Wilk strikes out nine in losing effortWritten by Zach Davis | | email@example.com
Fresh off nearly being no-hit the night before, Toledo’s Adam Wilk responded with a strong pitching performance of his own.
Unfortunately, it still wasn’t enough.
Wilk and the Mud Hens lost their sixth straight game on July 8 falling 3-2 to Charlotte as the Knights took the four- game sweep.
Against the Knights, Wilk had a career game. The 24-year-old starter struck out a personal record of nine batters and threw the team’s first complete game of the season.
“I definitely think this was a good outing,” Wilk said. “I’ve had a couple good ones and this was probably one of my top. I made a couple mistakes including that two-run home run and put myself in a little trouble in the sixth inning with a run on that double. I was very efficient and getting outs very quickly and even with nine strikeouts the pitch count was at exactly 100. It was definitely a strong outing and I just have to keep building.”
For Wilk, it was another solid performance on the year. The Anaheim native is second among the team’s starters with a 3.34 ERA and has racked up 46 strikeouts with just 11 walks in his 59.1 innings of work.
Still, despite his success, the team has struggled at the plate on his starts. After winning his first two outings of the year, Wilk has lost six of his next seven starts. Other than a seven-point outing on May 29, Toledo has averaged just 1.67 runs a game in those six outings.
Among the reasons for Wilk’s success is a key adjustment he’s made on the mound. Per the instructions of head coach Phil Nevin and his staff, Wilk has moved from pitching on the first base side of the rubber to the third base side. While he is still trying to fully adjust, Wilk has seen improvements highlighted by his nine-strikeout shutout.
“Adam’s made some adjustments in his delivery, we have moved him over to the other side of the rubber,” Nevin said. “We think that will help him at the next level. It’s a different look for hitters and he can reach different parts of the plate with his stuff. I really think this will help him and I think he’s starting to get comfortable with it. It’s just creating better angles with his stuff and I’ve noticed a big difference.”
“The biggest thing is the visual,” Wilk said. “It’s just the visual difference of everything, that was the weirdest thing for the first couple starts along with the release point being different but I’m definitely getting more comfortable. The pitches are coming around and I’m starting to understand where to put the ball to get guys out.”
Wilk will make his next start on June 14 when the Mud Hens travel to Norfolk at 7:15 p.m.