Baseball’s ‘Rain Dilemma’…now we wait 3 hours?

The rain in professional baseball has changed. No matter how hard it rains, they wait as long as possible. The drenched field is restored somehow and the game is played. This is a far cry from the past, when teams would wait 30 minutes or an hour before canceling or calling a rainout.

KT Wiz and Hanwha Eagles faced off at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on July 17. The game was divided into the first and second games of a doubleheader. It was a physically demanding doubleheader, but the game went smoothly. In the first game, which started at 2 p.m., KT won 7-0 behind a seven-inning, seven-hit, five-strikeout shutout by starting pitcher William Cuevas and a 4-for-2, one-homer, two-RBI performance by Anthony Alford.메이저놀이터

The 9th inning took 2 hours and 40 minutes to complete. The one-sided nature of the game meant that game one was over sooner than usual, with game two starting at 5:12 p.m. Shortly after the start of the game, an unwelcome visitor arrived. It was rain. Starting in the fifth inning, the raindrops grew thicker and thicker until the game was no longer playable. The game was finally called when KT starter Wes Benjamin faced Hanwha leadoff hitter Moon Hyun-bin (two balls, two strikes). It was 6:33 p.m.

The umpires, who have the power to make or break the game, waited for the rain to let up. After about 30 minutes, the rain lightened and the game was resumed after maintenance. The problem was the condition of the ground. The grass and soil were already soaked and needed to be repaired for at least one to two hours. The grounds crew and Hanwha officials came out in large numbers to dry the ground, but even after two hours, it was still not fully restored. In particular, the dirt at the Hanwha Life Eagles Park had a tendency to hold water, which is why the infield mix used in the major leagues took longer to repair.

Eventually, the game resumed at 9:57 p.m., three hours and 24 minutes later. Breaking the record for the longest professional baseball delay. The previous record was 1 hour and 56 minutes between the Samsung Lions and Binggrae Eagles on August 15, 1987, and KT and Hanwha on July 23, 2022, and coincidentally, all three games were played at the same venue.

There was definitely a reason for the three-hour wait. This season, the KBO has been plagued by frequent rainouts. Despite implementing alternatives such as Monday games and doubleheaders, the rainy season continued in September, stretching out the pennant race. As the importance of each game has grown, the KBO has been trying to force games through after waiting as long as possible, unlike in the past. In the case of the KT-Hanwha game, it was predicted that it would take a long time for the field to be repaired, but given that there were still three outs before the end of the fifth inning, which is recognized as an official game, the rain cancellation could not be declared easily. It was a “rain dilemma.

The three-hour, 24-minute rain delay, which will be difficult to break, also produced some rare sights. KT and Hanwha players, who started their doubleheader at 2 p.m., had to settle for snacks during the long downtime. Some even slept in the clubhouse or on the bus. The fans didn’t leave their seats for more than three hours, and only went home at 11:26 p.m. when the game ended.

The skit also highlighted the need for a rule change. KT Benjamin returned to the mound three hours and 24 minutes later, following baseball’s rule that a batter must complete a pitch until he gets an out or allows a run. His arm had already cooled down, so he had to be replaced after throwing two arcing balls and giving up a walk. KT catcher Jang Jang-woo said, “There is a rule that the pitcher must finish the game with the batter, so Benjamin had to come back after a long break. We felt the need to supplement the rule.”

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