William Cuevas (KT WIZ), an icon of sacrifice and dedication, starts again on short rest. After dropping the first game of the Korean Series (KS), the LG Twins turned to Won-Tae Choi, the “final piece” of their championship puzzle.
Cuevas and Choi Won-tae will face off in a no-holds-barred starting matchup in Game 2 of the 2023 KBO KS at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 8.
Cuevas is on a roll, making three starts in the last nine days.
He threw 75 pitches in Game 1 of the playoffs (PO) against the NC Dinos on March 30, then came back to save the day in Game 4 of the PO against the NC on March 3, throwing 73 pitches in six innings.
He’ll take the mound for KS after another four days of rest.
Despite the difficult situation, Cuevas is full of confidence. “I’m enjoying KS,” he said before the first game of KS at Jamsil Stadium on the 7th, “I haven’t rested much, but that’s okay. I’m ready to go,” he said.
“We didn’t do well against LG in the regular season, but KS has a different atmosphere,” he said, vowing to win.
By his own admission, Cuevas has been particularly weak against LG this year. In 18 regular-season games this year, he went 12-0 with a 2.60 ERA, but against LG, he faltered with an 11.45 ERA in three games.
Most of LG’s batters were strong against Cuevas. Park Hae-min (5-for-3), Moon Bo-kyung (5-for-3, 2 home runs), Kim Hyun-soo (7-for-4), Park Dong-won (2-for-1), and Moon Sung-joo (7-for-3) were literally on fire.
Cuevas had to overcome unfavorable conditions such as cold weather and insufficient recovery time.
Choi, on the other hand, is throwing the ball in top form.
Choi is LG’s trump card to win the Korean Series.
LG, which had been struggling with starting pitching, acquired Choi from the Kiwoom Heroes in July amid a bleeding-heart deal that included outfielder Lee Ju-hyung, pitcher Kim Dong-gyu, and a first-round pick in the 2024 rookie draft.
“The final piece of the puzzle for the KS championship has been put together,” LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said at the time.
Choi Won-tae will start Game 2 to fulfill his final mission.
Choi went 9-7 with a 4.30 ERA in the regular season this year. Before the trade, he was in the top three ERAs in the league, but his performance was somewhat disappointing after July, when he showed signs of health issues.
However, he was well-rested after the end of the regular season. He last threw a ball on September 30 against the Doosan Bears and took a whopping 39 days off.
It’s also nice to have a bullpen full of fresh, strong pitchers.
Choi Won-tae, however, doesn’t have many pleasant memories of facing KT. He played one game against them this season and was shaky, giving up two runs on five hits and one walk in three innings.
Last year, when he was playing for the Kiwoom Heroes, he also played one game against KT, giving up four runs in two innings.
LG’s loss in Game 1 of the KS is also a burden. LG went 2-3 in Game 1 of the KS on July 7 and will be in a precarious position if they drop Game 2.
Choi Won-tae will have to take the mound with a heavy responsibility. 먹튀검증