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Let’s Smile Tomorrow

Posted April. 28, 2004 21:23,   


“Let’s beat the drum of victory together.”

A trio of Korean Major Leaguers will appear as starting pitchers on the same day for the first time.

Park Chan-ho (31-year-old, Texas Rangers), Seo Jae-eung (27-year-old, New York Mets) and Kim Byung-hyun (25-year-old, Boston Red Sox) will take the mound on April 30. Park will appear on the mound in the road game against the Kansas City Royals at 3:10 a.m, and eight hours later, Seo will pitch against L.A. Dodgers.

Park, with a one win and three losses (ERA 5.19) record this season, will face Kansas City, which is at the bottom of the AL Central Division, and the opposing starting pitcher is Darrell May with no wins-three losses and a 7.32 ERA. He is not invincible, but Park feels bitter. Park was scheduled to pitch on April 29, but it was postponed one day because of Kenny Rodgers’ return from the flu.

Park will pitch for the first time in seven days and will face the pressure of competing in a day game in which he has been pitching poorly. Park has struggled with two losses and 13 runs allowed over 11 and 1/3 innings in day games, but he pitches quite well with a one win and one loss record and three allowed runs (ERA 1.90) over 14 and 2/3 innings at night. The Royals’ number of home runs, which ranks second in the AL (27), is also something for Park to be cautious.

Seo, with no wins and three losses (ERA 6.60), will challenge again for his wishful first win.

Park’s former team, the L.A. Dodgers now leads the NL Western Division. Meanwhile, the New York Mets are fourth in the NL Eastern Division, inferior to the Dodgers. In addition, L.A.’s team batting average is 0.277, but the Mets’ is only 0.229, indicating that it is difficult to get hitting support.

But with the gained momentum of good pitching against the Chicago Cubs with three runs allowed over six innings on April 24, he is ready to top the L.A. batters.

Having rehabilitated in the Minor Leagues for his shoulder injury, Kim is supposed to have a comeback game in his home stadium against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the earliest at 2:05 a.m. according to the announcement of Major League official site. (MLB.com) Originally, Kim was supposed to play against the Cleveland Indians on May 6, but the April 28 game was cancelled because of rain, giving him a chance for the first game of a doubleheader.

In the meantime, Choi (Florida Marlines) was excluded from the starting lineup at the road game against Colorado Rockets held at Coors Field on April 28. Slamming his sixth homer on the previous day, Choi stayed on the bench due to the left handed starting pitcher, Shawn Estes. It was his sixth game he sat out and the fifth by a left handed starting pitcher.

Kim Seon-woo (Montreal Expos) appeared as the second pitcher in the road game against San Diego Padres and didn’t allow any runs over 1 and 1/3 innings. He has achieved a 0.56 ERA by allowing no runs for four straight games.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com