‘Wilkerson’ reverberates through 16,000-seat Gocheok Dome

“I feel like I have the best fans ever” Lobusim explosion

“I feel like I have the best fans”

Lotte Giants Aaron Wilkerson started the 11th game of the 2024 Shinhan Bank SOL Bank KBO League against the Kium Heroes at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea, on April 22 and threw 97 pitches over seven innings, allowing six hits (one home run), one walk, five strikeouts, and one run (one earned) to earn his seventh win of the season.

Wilkerson’s pitching was flawless on the day, save for the home run he gave up to Jang Jae-young. Throwing a mix of fastballs (24 pitches), changeup (28 pitches), cutter (25 pitches), slider (13 pitches), and curveball (7 pitches) that topped out at 148 mph, Wilkerson not only shut down the Kiwoom bats, but also played the role of “ace” in a game where the bullpen has been thin lately and starting pitchers need to get as many innings as possible.

Wilkerson got into trouble in the top of the first inning when he gave up a double to Kim Hye-sung, but he struck out Song Sung-moon in a crucial situation to end the scoreless start and continued his good work in the bottom of the inning, striking out Kim Gun-hee with runners on first and second and getting Lee Jae-sang to ground into a double play. The third inning was the only blemish on the perfect pitching day. Jang Jae-young, the leadoff hitter, was hit by a 139-kilometer cutter on the third pitch of the inning, allowing a solo home run to left field. But that would be the first and last time he would give up a run.

Wilkerson retired the side in order in the third inning on three pitches, then induced his first three-hit shutout in the fourth inning against the lineup of Choi Joo-hwan, Lee Yong-gyu, and Kim Gun-hee. He kept the Kiwoom bats in order in the fifth inning without any more trouble, and in the sixth inning, despite starting the inning with a single to Kim Hye-sung, Kiwoom’s toughest hitter. With just 81 pitches at the end of six innings, Wilkerson returned to the mound in the seventh and pitched a complete game shutout to complete a Quality Start+ (7 innings, 3 earned runs or less).

Wilkerson, who still hadn’t thrown more than 100 pitches after the seventh inning, appeared in the eighth inning, but after giving up a leadoff single to Lee Joo-hyung, he sent Batong to 먹튀검증 the bullpen. The Lotte fans, who filled the third-base bleachers of the Gocheok Dome, erupted in a chant of Wilkerson’s name, and after Jin Hae-soo took the mound and shut down Kiwoom’s offense without allowing an earned run, Kim Sang-soo (1 inning) closed out the game to secure Wilkerson’s seventh win.

After the game, Wilkerson, who perfectly fulfilled the role of the ‘ace’ to end the team’s losing streak, said, “I pitched well overall today. It’s good that we were able to get back on a winning streak when we weren’t in a good flow,” he said, adding that he “didn’t realize” that he was the fastest pitcher in the KBO to reach 100 innings.

While Wilkerson was pleased with his pitching overall, there were two areas where he was disappointed. The home run he gave up to Jang Jae-young and the walks he allowed. “An 8,000-meter home run is better than a walk,” Wilkerson said last year when he wore the Lotte uniform. I don’t like to walk batters,” he said last year. Of course, his command is excellent, which is why he has only walked 10 batters in 94⅔ innings this season. He’s also given up a lot of home runs, so 10 home runs is not a lot.

“I didn’t like the walks very much. In fact, I wasn’t as happy with it as I was with the home run,” he said. “Hitters getting on base is a recipe for disaster (for a pitcher). I don’t care if it’s a bad pitch or a good pitch, but I don’t like to give runners away 토토사이트 for free. I think they have to earn it,” he said emphatically. And Wilkerson emphasized that this belief “still holds true.”

Jae-Young Jang’s pitch was a well-hit ball that was measured at a whopping 178 mph. “I think it was a bad pitch,” Wilkerson said. I had a 2B-0S count on the first pitch, so I pushed it up in the strike zone, and then I got a good swing on it (from Jae-Young Chang), and that’s what hitters do, and I think he did a good job of doing that, and that’s why he got it.”

With no Charlie Barnes in the lineup and Park Se-woong struggling, Wilkerson has been a savior for Lotte. “I feel very good right now, and I’m very happy with my mechanics. The game plan is going well. I feel good tomorrow and I feel good for the rest of the year,” Wilkerson said, thanking the fans who cheered him on as he walked off the mound, “It’s been great. I feel like I have the best fans in the world,” he said, thanking them for their support.

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