In the end, the No. 4 hitter could not break his silence.
The NC Dinos lost 0-3 in the third game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League postseason against the KT Wiz at NC Park in Changwon on Nov. 2. It was their ninth straight win in fall baseball. NC was looking for a series sweep to tie the Hae Taeyang Tigers for the longest postseason winning streak, but it fell short.
Jason Martin, who started the game in the No. 4 spot in the lineup, struggled. He went 0-for-4 with a walk. Martin was especially silent when he had a chance in the final inning. Unlike the previous series, he hasn’t been able to find his groove in the playoffs against KT.
In 118 games this year, Martin has been the centerpiece of NC’s offense, batting .283 (123-for-435) with 17 home runs, 90 RBIs, a .360 on-base percentage, a .455 slugging percentage, and a .815 OPS. Martin’s performance continued in the postseason. After going 1-for-4 in the wild-card deciding game against the Doosan Bears, Martin went on a tear against the SSG Landers in the semifinals, hitting .333 with four doubles, one home run, a .429 slugging percentage, a .667 on-base percentage and a 1.096 OPS in three games. 보스토토 도메인
However, he has been silent in the playoffs. Martin was 1-for-12 with one RBI through Game 3. Heading into Game 3, head coach Kang Myung-ho saw Martin as a key player and hoped the foreigner would carry the weight in the center of the batting order. “It’s all about what kind of performance he gives us,” Kang said, expressing his hope that Martin would come through.
But Martin remained silent. This time, he kept his head down after being robbed of a hit. Martin led off the second inning with a single to right field. With two balls and two strikes, he tried a five-pitch 113-kilometer curveball, but the ball floated high in the outfield and was caught by Choi Soo-ho in right field.
In his second at-bat of the fourth inning, Martin walked. With leadoff hitter Park Gun-woo grounding out to third, Martin swung at a four-pitch, 116-kilometer changeup from Ko Young-pyo, but the ball didn’t leave the infield and was caught by second baseman Park Kyung-soo for a groundout.
In the seventh inning, a well-pitched ball was caught. Martin, leading off, hit a 127-kilometer forkball from reliever Son Dong-hyun. It looked like the ball was going to clear the infield quickly, but Park made a leaping catch. Martin was eventually caught on a grounder to second base.
NC had a chance in their last at-bat, but Martin was silent. Leadoff hitter Park Min-woo singled up the middle to opposing closer Kim Jae-yoon. With Park stealing second, Martin stepped up to the plate, but he was caught swinging and missed, ending the game without a hit.
While the batting lineup as a whole was silent, the failure of the No. 4 batsman was felt more strongly. NC needs Martin to come alive if they want to win Game 4.
Meanwhile, NC will start Song Myung-ki in Game 4, while KT will send William Cuevas.