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Giants Win Protest Of ‘TarpGate’ Game Loss After Botched Wrigley Field Tarp Placement

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CHICAGO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco Giants have won their protest of Tuesday night’s rain-delayed game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field which ended in a loss for the Giants after grounds crews mishandled the placing of the infield tarp, resulting in an unplayable surface after the rain passed.

The four-and-a-half hour delay was eventually ruled a five-inning, 2-0 Cubs victory, since more than half the game had been played.

Since Major League Baseball has ruled in favor of the Giants, the game will be resumed at 2:05 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday at Wrigley Field, before the finale in the three-game series set for 5:05 p.m. Action would be picked up in the bottom of the fifth inning, with the Cubs leading 2-0.

The last time the league upheld a protest was in 1986.

Official Statement By Major League Baseball:

Major League Baseball announced today that Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre has upheld a protest filed by the San Francisco Giants regarding the calling of their rain-shortened game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

An examination of the circumstances of last night’s game has led to the determination that there was sufficient cause to believe that there was a “malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club” within the meaning of Official Baseball Rule 4.12(a)(3). Available video of the incident, and conversations with representatives of the Cubs, demonstrate that 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 groundskeeping crew was unable to properly deploy the tarp after the rain worsened. In accordance with Rule 4.12(a)(3), the game should be considered a suspended game that must be completed at a future date.

In addition, Major League Baseball has spoken with last night’s crew chief, Hunter Wendelstedt, and has concluded that the grounds crew worked diligently in its attempt to comply with his direction and cover the field. Thus, there is no basis for the game to be forfeited by the Cubs pursuant to Rule 4.16.

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