The Doosan Bears and Lotte Giants, both aiming for a postseason berth, hit a ‘reef’ side by side. It’s hard not to get caught up in the nonstop rain.
Doosan and Lotte were scheduled to face off in the 12th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League season at Sajik Stadium in Busan on February 2. However, the rain that started falling in the afternoon didn’t stop, forcing the teams to take an unplanned break for the second day in a row.
For both Doosan and Lotte, the matchup was crucial. If Doosan could get at least a win against Lotte, they would be able to eradicate Lotte’s lead, and if Lotte performed well, they could reignite the top-five battle. However, the game was canceled once again. Once again, the incessant rain hampered both teams, and this time it was in the worst possible way.
The KBO released the schedule for the remainder of the season last month, and the fourth day (Monday) was set aside as a “reserve day” in case the Doosan-Lotte game was canceled on the second or third day. With a doubleheader already scheduled for September 9, the teams were faced with a hellish “nine-game series” if they were unable to play. The fear was realized. Rain began to fall unexpectedly in the afternoon at Sajik Stadium, and it didn’t let up even as the game was about to start.
It was a worst-case scenario for both teams. Doosan and Lotte will have to play a whopping nine games in a row, assuming no rain on the third day. In particular, three games were canceled last month on the 29th and 30th (Tuesday and Wednesday) and the 1st (Friday), so the appearance of the foreign ‘ace’ was pushed back three times, which included a ‘doubleheader’ on the 9th, creating a huge ‘variable’ in the starting rotation of both teams.
Manager Lee Seung-yeop said before Game 2, “We have to play today. If we play until Monday, it will be nine games in a row. If we play until Monday, it’s nine games in a row. Players die, including doubleheaders.” “If we play today (Feb. 2), then next Tuesday (Feb. 5), Choi Won-jun will go in, and then Kwak Bin. It’s confirmed up to that point, but the next day (Feb. 7) is the problem. We’ll have to look at the 7th game a little bit because Brandon’s start was pushed back.” However, this plan was ultimately short-lived as the game on the 2nd was canceled.
For Doosan, who have expressed their intention to bring Won-Jun Choi back into the lineup, but have no clear starting lineup outside of Brandon Waddell, Raul Alcantara, and Guibin, the cancellation of Game 2 is a blow. Even if they do play the game, the doubleheader will disrupt their starting rotation, and with Brandon unavailable for Game 2, it’s not even possible for him to start Game 7 on four days’ rest.
Therefore, if both Brandon and Alcantara are available for the 3-4 games against Lotte, the team will be forced to use a relatively weak starting lineup for all but one of the games against KIA, which will feature Kwak Bin and Choi Won-jun. It’s a tough call, as this is a must-win game to punch their ticket to the postseason. However, it’s not like they can afford to go all out with a bullpen day. With a nine-game series that includes doubleheaders, it is not easy to use all of the bullpen pitchers.
Lotte is also facing the same problem. Due to the cancellation of the second day’s game, they have a Monday game and a hellish nine-game series, including a doubleheader. Acting manager Lee Jong-woon said, “If the game is pushed back, I think new players will appear at that time. I can only think of it as a good thing rather than a bad thing. “Since we have a doubleheader, we have (Han) Hyun-hee, (Shim) Jae-min, and (Kim) Jin-wook as alternate starters. We will use them according to the situation.”토토사이트
The KBO’s remaining schedule this year has been met with a lot of complaints from the field. This is because the schedule is tightly organized and there are many inconsistencies. Earning a ticket to the postseason should be determined by merit, but now it will be determined by the variable of schedule. It’s clear that Lee Seung-yeop and acting manager Lee Jong-woon are in for a headache with a nine-game series first.