MLB upholds protest by Giants, says game against Cubs must be resumed

The grounds crew works on the field after a heavy rain soaked Wrigley Field during the fifth inning Tuesday.
(Jeff Haynes / Associated Press)

Remember this if the San Francisco Giants go on to win this game and then win the National League West by a game over the Dodgers.

On Tuesday night, the Giants were playing the Cubs in Chicago when it started raining in the bottom of fifth inning. The Wrigley Field grounds crew seemed caught off guard, and it took them several minutes to place a tarp over the field to protect it from the rain. In fact, it took them so long that it had actually stopped raining by the time they had the tarp in place.

The field was soaked and left unplayable, despite the best efforts of the grounds crew to dry it. After a 4½-hour delay, umpire called the game. Since the Cubs were leading, 2-0, and they had played the required 4½ innings to make it an official game, the Cubs were awarded the victory.

The Giants protested the game, but when do protests ever get upheld?


This one did.

Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that the game will resume today before the regularly scheduled game between the two teams. In a news release, MLB said:

“Major League Baseball announced today that Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre has upheld a protest filed by the San Francisco Giants regarding the calling of their rain-shortened game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

“An examination of the circumstances of last night’s game has led to the determination that there was sufficient cause to believe that there was a ‘malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club’ within the meaning of Official Baseball Rule 4.12(a)(3).


“Available video of the incident, and conversations with representatives of the Cubs, demonstrate that the Cubs’ inability to deploy the tarp appropriately was caused by the failure to properly wrap and spool the tarp after its last use. As a result, the groundskeeping crew was unable to properly deploy the tarp after the rain worsened. In accordance with Rule 4.12(a)(3), the game should be considered a suspended game that must be completed at a future date.

“In addition, Major League Baseball has spoken with last night’s crew chief, Hunter Wendelstedt, and has concluded that the grounds crew worked diligently in its attempt to comply with his direction and cover the field. Thus, there is no basis for the game to be forfeited by the Cubs pursuant to Rule 4.16.”

This is the first time a protest has been upheld since since June 16, 1986, when the Pittsburgh Pirates protested a rain-shortened loss to the Cardinals. St. Louis went on to win the continued game, 4-2.

Get our daily Sports Report newsletter