CHICAGO -- The Giants gave new meaning to Hall of Famer Ernie Banks' signature saying, "Let's play two." They believed they had another game to complete.
San Francisco's protest of its loss to Chicago on Tuesday was upheld on Wednesday by Joe Torre, MLB's executive vice president for baseball operations. Torre agreed with the Giants' stance that the flawed deployment of Wrigley Field's tarp meant that the game should have been suspended instead of awarded to the Cubs, who led, 2-0, when rain halted activity after the regulation 4 1/2 innings had been played.
The game will resume in the bottom of the fifth inning at 2:05 p.m. PT on Thursday, with the regularly scheduled series finale to follow at 5:05 p.m.
"I don't know what's going to happen. We may not win it, we may not lose it, but at least we're going to finish the game," manager Bruce Bochy said.
"We appreciate Major League Baseball's careful review of our protest that will allow last night's game to be continued tomorrow," president and CEO 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."
Rain fell for only about the first 15 minutes of the delay, which lasted four hours and 34 minutes. But Chicago's grounds crew struggled to cover the field properly, which led to excess water being dumped on the infield dirt when the crew attempted to remove the tarp.
Thus the violation of Part 3 of Rule 4.12 (a) in the Official Baseball Rules, which reads:
A game shall become a suspended game that must be completed at a future date if the game is terminated for any of the following reasons:
(3) Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment).
Bochy was full of praise for Cubs officials, who displayed sportsmanship by acknowledging the validity of the Giants' argument.
"They were all for this," Bochy said. "They wanted to do the right thing."
Said Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer: "I think the last thing you want is a playoff team feeling bitter about the result here -- something, obviously, that was caused by our organization, so I think it's a good outcome. Hopefully, we win the game."
Though protests are typically not upheld, Bochy had been confident.
"I felt we had a strong case," he said. "We felt very strongly about it. I'm just thankful and grateful that they were open-minded -- [Commissioner Selig], Mr. Manfred and Joe Torre."
But not everybody in the clubhouse had shared Bochy's faith.
"Were we surprised? Sure," pitching coach Dave Righetti said. "How many of these have been upheld? Nine? 10?"
The precise number is unknown, but winning such an appeal is definitely rare. It last occurred in 1986, when a protest by Pittsburgh -- that a game against St. Louis had been called too soon -- was upheld.
Word that the Giants were going to play on Thursday spread among the players as they finished batting practice before their 8-3 victory over the Cubs.
"I'm very excited that happened," right-hander Jake Peavy said. "We're happy we have a chance to win that game."