A rare successful protest has enabled the San Francisco Giants to temporarily remove a loss from their record and possibly sweep a three-game set from the Chicago Cubs.
The Giants get the chance when they resume Tuesday's suspended game prior to Madison Bumgarner trying to continue his road success in Thursday night's scheduled contest at Wrigley Field.San Francisco (66-58) opened the series with a 2-0 loss Tuesday when rain in the bottom of the fifth inning caused a delay of more than 4 1-2 hours after the grounds crew couldn't put the tarp down quickly. At 1:16 a.m. CDT, the umpires called the game.Owners of the NL's second wild-card spot, the Giants filed a protest and Major League Baseball ruled that the tarp hadn't been properly put away after its previous use. Under provisions of Official Baseball Rule 4.12 (a) (3) there was a "malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club."It was the first successful protest since June 16, 1986.The game will resume at 4:10 p.m. CDT on Thursday with San Francisco's Yusmeiro Petit and Chicago's Jacob Turner to pitch."We appreciate Major League Baseball's careful review of our protest," Giants President Larry Baer said.Cubs management agreed with the decision."The last thing you want is a playoff team feeling bitter about the result here," Chicago general manager Jed Hoyer said. "And obviously it was caused by our organization. It's a good outcome.""Hopefully we win the game. We have a 2-0 lead and pick it up from there."The decision appeared to motivate the Giants, who pounded out 14 hits in Wednesday's 8-3 victory. Travis Ishikawa had three hits with three RBIs, and Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval each added two with an RBI.Sandoval is batting .385 with seven RBIs in his last eight games versus Chicago (54-71).Bumgarner (13-9, 3.14 ERA), 2-2 with a 3.42 ERA at Wrigley, is 9-3 in 14 road starts and his 1.72 ERA ranks behind Adam Wainwright's 1.49 ERA for the lowest away from home in the majors.Though San Francisco fell 4-2 at Kansas City while the left-hander allowed three earned runs in eight innings Aug. 8, Bumgarner followed by yielding a run and striking out nine over seven innings Friday in a 5-3, 10-inning defeat to Philadelphia at home, where he's 4-6 with a 5.17 ERA in 12 starts.Starlin Castro is 10 for 24 against Bumgarner, but it's uncertain if he'll be in the lineup after he was scratched Wednesday due to a family emergency.Anthony Rizzo is 1 for 8 with four strikeouts versus Bumgarner, but his 29th homer Tuesday provided all the scoring thus far in the suspended contest.Chicago's Travis Wood (7-10, 4.86) is 0-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 11 starts since winning at Philadelphia on June 15. He walked four and allowed a three-run homer over 5 1/3 innings of a 3-2 road loss to the New York Mets on Friday.Though the left-hander is 0-2 in his last seven home starts, he lowered his ERA during that stretch to 4.81 after yielding an unearned run in six innings of a 3-2, 12-inning victory over Tampa Bay on Aug. 10.Wood is 1-2 with a 3.41 ERA in five starts against the Giants.Sandoval has four hits and walked twice in eight plate appearances versus Wood while Pence is 6 for 18 with a triple and a homer against him.
According to RetroSheet, there have been 5 previous protests of MLB games upheld in the last 50 years. This is the first one since 1986, when the Pirates protested a game against the Cardinals that was prematurely ended after 2 short rain delays.