The beginning was great, but the end was weak. That’s exactly what SSG Landers did in the 2023 season.
SSG started the new season brilliantly, claiming two consecutive wins as the defending champion. However, they were shaken by issues outside of the game that continued throughout the season, and in the postseason, which came after many twists and turns, they packed up early with three lethargic losses.
SSG lost 6-7 against NC Dinos in the third game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Postseason Semi-Playoffs (best of 5) held at NC Park in Changwon, Gyeongsangnam-do on the 25th. SSG, who headed to Changwon with two losses at home, retired with a sweep.
SSG, which fell to 6th place due to poor performance in September, showed strength in October and succeeded in advancing directly to the semi-playoffs in 3rd place, gaining an advantageous position in advancing to the playoffs. However, after being one-sidedly dragged by NC’s spirit throughout the series, they bowed their heads.
With the full support of the club, they aimed for a second straight victory, but ended up leaving in a lonely and shabby manner.
SSG, which created an unprecedented record of winning the wire-to-wire integrated championship last year, started this season without a major loss of power. Right-hander Lee Tae-yang qualified as a free agent and left for the Hanwha Eagles, and left-hander Kim Taek-hyeong left as managing director, but the existing team was so strong that the vacancy did not feel large. All three foreign players were replaced, but expectations were greater than concerns.
As expected, SSG cruised to first place in the early stages. Seo Jin-yong had a scoreless streak of 20 consecutive games from the start of the season to mid-May. Noh Kyeong-eun, who was in difficult times, advanced with the momentum of the king of holds.
But the crisis came from outside the game. In early June, the team atmosphere became turbulent as Kim Gwang-hyun’s drinking scandal broke out at the 2023 World Baseball Classic (2023). During this period, LG Twins was on the rise and SSG fell to second place.
At the end of the first half, a bat assault incident occurred between second-team players. As a result, Won-jun Lee, a prospect selected in the first round, was kicked out of the team. As unpleasant incidents occurred one after another in a month, it was difficult for SSG players to fully concentrate on the game.
SSG, which finished in second place, 2.5 games behind leader LG, aimed for a major counterattack by reorganizing its battles in the second half of the year. However, the situation took a rather negative turn.
Seo Jin-yong, who had been firmly guarding the backfield, faltered, and at the same time, the batting lineup fell into a slump. Veteran Hanyu Seom has fallen into endless slump, and young bloods Park Seong-han and Choi Ji-hoon, who were the vitality of last year’s batting lineup, have also stagnated.토토사이트
SSG, which gradually fell in ranking, fell to 6th place on September 12th, completely falling away from the competition for the lead and becoming worried about advancing to the postseason.
Fortunately, SSG has been able to gather strength since the end of September, when each team’s key players were missing due to selection for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. In October, they finished the season in 3rd place with an incredible record of 10 wins and 2 losses in the last 12 games.
SSG tried to beat NC with big game experience and a strong batting line. But things didn’t go as planned. In the first game of the semi-playoffs, the high-ranking players failed to play their part and lost 3-4, and the second game followed the same pattern as the first game, losing 3-7.
In Game 3, which was pushed to the edge of a cliff, Choi Jeong took the first lead of the series with a grand slam that erased his slump, but this time the mound could not stop NC’s strong firepower. There were no new players to replace the aging starters.
SSG, which came down from the fall stage after three games with its past splendor gone, now looks forward to next year with an important topic called ‘change’.