The nemesis was the nemesis. KT Wiz pitcher Wes Benjamin pitched an eight-inning no-hitter against the “nemesis” LG Twins to extend his team’s winning streak.
Benjamin started the ninth game of the 메이저놀이터2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against LG at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Friday, throwing 103 pitches over eight innings, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out nine to lead the team to a 4-1 victory. With the win, Benjamin improved to 10-3 on the season.
It was the pitching of a lifetime. Prior to this game, Benjamin was 3-1 with a 2.11 ERA in four career starts against LG. In three appearances this season, he was 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA.
LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop was also wary of Benjamin’s performance. “It’s a targeted start (against us),” he said with a chuckle, “Benjamin’s pitches are hard for lefties, but you have to be sure of your fastball. If you miss the fastball, the ball count will be at a disadvantage,” he said, encouraging the batters.
However, LG was unable to capitalize on Benjamin. On the day, Benjamin used a mix of four-seam fastballs (up to 149 km/h), sliders (26), and cut fastballs (17) to dominate the LG bats, striking out nine batters. With only one walk and 73 of his 103 pitches inside the strike zone, Benjamin’s pitches were powerful and aggressive.
Benjamin got off to a good start, retiring the first three batters he faced. In the second inning, he gave up a single to Park Dong-won two batters later, but got out of the inning unscathed, and in the third, he retired the side in order again. In the fourth inning, with the bases loaded and three runs on the board, he gave up a single to Austin Dean with two outs.
Benjamin continued his strong outing, retiring the side in order in both the fifth and sixth innings. He gave up a leadoff single to Kim Hyun-soo in the seventh, but retired the next four batters in order on seven pitches. In the eighth, he looked shaky after giving up his first walk of the game to Shin Min-jae with two outs. But he got Hong Chang-ki to ground out to end the inning.
Benjamin handed the mound over to Kim Jae-yoon in the bottom of the ninth to close out the game. Eight scoreless innings. It was the first time Benjamin had gone eight innings since joining the KBO last year. Closer Kim Jae-yoon gave up a run in the ninth, but it didn’t change the score. With the win, Benjamin earned his 10th win of the season.