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(LEAD) S. Korean baseball championship game postponed to Friday due to rain

2018/11/08 16:13

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(ATTN: ADDS details from para 10)

By Yoo Jee-ho

INCHEON, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) -- The fourth game of the South Korean baseball championship series was rained out on Thursday.

The Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) decided to postpone Game 4 of the Korean Series between the home team SK Wyverns and the Doosan Bears at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, west of Seoul, to Friday. It will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Wyverns defeated the Bears 7-2 on Wednesday at home to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven meeting.

The field at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, is covered in tarps on Nov. 8, 2018, ahead of the scheduled Game 4 of the Korean Series between the home team SK Wyverns and the Doosan Bears. The Korea Baseball Organization postponed the game to Nov. 9 because of rain. (Yonhap) The field at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, is covered in tarps on Nov. 8, 2018, ahead of the scheduled Game 4 of the Korean Series between the home team SK Wyverns and the Doosan Bears. The Korea Baseball Organization postponed the game to Nov. 9 because of rain. (Yonhap)

Of the 14 times that the Korean Series has been tied at 1-1 prior to this year, the team that took Game 3 went on to capture the championship on 13 occasions.

Game 5 will be pushed back from 6:30 p.m. Friday to 2 p.m. Saturday, also at SK Happy Dream Park.

Games 6 and 7, if necessary, will be at the Bears' home, Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, on Monday and Tuesday.

The Wyverns are in pursuit of their first title since 2010, while the Bears are chasing their third championship in four years.

The scheduled starters for Thursday were left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun for the Wyverns and right-hander Lee Young-ha for the Bears.

This is the eighth time a Korean Series game has been postponed due to rain.

The field at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, is covered in tarps on Nov. 8, 2018, ahead of the scheduled Game 4 of the Korean Series between the home team SK Wyverns and the Doosan Bears. The Korea Baseball Organization postponed the game to Nov. 9 because of rain. (Yonhap) The field at SK Happy Dream Park in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, is covered in tarps on Nov. 8, 2018, ahead of the scheduled Game 4 of the Korean Series between the home team SK Wyverns and the Doosan Bears. The Korea Baseball Organization postponed the game to Nov. 9 because of rain. (Yonhap)

A few SK players came out on to the field to play catch before the league made its announcement.

The scheduled starters for Thursday were left-hander Kim Kwang-hyun for the Wyverns and right-hander Lee Young-ha for the Bears.

Kim, 30, has pitched in eight Korean Series games, including four Game 4s. He's gone 3-2 with a save and a 2.62 ERA in 34 1/3 innings.

Lee, 21, has never appeared in the Korean Series before.

But following the extra day of rest, the Bears may opt to go back to their No. 1 starter, Josh Lindblom. The American right-hander was the losing pitcher in Game 1 last Sunday, when the Bears fell 7-3, and he was initially scheduled to start Game 5 on Friday if not for the rainout. But now the Bears have an option of sending him back for Game 4 on the same four days' rest Friday and Lindblom, the regular season ERA champion, gives the Bears a better pitching matchup against Kim than the unproven Lee.

Then for Game 6 on Saturday, the Bears can have another American right-hander, Seth Frankoff, available on four days' rest. Frankoff was the winning pitcher in the Bears' 7-3 victory on Monday, when he struck out 10 and allowed just one earned run in 6 2/3 strong innings.

The rainout also gives the Bears' injured slugger, Kim Jae-hwan, an extra day of rest. Kim, who batted cleanup in the first two games, suffered a right oblique injury during batting practice before Wednesday's Game 3 and was removed from the starting lineup.

After Wednesday's loss, Doosan manager Kim Tae-hyung said the outfielder was doubtful for Game 4.

Kim Jae-hwan, the regular season leader in home runs and RBIs, went 4-for-8 with two doubles in the first two games in the ongoing series.

The Wyverns may stick with the same rotation even after the rainout. That means Kim will likely start Game 4 on Friday on six days' rest, followed by submarine pitcher Park Jong-hoon for Game 5 on Saturday on five days' rest.

jeeho@yna.co.kr

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