CHICAGO -- The San Francisco Giants have won their protest filed with Major League Baseball, and will now get to resume a rain-shortened game the Chicago Cubs thought they had won.
MLB says this is the first successful protest since 1986.
MLB executive Joe Torre ruled Wednesday on a game at Wrigley Field played the previous night. That game was called after 4½ innings and the Cubs were declared the winner by a 2-0 score.
The game had been delayed more than 4½ hours because of rain after the grounds crew couldn't put the tarp down quickly.
Umpire crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt told a pool reporter after the game was called that he had no other choice and that the only grounds to suspend the game and pick it up Wednesday would have been if the tarp had been a mechanical device. Interestingly, the Giants say it is a mechanical device, and according to several reports from the San Francisco media, the Giants cited Rule 4.12 (a)(3) in claiming the Cubs' grounds crew didn't "do what umpires requested Tuesday night at Wrigley Field."
"We appreciate Major League Baseball's careful review of our protest that will allow last night's game to be continued tomorrow," Giants President Larry Baer said in a statement.
"We want to thank Commissioner Bud Selig, Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred, Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre and the Chicago Cubs organization for their cooperation throughout this process."
The last time a team won a protest filed with MLB was June 16, 1986, when St. Louis played at Pittsburgh. There were two rain delays at Three Rivers Stadium, and the Pirates correctly contended those didn't meet the National League's 30-minute threshold for cancellation.
MLB said in its statement that after watching video of the trouble at Wrigley Field and talking to Cubs' representatives, "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 grounds keeping crew was unable to properly deploy the tarp after the rain worsened," MLB said.
MLB said it talked with umpire crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt and that grounds crew worked hard to comply with his direction to get the field covered.
MLB ruled that tarp had not been properly put away after its previous use and therefore there was a "malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club."
Because of that, it is now a suspended game that will resume at 4:05 p.m. Thursday. The playoff-contending Giants and Chicago play their regularly scheduled game three hours later.
Daily Herald sports writer Bruce Miles contributed to this report.