NC Dinos foreign pitcher Tanner Tully, who has come out of a slump, has expressed his desire to play in the Korean Series. He expressed his desire to enjoy the fall baseball season for as long as possible, the first time in his career.굿모닝토토
“I’m not nervous to pitch in front of so many fans, but I’m having a lot of fun and enjoying it,” Tanner said after training before Game 4 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Postseason Playoffs (best-of-five, best-of-three, NC 2-1) at Changwon NC Park on Wednesday. “I’m playing in the postseason for the first time since I’ve been a baseball player, and I can feel the energy from my teammates as well as the crowd,” he said.
Tanner started Game 3 of the playoffs on April 2 at Changwon NC Park and pitched six innings of five-hit ball, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks with seven strikeouts. Although the outing was short-lived as NC went 0-3 behind a silent batting lineup, Tanner did his part by pitching a quality start for the first time since the start of the postseason.
Tanner started Game 1 of the wild-card deciding game against the Doosan Bears on March 19, but fell short of expectations, allowing five runs on seven hits and one walk in four innings. NC went on to win 14-9, but Tanner’s performance left something to be desired.
He also struggled in Game 3 of the semifinals against the SSG Landers on March 25. He gave up five runs on five hits, one home run, three walks and two strikeouts in two innings. NC clinched a 7-6 victory and a playoff berth, but Tanner couldn’t celebrate.
The fall struggles came as a surprise to Tanner, who replaced Widener, who was released in August for poor performance, and had performed well in the NC uniform, going 5-2 with eight quality starts in 11 regular-season games.
Amid growing concerns about a prolonged slump, Tanner rebounded in Game 3 of the playoffs. He stayed on the mound until the sixth inning and did his job, allowing NC to minimize bullpen usage.
Tanner’s job for the rest of the playoffs won’t be easy. NC’s 2-11 loss in Game 4 sends the series to Game 5 at Wiz Park in Suwon, KT, but Tanner’s availability will be limited. After throwing 105 pitches in Game 3, it would be difficult for him to start Game 5 on two days’ rest.
That’s why Tanner is hoping to help NC advance to the Korean Series. If NC defeats KT in Game 5 of the playoffs, he will likely be in the starting rotation for Games 1 and 2 of the Korean Series.
Tanner’s last start of the regular season coincidentally came against LG. On March 13, he pitched six innings of three-hit ball, allowing one run on two hits and two walks with one strikeout to earn his fifth win of the season.
“I was a little tired in Game 3 of the playoffs, but I pitched hard,” Tanner said, “and the game plan they gave me worked well for me. We didn’t have a great wild-card game or semifinals, but we prepared for the playoffs with the same routine and pitched better with better location.”
“If we make it to the Korean Series, I think we can do well enough against the LG Twins,” he said. “Throughout my career, I’ve been pitching in the regular season with the goal of playing in the postseason. I always want to be on the big stage,” he emphasized.
He also expressed his trust and faith in his teammates. He said he is proud of NC’s postseason performance and hopes to see them advance to the Korean Series.
“The team has been struggling since the end of the regular season and is currently exhausted, but they are showing good energy in the postseason,” Tanner said. “All the players feel this energy and are working harder every game.”
“It’s definitely different from the United States. There are more strategic plays than in the U.S.,” he said, adding, “There are also a lot of bunts and other tactics, and it’s fun to experience these things, and we’re enjoying the game.”
Meanwhile, NC was unable to capitalize on the momentum of its Game 1 and 2 wins in the playoffs at Enemy Suwon and dropped Games 3 and 4 to KT at home, threatening a “reverse sweep.
In the history of the KBO playoffs (best-of-five series, excluding the 1999-2000 doubleheader – 1995-2008-2021), the team that wins Game 1 and Game 2 has an 88.2% (15-of-17) chance of advancing to the Korean Series.