Chan Ho Parks Nicely In Phillies Bullpen

Scott EisenlohrAnalyst IJuly 24, 2009

DENVER - APRIL 12:  Starting pitcher Chan Ho Park #61 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 12, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Phillies defeated the Rockies 7-5.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Following a 10-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs to snap a 10-game winning streak on Wednesday night, the Phillies were comfortably ahead in the eighth inning with a 9-3 lead on the San Diego Padres in a one-game series Thursday.

Chris Carpenter, up from Triple-A due to Chad Durbin and J.C. Romero being put on injured reserve, gave up a run to close the Phils lead to 9-4 with one out and men on first and second.

No problem. Enter Chan Ho Park into the game.

One pitch, two outs. Park got Kevin Kousmanoff to ground into a 5-4-5 inning-ending double play. Park finished off the Padres 1-2-3 in the ninth to win the game.

Park has a 3-2 record with a 5.20 earned run average going into Thursday's game, but much of his ERA can be attributed to his time as a starter to begin the season.

In his last 16 games, Park has a 1.82 ERA. He has become the stalwart of the bullpen, putting in three scoreless innings in Tuesday's 4-1 13-inning win against the Cubs.

Park, whose agent asked the Phillies to give him a chance to start as a prospective free agent, is settling into his role. An important role.

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Park seems looser, whether trying to kick save a foul ball or shamelessly wearing a "Vote for Shane" sandwich board to support the Flyin' Hawaiin's march to the All-Star game.

Clay Condrey was key in the early season Phillies bullpen, while post All-Star break, Park is the best of the bullpen.

The Phillies bullpen was a big part of their recent 10-game winning streak, giving up 15 earned runs in just over 50 innings.

It would have been a shame to waste Cole Hamels seven-inning, three-run confidence builder. 

It was gonna happen. Not tonight.

Thanks to Chan Ho.

Park? Oh, his 1 2/3 scoreless streak lowered his ERA to 5.07.

Just as last season, if the Phillies are to repeat as World Series champions, there has to be different, unsung heroes.

Like Chan Ho Park.