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Monday, December 11, 2017

Giants win protest, will finish tarp malfunction game against Cubs

Cubs tarp

The Chicago Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants in less than five innings on Tuesday night after the grounds crew was unable to cover the infield with a tarp during a torrential downpour. But after winning their appeal on Wednesday, the Giants are now technically trailing the Cubs 2-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth.

The game will resume at 4:05 p.m. CT on Thursday before the teams play the final game of their series later that night. Prior to San Francisco’s protest being upheld, no MLB team had won a protest since 1986.

“I thought we had a strong case,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, via ESPN.com. “I’m just thankful and grateful that they [MLB] were open minded. They listened and they looked at it, and I think it’s the fair thing to do.”

The Cubs grounds crew tried for several hours to dry up the infield and make the field playable after their tarp malfunction, but there was nothing that could be done. Cubs president Theo Epstein said he was told by MLB officials that the game could only be suspended if it was a mechanical issue, not human error.

The Giants filed their protest based on Rule 4.12 (a) (3), which states that a game can be suspended if there is a “malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club.” The league ruled that the tarp constitutes a mechanical device in this situation.

While the Cubs are in last place, the Giants are battling for a playoff spot. They are currently three games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West and tied for first with the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card standings. Every game is important at this stage of the season.

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