Park sets MLB win record for Asian pitchersMIAMI - Korean pitcher Park Chan-ho threw three innings of shutout relief to notch a win as the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the Florida Marlins 5-1 on Friday, setting a new standard for Asian-born pitchers.
Park threw six strikeouts and pitched three scoreless innings to earn his fourth win of the season.
It was the 124th career victory for Park, moving him past Japan’s Hideo Nomo - who retired in 2008 - for most Major League Baseball wins by an Asian player.
In 11 seasons in the MLB, Nomo managed to amass a 123-109 record as a starter.
Nomo pitched a total of five games as a relief pitcher towards the end of his career, with an 8.68 earned run average out of the bullpen.
“It’s very special,” Park told reporters.
The 37-year-old hurler is 113-86 as a starter and 11-11 as a relief pitcher in his major league career.
Park joined the Pirates in August after being put on waivers by the New York Yankees after he went 2-1 with a 5.60 ERA as a reliever.
In his past 21 appearances with Pittsburgh (57-103), Park has posted a 1.93 ERA.
“I’m proud of myself for pitching three innings in what could have been my last opportunity of the season,” stated Park on his Web site yesterday. “If one has a clear goal and desperately wants something and works towards that goal no matter how long it takes, the goal is achievable.”
Park enjoyed his best years with the Los Angeles Dodgers - the team he broke into the majors with back in 1994.
He won 18 games and finished second in strikeouts in the National League in 2000, then he went 15-11 with a 3.50 ERA to earn All-Star honors the next season.
Park was granted free agency after that season and signed a lucrative contract with the Texas Rangers.
He struggled in his three seasons with the Rangers and went on to pitch with seven other clubs in the following five seasons with varying degrees of success.
“I heard a lot of people saying I was done,” Park told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It didn’t feel good but I didn’t think I was done.”
Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Park Chan-ho pitches against the Florida Marlins in Miami on Oct. 1. The Pirates won 5-1. [AP/YONHAP]