(CBS) The San Francisco Giants are in the middle of a playoff chase, fighting for one of the two precious wild-card slots. The Chicago Cubs are in rebuilding mode, days like Tuesday meaning nothing in the big picture.
Which is why the sequence of events surrounding the Cubs’ rain-shortened 2-0 victory at Wrigley Field last night in just 4 1/2 innings left the Giants so furious.
With Chicago on top following Anthony Rizzo’s two-run homer in the first inning, a short-but-fierce rainstorm shortly after 8:30 p.m. took officials by surprise Tuesday in the fifth inning.
By the time the umpires called for the tarp, the field had already taken some water. Then chaos really broke loose.
For all their might and effort, the Cubs’ grounds crew couldn’t get the tarp unfurled over the entire field. As they struggled, the heavy burst of rain weighted down the tarp, making it all the more difficult.
The end result: A field that was an absolute mess, one that after dozens and dozens of bags of a drying agent and a 4 hour, 34-minute delay still wasn’t playable.
The infield, courtesy of the Cubs' grounds crew. This is an official game, with the Cubs winning btw pic.twitter.com/1agvBVGqXw— Ann Frazier (@annfrazi) August 20, 2014
At 1:16 a.m., the game was called off, handing the Cubs a win and leaving the Giants furious after they dropped into a tie for the second-wild card spot.
“Look, I’m frustrated, beside myself,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s a long and frustrating night … a tough night for everybody.”
The Giants are expected to protest the game, though it seems likely the game won’t be continued because MLB rules allowed for Tuesday’s events to be an official game, as the trailing team had batted five times. For the last hour or so of the delay, just one grounds crew member with only a rake worked on the infield.
“It’s my last (recourse),” Bochy said. “I hope they listen and watch what happened there because in this day and time, it shouldn’t happen, can’t happen, I think, with the importance of these games.”
Check out video of the tarp snafu above.