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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Park Lacks Control but Stays Confident

April 15, 1994|MARYANN HUDSON | Associated Press

Chan Ho Park made his second appearance of the season Thursday, and, as in the first, he struggled with his control.

Park entered the game at the start of the fifth inning with the St. Louis Cardinals ahead, 6-1, and gave up a run, a hit and two walks and hit Luis Alicea on the leg with a pitch.

In the sixth, he gave up a leadoff single to Todd Zeile before Brian Jordan hit a two-run homer. He retired the next five batters before pitching out of a jam with runners on first and second.

After his first appearance last Friday night in Los Angeles, Park said he was nervous. But asked if he was still nervous on the mound, he answered, without an interpreter: "No way."

Park, who has given up a total of five earned runs and five walks in four innings for an 11.25 earned-run average, said it is a matter of learning the hitters. He said he is used to alternating between relieving and starting, so he already is comfortable with pitching out of the bullpen.

"The fact that I don't know the hitters is difficult," Park said through an interpreter. "But I'm learning the batters now and getting better because of it."

Of his five walks, he said: "There is nothing I can do about those pitches the umpire felt were out of the strike zone. I will just have to find the zone that will make (my pitches) strikes, even if I'm not too thrilled about it."

*

Darren Dreifort has not given up a run in three appearances and 4 1/3 innings, but it's his unflappable nature that impresses his teammates. Dreifort pitched out of jams in each of the two innings he pitched Wednesday. In the eighth, he loaded the bases on his fielding error, a walk and a hit batter, but escaped by getting Zeile to pop up to end the inning.

"Dreifort is so even keel," Brett Butler said. "He is so calm, it's like he has veins of ice. During the second inning of his first major league game, he was down in the bullpen eating a hot dog just loaded with stuff on it. And somebody said, 'Watch it, you might vomit out there on the mound if you go in.' And Dreifort said, 'Hey, I feel more comfortable out there on the mound than I do in here.'

"Then, when he is warming up to go in, he was asked if he was ready. Another rookie pitcher might have got a little nervous and thrown just a few more pitches. But Dreifort just said he was ready, and sat down to wait."

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