CHICAGO – The Giants won on paper. They still lost on the field.
The first successful protest in 28 years gave the Giants the right to resume Tuesday’s game, which had been called a 2-0 victory for the Chicago Cubs after 4 ½ innings. But when play continued on Thursday, the Giants couldn’t complete their comeback and still lost 2-1 at Wrigley Field.
Joe Panik’s RBI single scored Adam Duvall in the sixth inning, and although the Giants stranded two runners in a tense ninth, at least they had the opportunity to finish a game that both they and the Cubs agreed came to an unjust end when a tarp malfunction left the field unplayable following a brief but powerful storm Tuesday night.
The two clubs waited four hours, 34 minutes Tuesday night before crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt finally called the game past 1 a.m. More scattered rain in the area Thursday led to an additional delay of one hour, 57 minutes before the first pitch of the suspended game could be thrown.
All told, the delay lasted six hours, 31 minutes spread over three days.
Fairness is always worth the wait – even if the result wasn’t what the Giants wanted.
The Giants knew the percentages did not favor them. Not counting the Pine Tar Game, the previous five teams that won a protest (and a right to resume a suspended game) were 0-5 in those games. The 1948 Pirates remain the last trailing club to have a protest upheld and rally to win a suspended game.
Starting pitching report
Ryan Vogelsong was never so pleased to lose a complete game. The official scorer announced his line from Tuesday shortly after Yusmeiro Petit threw the first pitch as the suspended game resumed.
Vogelsong (7-9), in case you’ve forgotten, allowed a two-run home run to Anthony Rizzo and nothing else in his four innings.
In a start that counted as a relief appearance, Petit dominated the Cubs in the fifth and sixth. He struck out the first five batters he faced before getting a comebacker to the mound. He was lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh.
Jean Machi pitched the seventh and Jeremy Affeldt pitched the eighth. The Cubs only had one baserunner in four innings against the Giants bullpen, when Affeldt issued a two-out walk in the eighth.
At the plate
In their first turn at-bat, the Giants cut the Cubs’ lead in half.
Adam Duvall doubled off the ivy in the left field corner and pinch hitter Joe Panik, whose dislocated finger was too sore to play when this game began two days earlier, followed with an RBI single. (It’s amazing how much Panik improved in the course of one inning, huh?)
Panik, who stayed in the game at second base, singled with one out in the ninth off Cubs closer Hector Rondon. Brandon Crawford followed with a single off the glove of third baseman Luis Valbuena. But pinch hitter Gregor Blanco struck out looking and Rondon was able to knock down Angel Pagan’s line drive before flipping to first base for the final out.
The tarp crew is on a roll. No malfunctions this time.
The Cubs announced 31,064 paid. Of course, they announced that on Tuesday. The actual attendance, between folks that redeemed stubs and Thursday’s early arrivals, was more like 10 percent of that total.
The Giants and Cubs planned to take the field for Thursday’s regularly scheduled series finale roughly 40 minutes after the conclusion of the suspended game. Weather permitting, of course.