For the third and fourth games of the Korean Baseball Playoffs (PO), Changwon NC Park was packed with 17,400 fans for the second consecutive day.
The NC Dinos, who won two games against the enemy Suwon, had a sweet dream of qualifying for the Korean Series in front of their home fans.
However, NC, which ran wild from the wild card deciding game to the semi-playoffs and the first and second games of the PO, lost helplessly to KT WIZ on the 2nd and 3rd.
In Game 3 on the 2nd, they lost 0-3 without a single player reaching second base throughout the game, and in Game 4 on the 3rd, they were held hitless until the 6th inning and lost 2-11.
After winning the first two games of the best-of-five PO, NC was on the verge of a ‘reverse sweep’ with two losses.
A cold batting lineup caused NC head coach Kang In-hwa to worry.
NC scored 41 points in five games from the Wild Card Decider to Game 1 of the PO. Their lowest score in five games was four points in the first round of the semifinals against SSG Landers.
After scoring three runs in Game 2 of the POs, NC went scoreless in Game 3 and was outscored 0-11 in Game 4, scoring only two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning when the game was effectively decided.
In Games 3 and 4, NC totaled 10 hits. They didn’t hit a single home run.
The NC bats were even more anemic as KT pounded out 21 hits, including five home runs, over the two days.
NC also became a victim of their own record.
The scoreless chain that started in the 4th inning of Game 2 continued for 22 innings until the 7th inning of Game 4 of the PO.
It wasn’t until the 8th inning of the 4th game that NC scored, when the victorious KT played a little slower.
KT continued its streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings by shutting down the NC bats, setting a new record for the most consecutive scoreless innings in a single PO and a new record for the most consecutive scoreless innings in a single PO.
The 22-inning streak equaled the Doosan Bears’ record of 22 consecutive innings from Game 2 of the 2005 PO to Game 2 of the 2007 PO, and broke the record of 20 consecutive scoreless innings in a single PO set by the LG Twins in 1993 against the Samsung Lions from Games 2 to 5.
In Games 3 and 4 of the PO, home fans at Changwon NC Park saw NC runners cross the plate only once (in the eighth inning of Game 4) during a total of 18 offensive at-bats.
This is a monumental year for the NC.
The first postseason game was played at the home NC Park, which opened in 2019, followed by the first semifinal and then the first PO.
NC won its first overall title in 2020, but the Korean Series was held at the Gocheok SkyDome, a “neutral site” due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This fall, NC defeated Dusan at home on October 19 to become the winner of the wild-card deciding game. It was also at Changwon NC Park that they defeated SSG Landers in Game 3 of the Semi-PoL on October 25 to secure a spot in the PO.
However, the PO did not end at home.
NC will need to win Game 5 in Suwon on Friday to secure its first Korean Series since the opening of Changwon NC Park. 먹튀검증