Cubs prevail over Giants to finally finish off tarp game
CHICAGO — This gives new meaning to a win that was a long time coming for the Chicago Cubs.
After two days, the first upheld protest in nearly 30 years and another rainstorm, the Cubs finally completed a 2-1 victory over the San Francisco Giants in a suspended game Thursday night.
Including delays — 1 hour, 57 minutes Thursday — the game lasted 9:21.
“It was an interesting day today,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. “We got more weather.”
Anthony Rizzo’s two-run homer from Tuesday held up as the teams played the final 4 1/2 innings of a game the Cubs thought they had won 2-0 before Major League Baseball ruled it was suspended.
In the middle of the fifth inning Tuesday, a short rainstorm caused a delay of more than 4 1/2 hours after the grounds crew couldn’t put the tarp down quickly. The umpires said the field was unplayable and called it at 1:16 a.m. local time.
But the Giants protested, and MLB ruled that the tarp had not been properly put away after its previous use. The game was ruled suspended.
Then it rained some more Thursday.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who expressed his frustration Tuesday, was satisfied with how the game played out.
“It was a little bit of a strange one with the suspended game today,” said Bochy, who added, “You know, they got it right.”
It was the first successful protest in MLB since 1986.
For the Cubs, who supported the Giants’ protest, it felt good to win without grounds crew assistance.
“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you that we wanted to close it out,” Renteria said. “Everyone did everything possible to get it in. ”
Joe Panik had an RBI single in the sixth to pull the Giants to 2-1, but they were unable to scratch another run across against the Cubs’ bullpen.
Tuesday’s starters proved to be the pitchers of record. Tsuyoshi Wada (3-1) earned the victory for the Cubs, while Ryan Vogelsong (7-9) took the loss.
Hector Rondon worked a scoreless ninth for his 19th save in 23 opportunities, putting runners on first and second before ending it by stopping Angel Pagan’s comebacker with his foot.
Cubs: Right-hander Edwin Jackson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain. Jackson dealt with a similar injury at the end of last season and hopes that by going on the DL now, he will be able to pitch again in September. … Shortstop Starlin Castro was placed on the bereavement list after leaving the team for a family emergency. Bereavement list rules require a minimum stay of three days and a maximum stay of one week.
Giants: Infielder Ehire Adrianza has been slow to recover from a second strained groin injury, which raises doubts about his status in the final weeks of the season. “He’s not ready yet, so that’s another decision we’ll have to make,” Bochy said. … Bochy was optimistic that first baseman Brandon Belt and catcher Hector Sanchez would recover from concussions in time for the stretch drive.
Following the completion of the suspended game, the Cubs and Giants finished their three-game series. Left-hander Travis Wood (7-10, 4.86 ERA) took the hill for Chicago against Madison Bumgarner (13-9, 3.14) in a 5-3 Giants win. The Giants now head to Washington for a weekend series with the Nationals, while the Cubs stay home to host the Baltimore Orioles.
Bochy expressed gratitude to Cubs officials for their attempts to play the game in its entirety. Chicago’s support might have played a role in the Giants’ successful protest. “I don’t know for a fact, but I think so because they were for finishing the game today,” Bochy said. “I give my compliments to (president) Theo (Epstein) and their organization.”
KONTOS GETS THE CALL
Earlier Thursday, the Giants recalled relief pitcher George Kontos from Triple-A Fresno to serve as the 26th man in the regularly scheduled game. He will return to the farm club after the game.
*Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Jeff Haynes