– Only 1 walk allowed until Wilkerson’s 7th
inning . All the teams that achieved this record before Lotte advanced to fall baseball, and Lotte draws attention to what steps it will continue.
Lotte won 1-0 without allowing a single hit in the SSG match held at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 6th. Starter Aaron Wilkerson started the 꽁머니지급 game with no hits and no runs in 7 innings. Following this, Seung-Jo Pil, who led to Seung-Min Koo and Won-Joong Kim, also completed a team no-hit no-run by perfectly locking the back door with a scoreless score without conceding a single hit. In this game, SSG hitters got on base only twice, all by walks.
There have been 14 times in the history of the KBO League that one pitcher achieved a no-hit no-run through the 9th inning. However, this is a rare record as it is the third time team pitchers have combined for a no-hit and no-run. Prior to Lotte, LG Twins set records against NC Dinos on October 6, 2014, and SSG Landers set records against NC in the opening game on April 2 last year.
The center of the great record is, of course, Wilkerson, the starter that day. He tied the opponent’s batting line tightly with sharp and quick pitches. He started cleanly with a three-way exit in the first inning, and then continued ‘perfect pitching’ by not allowing a single batter to hit first base until the sixth inning.
On this day, SSG’s first on-base came only in the 7th inning. Wilkerson gave up a walk to lead batter Choo Shin-soo, ending his perfect streak. However, he got off the mound after striking out and hitting the next three batters.
Wilkerson threw 95 pitches that day, his best control since his debut in the KBO League. His most thrown pitch was the fastball (28), with a top speed of 148 km/h. As for his change of pitches, he mainly used changeups (22) and cutters (21) to cook the opponent’s batting line.
Lotte coach Larry Sutton said, “(Wilkerson’s) individual no-hit game was going on, and I wanted to let him keep the ball in his hand. However, since he is on his second appearance this week and has thrown close to 100 balls for the first time since coming to Korea, he had to consider the rest of the game,” he explained the reason for his decision.
LG and SSG advanced to the postseason in the year they set a team no-hit record. Until Lotte achieves the record, the formula of ‘team no-hit no-run = fall baseball’ is valid. However, the circumstances of the two teams and Lotte are different. LG and SSG were so strong that they were predicted to be candidates for the championship early on when the record was established. Again this year, the two teams are competing for the lead.
On the other hand, Lotte is currently in 7th place in the league, so the possibility of advancing to fall baseball is not high. Accordingly, the likelihood that this formula will be broken due to Lotte is also high. Of course, if Lotte rebounds on the occasion of setting a great record, this day will be the best moment for fans.
Currently, Lotte has a pitcher who has experienced a team no-hit no-run. It is Shin Jeong-rak, who wore the Lotte uniform this season. In 2014, Shin Jeong-rak, who was affiliated with LG, started as a starting pitcher against Jamsil NC and pitched a perfect pitch with no hits, 2 walks and 9 strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. He was greedy for a complete shutout, but he had a problem with his nails from the third inning, so he voluntarily gave up after one shot in the eighth inning. Fortunately, two bullpen pitchers blocked the remaining innings with no hits and no runs, recording a team no-hit no-run. After the game on the 6th, Shin Jeong-rak said, “During today’s game, I talked with coach Kang Young-sik about the team’s no-hit no-run, but I really didn’t know that record would come out.” told