‘Another rainout’: Winter baseball to be played this year, but ‘no reserve day’ Doosan-SSG game to be rearranged after Oct. 10

Despite the league’s unusually uninterrupted international tournament, it will be hard to escape the cold in fall baseball.

The KBO announced on Wednesday that the 12th game of the 2023 Shinhan SOL KBO League season between the Doosan Bears and SSG Landers, which was scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, was canceled due to rain with just over an hour and a half to go.

The KBO had released a schedule of the remaining games scheduled through the 10th of next month and vowed to minimize schedule delays by playing doubleheaders or makeup days if any canceled games occurred during that time. However, today’s game was not scheduled for a makeup day and will be rescheduled for the 10th of next month.

Rain began pouring down in Seoul this morning. The infield of Jamsil Stadium was covered with tarps, but puddles formed on the outfield grass and the blacktop of the walking track. As time passed, the rain did not subside, and the game supervisor decided to cancel the game earlier than usual.

Beyond fall baseball, concerns about ‘winter baseball’ are growing. In recent years, there have been reports of the KBO League playing ‘winter baseball’ due to rain cancellations and various international competitions. As a result, in 2021 and 2022, some postseason games were played at the Gocheok Sky Dome, the only dome stadium in Korea, even without the home team, the Kiwoom Heroes.

This season is expected to be different. The idea was to force the league to minimize the damage to the national baseball team by setting an age limit for players who will compete in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, which begin on March 23. There is also a maximum number of players per team.

The problem was that they couldn’t control the will of the heavens. Since the beginning of the season, there have been many rainouts. The KBO has scheduled the remaining games until the 10th of next month, and if there are still canceled games during this period, they will use reserve days and doubleheaders to prevent the season from being pushed back as much as possible.

Coincidentally, Doosan and SSG are two of the teams involved. Both teams are battling for a spot in fall baseball. Fifth-place SSG holds a two-game lead over sixth-place Doosan. Both teams have played 11 games. There are five more games to go. A head-to-head matchup could be enough to change the standings.

Both teams have been among the victims of many rainouts this season. KIA has the most games left to play with 115, followed by NC and Doosan (over 118), and Lotte, LG, SSG, and others (over 119).

Doosan was scheduled to start Shin-ji Park and Roenis Elias at SSG. On the 14th, Doosan changed the starting lineup to Choi Seung-yong. Choi, who has been bouncing back and forth between the bullpen and the starting rotation this season, has been pitching steadily as a starter lately, and the team is determined to win the series against SSG. Manager Lee Seung-yup met at Jamsil Stadium and said, “At the beginning or middle of the season, I would go in order, but I can’t afford it now. There are only 26 games left, and the players who are in good shape will go out when they get the chance.”안전놀이터

SSG will go with Elias, who has been performing well this season with a 6-6 record and a 3.77 ERA.

SSG is in desperate need of a turnaround. After sitting atop the standings, SSG has seen a steep decline in the past month. They were in second place until the 18th of last month, but have now dropped to fifth place and are under threat from sixth-place Doosan. In their last 10 games, the team hasn’t performed well either, with two wins, seven losses, and one draw. Doosan, on the other hand, has six wins and four losses and is looking to leapfrog into fifth place.

“I said in an interview yesterday that we need a rebound from our starters this week, and I hope it’s the start of a good week,” said SSG coach Kim Won-hyung. “We have a doubleheader this week, and I don’t know how it will go, but I hope the rain today will be a good mood changer for the team.”

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