Suddenly, word is Chan Ho Park is facing a do-or-die situation tonight against the Mets. Paul Hagen writes that Rich Dubee and Charlie Manuel are dancing around the prospect of Park facing his biggest test. The quote from Manuel:
“With the way our starting pitching is going now, every time our guys go out there it’s important they start doing better. I think he needs a good game under his belt. I think he knows it. Here’s a guy who’s 35 years old. He understands the game. He won a spot in spring training and he wants to keep it. And there comes a time when he’s got to pitch better. There’s also a time when we sit down and evaluate our pitching and see where we go from there.
“I’m not saying it’s a life-and-death thing. But I think it’s important that he start pitching better than he has been.”
Park and his 8.57 ERA (and 1.857 WHIP) will face the Mets tonight. His goal is not only to perform well for his job’s sake, but to keep the Phillies in the game. The offense faces Johan Santana, who is having another all-universe season (3-1, 1.10 ERA). If this game is an early blowout, chances are Park might be staring at a demotion. Logic says he can buy another two to three starts tonight, but anything can happen.