th, they are only 0.5 games behind KT. Of course, the gap between them and KIA and SSG is also tight at 1.5 games. Every day is an exciting battle. Look out for the ‘steady’ NC to shine in the midst of it all.