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Park Not Playing Up to Form

Posted April. 02, 2003 22:24,   


Chan Ho Park of the Texas Rangers collapsed without much resistance. His pitching was at its worst in years.

He took the mound for the first time this season in a game against the Anaheim Angels held yesterday at Addison Field in California, USA. In the starting lineup, Chan Ho Park lasted just 2 and 2/3 innings, giving up six runs, six hits, three walks and hitting a batter. After his terrible first and second innings, Park allowed Brad Fullmer to hit two-run home run, and allowed one more double before he was pulled off the mound. What went wrong?

His command of the fastball wasn`t there. He struggled, no doubt about it. Most of his balls were hovering only over 144km.

Former LG Manager Kim Sung-keun pointed out that his pitching form was the cause. "His release point was made in the back, leading to high balls and to loss of ball-control." In other words, his pitching balance was ruined.

He also said his "high kick" was wrong. "When you high kick, you should do it you`re your body positioned straight up. Chan Ho was leaning backwards. It was like he was pushing the ball, instead of throwing it, giving up optimal balls for left-handed batters to punch out of the field."

iTV Commentator Koo Kyung-back, attributed Park`s failure to his psychological unevenness. "Chan Ho has been under stress from being unable to throw fast balls as he did before. He stretched himself when throwing fastballs, ruining his form. In addition, his rival Nomo shut out Arizona`s Randy Johnson just one day prior to his pitching. That may have contributed, too."

Some even worry about the recurrence of injuries. Last year, his thigh injury, along with chronic back pain, drove Park to the wall. KBS commentator Hah Il-sung commented: "I thought Chan Ho has not overcome his injuries completely. Nonetheless, he is straining himself, I guess. When he pitches, his right arm comes forward like an under-hand thrower. Even worse, his upper body leans forward in a pushing motion, not a throwing one. He should make a decision and take half or a whole year off to rebuild himself and regain his strength."

After Chan Ho, Texas sent in four pitchers, only ending up giving more points to the other team. Thus, the Angels won a 10-0 victory over the Rangers.

Park next will take the mound against the Seattle Mariners on March 7.

Chang Jeon jeon@donga.com