“I knew it was perfect until the sixth inning. The moment I gave up the walk to Shin-Soo Choo? I honestly thought, ‘Ahhh’.”
After just three games, the team is poised to become the heart of Busan.
Aaron Wilkerson pitched well for the third straight game. He got his first win in his debut, his first quality start (6+ innings and 3 earned runs or less) in game two, and made KBO history in game three.
The Lotte Giants achieved the third “team (joint) no-hitter” in KBO history on June 6 against the SSG Landers at Sajik Stadium in Busan, led by the golden arm of Wilkerson, Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong. Yoon Dong-hee’s game-winning hit in the eighth inning secured a 1-0 victory. They also snapped a three-game losing streak.
It was a historic humiliation for SSG, their distribution rival. SSG is a ‘home run factory’ that continues to lead the league in team home runs (83, second place Doosan 63) this season.
Wilkerson has a weight on his shoulders every game. For the third straight game, he pitched while his team was on a three-game losing streak. On the first day, he broke the losing streak, and on the second day, the team lost despite his QS performance. On this day, he broke the team’s losing streak again and showed off the ‘long-haired ace’ that had descended on Busan.
“Our goal today was to not give up any runs. I went up there with the mindset of filling the opponent’s scoreboard with zeroes. I wanted to be as aggressive as I could, throw fastballs and keep it short so the defense doesn’t get tired.”
Wilkerson’s “perfect pitch” continued into the sixth inning. The SSG lineup hadn’t gotten a single base runner in two innings. There were no hits, no walks, no hit batsmen, and no errors.
Photo credit=Lotte Giants
But in the top of the seventh inning, Shin-Soo Choo managed to get a walk. “I knew it was perfect through the sixth inning,” Wilkerson said with a big smile. “My goal was to throw it as long as I could, and of course, I was groaning inwardly. But I quickly got over it and focused on the next batter,” he emphasized.안전놀이터
“I was relieved to see Yoon Dong-hee hit it (behind the right fielder). It felt really good.”
Wilkerson, Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong in the bullpen, and Yoon Dong-hee in the final inning were part of the third team no-hitter in KBO history. “I don’t think any pitcher goes out there thinking, ‘I have to be perfect today,’ and I’m honored to have my name on that record,” Wilkerson said.