KT Wiz foreign pitcher Wes Benjamin recognized the SSG Landers’ best hitter, calling him “the best”. There’s a reason he said that.
KT won the 16th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against SSG Landers 3-0 on April 12 at SSG Landers Field in Incheon.
The game was tightly contested until the fifth inning as both teams’ starting pitchers pitched well. SSG ‘ace’ Kim Kwang-hyun avenged an early loss against the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles on April 6 with four runs in 3⅔ innings.
He matched Benjamin in the starting lineup with a scoreless fifth inning, but gave up a run in the sixth for his seventh loss of the season. The opposing starter was too dominant to win.
The SSG bats were silenced by Benjamin. The SSG bats had faced Benjamin twice before, both times scoring runs. On April 20, they scored six runs in six innings to hand Benjamin a loss. Then on May 2, they scored three runs in six innings, although Benjamin took the win.
Benjamin’s last two starts against SSG were not good, with nine earned runs in 12 innings, but his third start was a different story.
In the first inning, Benjamin struck out the leadoff batter, Choi Ji-hoon, on a foul fly to third base and Kim Kang-min on a fly ball to center field. In the second, he retired Heredia on a line drive to second base, Ha Jae-hoon on a grounder to shortstop, and Kim Sung-hyun on a strikeout. In the third, he pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
He didn’t allow a single hit or walk through the sixth, but in the bottom of the seventh, he got the first batter he faced, Choi Ji-hoon, on a foul fly behind the catcher and Kim Kang-min on a fly ball to right field. Benjamin’s perfect game was broken up by Choi.
Choi hit Benjamin’s five-pitch fastball for a two-run double down the left-field line. Benjamin’s perfect, no-hitter was broken. However, Heredia was retired on a grounder to the second baseman, giving KT a 1-0 lead. As it turned out, if Benjamin had pitched a perfect game without giving up a hit to Choi, it would have been the first time in Korean baseball history 온라인바카라.
Benjamin also said after the game, “I was thinking about a perfect pitch in the fourth or fifth inning. But I threw it without thinking about it.”
He stayed on the mound until the eighth inning. He threw 103 pitches in the eighth inning. He could have pitched the ninth if he wanted to, but he didn’t push the bench. There was another pitch to come.
“I felt pretty good today,” Benjamin said, reflecting on his perfect game. SSG deployed right-handed batters from the second through ninth spots, with the exception of Choi Ji-hoon, to try to counter the left-hander, but to no avail. 온라인바카라
Then, in the seventh inning, they lost a hit. The opponent was Choi. On a two-strike, two-pitch at-bat, he threw a fastball and gave up a double down the left-field line.
“I should have thrown it deep, but it went up the middle,” Benjamin said. “It’s not surprising to get a hit off of Choi, who is our best hitter. She didn’t miss it and hit it very well.”
He even applauded Choi after her defense in the seventh inning. “She came up to me and said, ‘I’m sorry, you don’t have to do that,'” Benjamin said. I was surprised that he said hello.”
The perfect score was broken, but he could have gone for the win. “I thought about going for a perfect game, but coach Lee Kang-chul told me not to push myself too hard,” he reflected. Benjamin had to settle for his 15th win (5 losses) on the day, tying him with Despine for the most wins in KT’s history.