Cubs prevail after long, messy delay

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs were declared 2-0 winners over the San Francisco Giants in 4½ innings on Tuesday night after it was determined Wrigley Field was unplayable after a 4 hour, 34 minute rain delay.

As the Giants came to bat in the top of the fifth inning a light mist turned into a heavy rainfall and the Cubs' grounds crew was unable to properly cover the infield before it got drenched.

The rain stopped about 15 minutes later, but after several hours of maintenance work, including dozens of bags of drying material, the umpires declared the field wasn't safe.

"It's a very important game with playoff implications," crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt told a pool reporter afterwards. "We exhausted all efforts to get this game played. There was 20-30 communications on our side. Everyone was involved."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants would most likely protest the outcome.

"That's my last recourse," Bochy said, according to the Bay Area New Group. "I hope they listen."

The Cubs say they were in touch with MLB as they felt it was their responsibility to complete the game since the grounds crew didn't properly care for the field.

"We tried to wait as long as we possibly could because the Giants are in a pennant race," general manager Jed Hoyer said. "I don't think anyone takes a particular pride in winning a 2-0 game in five innings in a situation like that. Those are the rules."

The Cubs and Giants explored suspending the game but there is no rule that allows for it under the circumstances. If the tarp was mechanical in nature and failed to work the game could have been suspended but a manual tarp has no such rule presiding over it. The only options were to call it an official game since the home team was winning after 4½ innings or wait until the field was playable.

"As an organization we really made a really good faith effort to play this game for the right reasons," Hoyer said. "It was a flash storm. It showed up on the radar really late and much harder than we thought."

Wendelstedt concurred with the surprise in the intensity of the rain.

"When the rain started it wasn't anything more than a light mist," he said. "There was nothing to put our hat on to suspend the game. There was really no way around it."

Both managers, Bochy and Rick Renteria, along with the umpires, inspected the field several times but concluded the water underneath the drying agents wasn't getting soaked up enough to play.

"The one thing everyone has to be cognizant of, you don't want anyone to get hurt," Renteria said.

For a while into the early morning hours there was no movement on the field at all as the umpires tried to let the field dry. Ultimately it was determined more time and sunlight was needed so the game was called at approximately 1:16 am CST and the Cubs were declared winners.

"The biggest takeaway over the last four hours is a respect for the game," Hoyer said. "These guys are in a pennant race. It doesn't seem like a real game in a pennant race."