Programming note: Coverage of the Giants-Cubs suspended game from Tuesday begins Thursday at 1:30 p.m. with Giants Pregame Live. Another Giants Pregame Live will air at 4:30 p.m., taking you up to Thursday's scheduled 5:05 series finale.
CHICAGO – The Giants won twice in one day, sort of. Major League Baseball upheld their protest over Tuesday night’s tarp debacle at Wrigley Field, then the Giants busted out for four runs in the first inning to take an 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Now the Giants have a chance to win two on Thursday. And this time, they’d both count in the standings.
This probably wasn’t what Ernie Banks had in mind when he’d brighten and say, “Let’s play two.” But the Giants are ecstatic that they will report to Wrigley Field on Thursday and begin by resuming Tuesday’s game, which had been called a 2-0 victory for the Cubs after 4 ½ innings.
A reminder, though: The last time a protest was upheld, in 1986, the Pirates won the right to resume a game in which they trailed 4-1. They lost 4-2.
So the Giants understand they haven’t won anything but an opportunity to rally, along with a place in baseball’s oddity drawer of history.
“We may not win it, we may not lose it,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “But at least we’ll finish the game and that’s the right thing to do.”
Yusmeiro Petit will “start” the resumption of what is now considered a suspended game after Major League Baseball found the Giants had grounds under Rule 4.12(a)(3.), since the cylinder upon which the tarp is spooled meets the definition of a “mechanism” and it had been improperly put away before it was incorrectly deployed when a sudden but brief storm hit in the middle of the fifth inning Tuesday night.
Bochy said the Giants were only aware of the mechanical malfunction because the Cubs volunteered that information. Cubs officials have said repeatedly that they took responsibility for the error, they respected the fact the Giants are in a pennant race and supported the league finding cause to rule it a suspended game.
“I really have to compliment the Cubs,” Bochy said.
MLB Vice President Joe Torre spoke with Giants GM Brian Sabean and Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, with Giants President Larry Baer in constant contact with Commissioner Bud Selig and Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, whom sources said was instrumental in the ruling. Once the Giants had their information and formulated grounds to protest, Bochy said Vice President Bobby Evans took the lead in drafting the protest paperwork.
“Bobby put it all together,” Bochy said. “It was a joint effort by us but also by the Cubs and MLB to do the right thing.”
A protest hadn’t been upheld in 28 years, but Bochy said he really wasn’t surprised the league ruled in the Giants’ favor.
“I can’t say I am, really,” Bochy said. “We felt we had a strong case. I’m just glad they were open minded.”
It wouldn't have happened without the Cubs' support and information, Bochy said. The fact the Cubs also supported a suspended game led all parties to find a way to make it happen within the rules as written.
Did the tarp truly malfunction? Or was it a handy loophole to claim after a series of human errors? Only the Cubs know for sure. But the grounds to protest had to be within the framework of the rules, or else other NL teams fighting the Giants for a playoff spot would be up in arms – and have a right to be.
Yusmeiro Petit will “start” for the Giants when Tuesday’s game resumes Thursday at 2 p.m. PDT at Wrigley Field from the point at which play was stopped. Ryan Vogelsong is eligible to return and he even volunteered an inning but Bochy said that wouldn’t happen.
Here’s something handy to keep in mind now, and also perhaps clip and save (but please print it out first … I sometimes forget I don’t work for a newspaper anymore) for the suspended resumption Sept. 1 at Colorado:
From Rule 4.12(c): “The lineup and batting order of both teams shall be exactly the same as the lineup and batting order at the moment of suspension, subject to the rules governing substitution. Any player may be replaced by a player who had not been in the game prior to the suspension. No player removed before the suspension may be returned to the lineup. … A player who was not with the club when the game was suspended may be used as a substitute, even if he has taken the place of a player no longer with the club who would not have been eligible because he had been removed from the lineup before the game was suspended.”