With the 2023 KBO Korean Series between the KT Wiz and LG Twins tied at 1-1, Wes Benjamin (KT) and Chan-kyu Lim (LG) will face off in Game 3.
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol and LG manager Yoon Kyung-yup announced Benjamin and Im Chan-kyu as their respective Game 3 starters after Game 2 of the Korean Series at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Monday.
For KT, left-hander Benjamin, who went 15-6 with a 3.54 ERA in 29 regular-season games, will take the mound in Game 3. It was his first start in five days after pitching in Game 5 of the playoffs against the NC Dinos.
Benjamin has been on the mound every five days this fall. In the KBO postseason, including the semifinals last year, he is 4-1 with a 3.27 ERA in two starts. Benjamin has been a “grim reaper” against the LG this season. In five starts, he is 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA.굿모닝토토
Benjamin has shut down the left-handed hitters that LG boasts. Oh Ji-hwan, Hong Chang-ki, and Park Hae-min are all batting just .167 (2-for-12) against Benjamin, while Kim Hyun-soo is batting .182 (2-for-11). Moon Bo-kyung is batting .100 with one hit in 10 at-bats, and Moon Sung-joo has no hits in seven at-bats.
Players in the Korean Series often say that “regular season opponents don’t mean much in the short term.” If Benjamin can overturn this perception and pitch “as usual” against LG, KT’s victory will be even closer.
For LG, Im Chan-kyu will take the mound as scheduled. He is a die-hard LG fan who has been cheering for the team since elementary school and cried “I don’t want to go to school” when they were runners-up in the 2002 Korean Series.
A self-described “successful otaku,” Im was tasked with saving the day for LG.
LG turned to its bullpen early in game two, as starter Choi Won-tae was pulled after just ⅓ of an inning and four runs. The bullpen combined for 8⅔ scoreless innings in Game 2, but the best-case scenario for LG is to keep Lim Chan-gyu on the mound for as long as possible.
Lim has been instrumental in helping LG’s bullpen regain its strength, picking up wins whenever the starting rotation has fallen apart early in the season.
After finishing the regular season with a 14-3 record and a 3.43 ERA, he’ll need to replicate his May comeback that saw him win all four games.
Lim Chan-kyu did not fare well against KT in the regular season this year. In four games, he went 1-0 with a 6.61 ERA. The KT offense has been strong against Im, with Kim Min-hyuk, Kim Sang-soo (over .571 batting average), and Hwang Jae-gyun (over .500 batting average). However, Im didn’t give up any home runs to KT batters.