40-year-old veteran second baseman’s ML-level fantasy defense leaves ‘full house’ Masanen with nothing but sighs
It was the third game of the playoffs between the NC Dinos and KT Wiz at Changwon NC Park. After losing the first and second games, there was no tomorrow for KT Wiz. They had to win the third game no matter what.
A leadoff double by Bae Jae-dae in the second inning and a run-scoring solo shot by Moon Sang-chul in the seventh gave them the lead. The problem came after starter Ko Young-pyo. After six perfect innings, it was unclear if the bullpen would be able to protect the three runs.굿모닝토토 도메인
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol brought up Son Dong-hyun in the seventh inning. The right-hander has been one of the strongest pitchers in KT’s bullpen this fall and has earned Lee’s trust. The first batter he faced was crucial. It was NC’s No. 4 hitter, Martin.
Martin took a forked ball from Son Dong-hyun with one out. The timing was perfect. The ball traveled very fast, and KT second baseman Park Kyung-soo was in the way. The ball that was supposed to be a hit went into Park’s glove. It was a ‘major league’ defense. The NC home fans who filled Changwon NC Park thought it was a hit and stood up, only to let out a deep sigh.
A three-run lead. Turning into a bullpen battle. If the leadoff hitter had survived, there’s no telling how quickly the game could have changed. However, NC lost the momentum of the chase in the rain of Park Kyung-soo. Park’s defense was as valuable as Moon Sang-chul’s home run. With this defense, KT secured the victory and can now dream of an upset in the playoffs.
Park is 40 years old and KT’s oldest player. He’s old enough to retire, and he played an unbelievable defense with tremendous quickness. He made the younger players grit their teeth. “I couldn’t catch it without that move,” Park said after the game, adding, “I must have done a good job because I got a lot of compliments in the dugout. I’m glad that my defense raised the team’s morale and helped the team a little bit,” he said. “The reason I’m starting is for defense. There should be no mistakes,” he emphasized.
This is not the first time Park has saved the team with his defense. Park was also at the center of the 2021 season’s title run. In the best-of-seven regular season finale against the Samsung Lions, he made a game-winning catch in a game that almost resembled an NC game. In the Korean Series against the Doosan Bears, he was all over the place, earning MVP honors.
“I want to win one more championship before I retire,” Park said, and he helped spark the Lions’ chances of advancing to the Korean Series.