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Chan Ho`s Three Wins Unfold New Stage

Posted March. 28, 2003 22:21,   


Chan Ho Park of the Texas Rangers wrapped up the 2003 spring with positive expectations for the future.

In his last outing yesterday against the Kansas City Royals, Park performed well and pulled his ERA down to 6.98, which increased to 22.5 due to terrible pitching against the Milwaukee Brewers on March 3. The final "point" was worked out by his excellent pitching during the last three games.

For five innings against the Brewers, Park recorded five strikeouts and allowed four hits and four walks, leading to two runs. His overall performance was impressive, which led his team to a 7-5 victory. Due to strong winds, he had a hard time maintaining ball control. But he defended the mound with a mixture of curveballs and fastballs. He pitched 97 balls and reached up to 148km.

Park has been on the rise, getting closer to the season. It is a good sign. Early this spring, he let his fans down with poor performance but came back and did not give over two runs against the Oakland Athletics on March 18, the Anaheim Angels on the 23rd and the Brewers yesterday, recording three wins in a row.

Texas Rangers Manager Buck Showalter, who has given the season opener to another pitcher, expressed his delight and said that Park was pitching effectively. He added that he became positive, watching Park`s performance during the last three games, and wished that Park would maintain his pitching until the end of the season.

At the beginning, Park insisted on fastballs. But he got to throw a considerable number of curveballs as well. Against the Brewers, out of a total of 97, over half were curveballs. When asked why batters had difficulty making hits against him with his condition almost the same, Park answered, "Earlier, I threw fastballs more than 90%. In later games, I mixed them with curveballs and change-ups. I think that worked."

His fastballs were not as powerful as before, but he gained "strength" with curveballs and change-ups. He confessed, "I worried a lot and prepared a lot. Anyway, it ended well. Now it`s time to get started."

Leaving his three-game winning streak behind, Park is getting down to preparations for his "sortie" against the Anaheim Angels on April 2.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com