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NC slugger Eric Thames trying to put bad fortune behind him

All Headlines 17:45 October 24, 2014

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- In the ongoing Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) playoff round between the NC Dinos and the LG Twins, the Twins have enjoyed some lucky breaks to build a commanding 2-0 series lead in the best-of-five affair.

In Game 2 Wednesday, for instance, LG's second baseman Kim Yong-eui made a spectacular leaping catch on a hard liner by Eric Thames, and doubled off a runner at first base when the Dinos were trying to rally from a 3-0 deficit.

The ball could easily have gone for a double had the regular LG second baseman, Park Kyung-soo, played in the game. Park, who is out with an injured thigh, is listed almost 10 centimeters shorter than Kim.

Then in the ninth, after the Dinos cut the deficit to 3-2, their second baseman Park Min-woo dropped an easy pop fly, allowing Moon Sun-jae, the runner on first, to come all the way home for an insurance run.

Moon had taken off on a steal attempt and would have been doubled off if Park had made the catch.

The Dinos found themselves in a big hole, with their backs against the wall, ahead of the must-win Game 3 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, the Twins' home. Yet Thames, one of the principal figures in bizarre happenings in Game 2, said the first two games are already behind the Dinos.
<YNAPHOTO path='C:/YNA/YNACLI~1/Down/Article/AEN20141024008800315_01_i.jpg' id='' title='' caption='Eric Thames of the NC Dinos watches his home run ball during Game of the KBO playoff series against the LG Twins in Changwon, South Korea, on Oct. 22, 2014. (Yonhap file photo)'/>

"We know we have to win this game, but we're not going to stress too much or try to do too much," Thames said as he got ready to take his usual spot in the lineup as the cleanup hitter. "We're going to erase the past two games and start anew today."

Thames shook his head and let out a bemused laugh at the mention of events in Game 2. He shrugged them off, saying, "That's the way baseball is."

"It didn't seem like baseball gods have been on our side the last two games," he added. "It's all right. The game is over and it's in the past. Now we've just got to look forward."

Thames, who once played for the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners, joined the Dinos for this season after playing in Triple-A in 2013.

The 27-year-old made an immediate impact, leading the club with a .343 average, 37 home runs and 121 RBIs and helping the Dinos reach the postseason in just their second year of existence.

In the two playoff games, Thames has gone 3-for-8 with a home run, a double and two RBIs.

"So far, I've loved (playing in the postseason)," he said. "It's been a great experience. It'd be a lot better if we'd come out on top in the first two games."

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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