11.76%. That’s how KT Wiz beat the odds.
On the last day of October, KT had to swallow bitterness. They had lost two straight games in the best-of-five playoffs against the NC Dinos. They needed to win Games 3-5 to advance to the Korean Series (best-of-seven), but that seemed unlikely. In the history of the best-of-three playoffs, only 2 out of 17 times has a team won 3 straight games after losing 2 in a row to complete a “reverse sweep” (excluding the 1999-2000 Doubleheader – 1995-2008-2021). Compared to NC’s 88.24%, KT has grabbed 11.76%.
As it turned out, they did it. After winning Games 3 and 4, KT punched their ticket to the Korean Series by winning Game 5 in Suwon on the 5th. It became the third playoff reverse sweep in history. After leaping from 10th to 2nd place in the regular season to enter the fall baseball season, they dramatically reached the final gate. They will face the season’s top-ranked LG Twins on April 7. The team is aiming for its second Korean Series title after winning its first in 2021.
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “We came from last place to this. Even with two losses, it didn’t seem like it was going to end. We thought that if we won Game 3, we could go into Game 4 and 5 with an advantage,” he said. “Young-pyo Ko, Cuevas, and Benjamin played KT’s signature ‘starting baseball’ and helped us win the Korean Series.”
Captain Park Kyung-soo said, “I really wanted to go to the Korean Series. It’s always dramatic because it’s the ‘Wizards’ team. It’s emotional,” he smiled. “I thought the odds were just odds,” he said, “and when I saw those articles and heard those comments, we had conversations among the players about ‘it doesn’t apply to us’ and ‘we’re good at breaking records,'” he added, “The players did so well that I couldn’t ask for anything more. I’m proud to be the captain and I’m really grateful to my brothers for the best result.”
On the motivation behind the reverse sweep, he said, “We didn’t let our spirits drop after losing two in a row. Everyone stayed positive,” he said, adding, “We stuck together as a ‘one team’. That’s our secret.”
We asked him about his preparations for the Korean Series. “I want to enjoy the festivities with the fans, and I think there will be a good result,” Park said, adding, “I want to play baseball that can move the fans like now.”
Catcher Jang Sung-woo has been steady for the pitchers throughout the series. Prior to this year, he was batting just .164 (10-for-61) with six RBIs in 20 postseason games. This playoffs, he has hit safely in five straight games. He is batting .333 (18-for-6) with one home run and two RBIs. 무지개토토 도메인
Jang said, “It was hard to get to second place in the regular season. After two straight losses, everyone thought it would be hard for us to rebound, but we’re used to this process. I think the players did a good job of not getting discouraged.” “After conceding the lead in Game 5, I thought, ‘Have we ever lost easily, the sky is the limit, let’s just do what we’re doing.’ “We played with the mindset of ‘we’ll figure it out as we go,’ and I think we got lucky,” he added.