Tuesday, 23rd April 2024


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Will the cult of the ‘Resignation Jesus’ continue this year?

Will the cult of the ‘Resignation Jesus’ continue this year?

Lotte Giants foreign pitcher Wilkerson made his presence felt against his Japanese ‘brother club’. The Giants lost, but the team’s “Team Perfect” performance last year was a reminder of the team’s poise.

Wilkerson started the first game of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) exchange with the Chiba Lotte on Thursday at Nishizaki Baseball Stadium in Itoman, Okinawa, Japan, and pitched two perfect innings.

He got things off to a good start in the top of the first inning when he got Kyouta Fujiwara to ground out to shortstop. He then gave up a foul fly to No. 2 hitter Raito Ikeda, which was misplayed by catcher Son Sung-bin, but he recovered to strike out the side.

After getting third baseman Kyuto Ueda to ground out to second base to end the first inning, Wilkerson retired Kouki Yamaguchi (fly ball to left field), Hisanori Yasuda (fly ball to center field), and Hiromi Oka (ground ball to third base) in order in the second inning to complete a perfect second inning.

He used his fastball, curveball, slider, changeup, and cutter to his advantage, testing a variety of pitches.

Wilkerson joined the team late last year and went an impressive 7-2 with a 2.26 ERA in 13 appearances and 79⅔ innings pitched. His 2.26 ERA was good for fifth in the league in the second half.

He already has experience in Nippon Professional Baseball.

In 2022, he went 5-5 with a 4.08 ERA for Hanshin. Wilkerson was happy to talk to Nippon Baseball officials who recognized him.

Wilkerson and Chiba Rode’s Kazuya Ojima are the two pitchers scheduled to start the season opener. Kazuya also pitched two scoreless innings and finished the game cleanly.

Meanwhile, Shin Yoo-yeol, the son of Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin and Lotte’s founder, and Lee Gap, head of Lotte’s future growth and communications office, 토토사이트 were in attendance. They watched the game alongside LOTTE club president Lee Kang-hoon and general manager Park Joon-hyuk, demonstrating the group’s strong interest in the team this season.

Lotte lost the match 3-7 to Chiba Lotte, but it was significant because it was the first exchange match between the “brother clubs” in 17 years, since 2007. Following a joint drill on the 22nd, the teams will play back-to-back games on the 24th and 25th.

“The club plans to regularize exchanges with Ziva Lotte in the future to make the most of the advantages of sibling clubs,” Park Jun-hyuk, Lotte’s head coach, said. In addition to the exchange game, the two teams will continue to communicate to share various know-how, including player and coach exchanges.

Speaking after the match,

Wilkerson said, “I’m about 85% fit. “It was our first practice, so we had the mindset of competing with the batters and fighting again,” he said, “I think we met the standard to some extent. We’ll try to improve on that in the rest of spring training.”

“My goal for this season is 20 wins. He surprised the crowd by shouting, “I’ll stay healthy and steady.” When asked if he would like to be called up to the major leagues (like Pedi), he cheerfully replied, “If the salary is right, I will consider it.

As for his meeting with Roki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte) the day before, he smiled and said, “We talked a little bit when we faced each other before and I asked him what he wanted to know about the major leagues, but it’s his decision, and I don’t have any advice for him.”

Wilkerson is married with four children. That might explain why he quickly signed a $950,000 extension after last season. “They’re probably coming in at the end of March, maybe a little after the opening game,” Wilkerson said. I had a really good experience in Korea, so I’m just waiting for them to come back,” Wilkerson said.

“I want to cut my hair short, but my wife would hate me. So I can’t cut it,” he chuckles.

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