Oh, continue! The foreigners with big smile in Korea

“Keep going, keep going!”

The manager approached behind the foreign pitcher who was interviewing the best player. The command tower, who called the player with a full-blown smile, encouraged him by saying, “Keep doing this” in English. Wes Benjamin (KT), who heard the support from KT Wiz coach Lee Kang-chul, nodded shyly and replied that he understood.

Benjamin started in the home game against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on the 25th, throwing 103 balls in 8 innings, throwing 3 hits, 1 walk, 9 strikeouts and no runs, and the team’s 4-1 led to victory With this victory, Benjamin achieved 10 wins (3 losses) of the season.

It was pitching worthy of a natural enemy. Benjamin, who recorded an average ERA of 2.11 in 4 games against LG before the match, 3 wins and 1 loss on this day, continued his natural enemy mode and played an overwhelming role. He harvested 10 wins in the season with better content and results than pitching in the opening game (6 innings, 2 hits, 1 run), which was considered the best pitching. Coincidentally, the opponent that day was also LG.

Benjamin, who we met after the game, looked back and said, “Returning to last year’s pitching mechanism worked well.” In fact, Benjamin has been sluggish since the opening game. He won 2 wins (2 losses) in 5 games in April, but his earned run average was not good at 5.60, and he also scored 4.26 in 5 games in May. Until June, there were only three quality starts (QS, 6 innings or more and 3 runs or less), except for the opening game. Director Lee Kang-chul’s wrinkles toward Benjamin only deepened.

However, Benjamin began to come to life little by little in July. Benjamin, who won the match against LG on the 5th with 5 and 1/3 innings and 2 runs (1 earned), gave up 2 runs in 7 and 2/3 innings, 6 hits and 11 strikeouts in the last game of the first half, against Kiwoom Heroes on the 11th. Resurrection was successful while recording. Benjamin continued the atmosphere by pitching 8 scoreless innings against LG on the 25th, the first game of the second half.

Benjamin said, “I focused on increasing the speed by lowering the angle of the arm during the offseason, but (over time) hitters picked a lot of balls and became at a disadvantage,” he said. “I recently raised the angle of the arm again. He’s got lower velocity, but better command.” He said, “During the All-Star break, I played catch with the bullpen catchers a lot, and I think it led to positive pitching today. He thanked the bullpen catchers.”

Regarding the reason why he is particularly strong against LG, Benjamin said, “I think that LG’s left-handed hitters probably get a little better result,” he said. “I plan to do my best to throw hard regardless of which team.” He said, “While playing in the KBO league, I also learned a lot of information about hitters. The catcher (Jang Seong-woo) trusts and throws (the results are good), and his confidence is growing.”

10 wins after twists and turns. His teammates even gave him a 10-win commemorative ball. Benjamin said, “I always feel grateful to his teammates. There were many games where I won because I scored a lot when I threw poorly. He wants to give 10 wins to his teammates,” he said.

Lastly, he said in fluent Korean, “Let’s win the championship!”, reaffirming his determination for the future.

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