Texas’ Park Chan-ho closes on 100th win after dismal seasonsKorean pitcher Park Chan-ho, 31, of the Texas Rangers appears to have found his old form as he continued pitching solidly, propelling the Rangers past the Boston Red Sox in a home game last Saturday.
In seven strong innings, Park allowed only three hits and two runs to help the Rangers clinch a 7-2 victory against the visiting Red Sox.
“It was nice,” Park said after the game. “I kept it down, changed speeds and things were working.” Park retired nine straight batters after yielding a first-inning single.
In career totals, he has had 97 wins and 72 losses, only three away from his 100th. If the Rangers continue rotating five pitchers, Park is likely to go to the mound in May as well.
For the season, he has had three wins and one loss with an earned run average of 3.86. Park ranks first in the number of wins among the team’s pitchers and strikeouts with 25. He has allowed 23 hits and 13 runs over 30 and one-third innings this season.
On April 23, Park gave away three hits and one run in 6.2 innings in a 10-2 victory against the New York Yankees. Prior to that, he allowed five hits and three runs in a 7-5 victory against the L.A. Dodgers.
This is the first time for Park to have three wins in April with the Rangers and is a drastic improvement from the poor performances over the last three years since he moved to Texas from the Dodgers in 2002.
In 2004, Park had four wins and seven losses with an ERA of 5.46 followed by one win and three losses and an ERA of 7.58 in 2003.
In 2001, Park recorded 15 wins and 11 losses before becoming a free agent.
His best year came when he was with the Dodgers in 2000, with 18 wins and 10 losses.
Observers say Park is known for playing better in summer, and expect him to have more than 10 wins this season.
According to CBS Sports Line, Park placed 33rd in the pitchers’ ranking, 20 notches up from last week and ahead of the other Rangers pitchers.
In news of other Korean major leaguers, Choi Hee-seop of the L.A. Dodgers hit a grand slam at the end of the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies last Saturday.
The Dodgers were behind 0-1 when Choi hit the homer and went on to win 6-3.
This was the first grand slam for Choi this season.
by Limb Jae-un, Sung Baik-you