The Cubs and their fans can take solace that they didn’t have to forfeit Tuesday night’s game.
But their victory was erased as the Giants won the first protest in 28 years. Major League Baseball ruled Wednesday that a mechanical failure involving the Wrigley Field tarp caused a 4-hour, 36-minute delay.
As a result, the Cubs and Giants will resume Tuesday’s game at 4:05 p.m. Thursday, with the Cubs batting in the bottom of the fifth inning with a 2-0 lead.
The Cubs also will be without All-Star shortstop Starlin Castro, who left before Wednesday night’s game to attend to a family emergency in his native Dominican Republic that likely will result in his being placed on the bereavement list.
It might seem odd, but Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said he was satisfied that Tuesday’s game will resume instead of the Cubs being awarded a rain-shortened win.
“The last thing you want is a playoff team feeling bitter about the result here,” Hoyer said of the Giants, who are battling for the National League West title and wild-card berth.”It’s something that was caused by our organization. It’s a good outcome. Hopefully we win the game with a 2-0 lead.”
With Castro out, Javier Baez will play shortstop, and he played flawlessly in the Cubs’ 8-3 loss Wednesday that put Edwin Jackson’s status in the rotation in jeopardy.
“We’re going to assess and evaluate and see where we go,” manager Rick Renteria said after Jackson (6-14) allowed seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.
Although Hoyer and several Cubs players defended the grounds crew, Major League Baseball clearly pointed the finger at the crew in citing a “malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club.”
The Giants supplied videotape that showed the tarp being deployed improperly because it was not spooled correctly after its last use. That led to excess water being dumped onto the infield dirt when the crew attempted to remove the tarp. The crew tried to get the field dry, but the umpires called it at 1:16 a.m., awarding a 2-0 victory to the Cubs.
MLB determined the struggles to deploy the tarp put the field at peril after the rain worsened, but they ruled out grounds for a forfeit after agreeing with the contention of umpire crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt that the grounds crew worked diligently to prepare the field.
“The more they watched (video), the more it was clear the (tarp) got off angle right away, and that was a big part of what happened,’’ Hoyer said, adding: “The tarp pull has to be a 100 percent thing. We missed that one (Tuesday) night. And that will be discussed. They do a great job, given the fact we have so many delays.”
It was the first time a team won a protest that resulted in the resumption of play since 1986 and the 15th time in major league history.
“Surprised?” Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said. “Yes. How couldn’t you be? How many years in this game? How many have been upheld? That’s incredible.”
Righetti recalled there were only a few thousand people in the stands for the resumption of the “Pine Tar Game” in 1983 when the Royals won a protest over Righetti’s Yankees.
Jacob Turner will resume pitching for the Cubs after Tsuyoshi Wada pitched five scoreless innings.
Anthony Rizzo didn’t seem happy about losing a win and having to resume Tuesday’s game.
“I think it would be better if I didn’t comment on it,” Rizzo said.
Extra innings: Ticket holders from Tuesday’s suspended game can redeem their tickets for Thursday’s 4:05 p.m. game and stay for the regularly scheduled 7:05 p.m. game. Ticket holders for the 7:05 game also may attend the 4:05 game from their ticketed seats. To redeem tickets, fans must present the ticket from Tuesday’s game at the Wrigley ticket office. Tickets may be redeemed for the best comparable seats and are subject to availability. Tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged for cash value. Ticket holders from Tuesday’s game who cannot attend Thursday’s game can choose for a complimentary weeknight game at Wrigley Field during the rest of the season. ... Left-hander Felix Doubront is scheduled to make his Cubs debut on Aug. 30 at St. Louis. Doubront will make his final rehab start for Double-A Tennessee.