Unplayable Field Conditions Give the Cubs a Rain-Shortened Win – Cubs 2, Giants 0

Game One Hundred Twenty-Five: Cubs 2, Giants 0 – 5 innings

WP – Tsuyoshi Wada (3-1) LP – Ryan Vogelsong (7-9) Save – None

wflag-pub2014Anthony Rizzo hit a majestic two-run home run in the first inning, Tsuyoshi Wada pitched a complete game shutout and the Cubs picked up a victory in what turned out to be a bizarre Tuesday night that officially ended early Wednesday morning. The game was put into a rain delay after the top of the fifth inning and four hours and 34 minutes later it was called due to unplayable field conditions.

Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein explained after the game was called at 1:16am CDT on Wednesday morning that the Cubs did everything they could to play a full nine innings. Hoyer and Epstein addressed the media and indicated the team was in consistent communication with MLB and the umpires during the delay. Out of respect for the game and the San Francisco Giants being in the middle of a pennant race, Hoyer and Epstein tried to get the game suspended, but it could not under MLB rules.

After Tsuyoshi Wada retired Buster Posey on a pop out to Starlin Castro in short left to end the fifth inning, a downpour at Wrigley put the game into a rain delay. The grounds crew was not able to cover the entire infield in time and the field took on too much water. The grounds crew used over 100 bags of diamond dry to try to get the game in, but after more than four and half hours it was determined the field was unplayable.

PrintTsuyoshi Wada made the pitches he had to Tuesday night to keep the Giants from scoring. Wada gave up six hits in five innings of work but did not walk a batter. Wada struck out three and threw 79 pitches, 56 for strikes, in his five innings of work. The Giants had runners on base in each of the five innings and was 1-for-6 with RISP and left six men on base.

Tsuyoshi Wada is credited with a complete game shutout, the first of his career.

Anthony Rizzo (2-for-2 with a double, a home run and two RBI) picked up Tuesday night where he left off at Citi Field. Rizzo hit a mammoth shot in the first inning with Javier Baez (0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored) on board after he walked on the eighth pitch of the at bat. Rizzo’s 29th longball of the season cleared the bleachers in right center and ended up on Sheffield Ave.

Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-2 with a double) collected the Cubs only other hit off Ryan Vogelsong.

Ryan Vogelsong now has a complete game, rain shorted win and loss at Wrigley Field

With Tuesday’s rain-shortened victory, the Cubs improved to 55-70 on the season.

Tsuyoshi Wada worked around a one-out double by Hunter Pence in the first inning and kept the Giants off the board. Wada threw only eight pitches, seven for strikes, in the opening frame.

Ryan Vogelsong caught Chris Coghlan looking at a 1-2 pitch for the first out. Javier Baez stepped in and worked a full count before taking ball four. Baez trotted to first on his third free pass in the big leagues. Anthony Rizzo followed and took two out of the zone before crushing the next pitch. The ball sailed over the bleachers in right center and onto Sheffield Ave. Rizzo’s blast, his 29th longball of the year, gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Starlin Castro flied out to left center and Luis Valbuena fouled out to Crawford near the bullpen mound in left to end the inning. Vogelsong needed 18 pitches, 11 for strikes, to complete the first inning Tuesday night.

After one complete, the Cubs led 2-0.

Tsuyoshi Wada worked around baserunners in the second, third and fourth innings before the rain started falling in the fifth. Wada retired Buster Posey on a pop out to Starlin Castro in shallow left for the final out in the top of the fifth with Angel Pagan on second base.

As soon as the half inning was over, the game was put into a rain delay at 8:42pm CDT.

The game was officially called at 1:16am CDT on Wednesday morning with the Cubs coming out on the winning end of a rain shortened game that was called due to unplayable field conditions. The game should have been suspended and resumed Wednesday.

Edwin Jackson takes on Jake Peavy in game two against the Giants on Wednesday night (7:05pm CDT).

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  • triple

    I guess we’ll take the win any way we can get it? But it’s understandable that the Giant’s would be upset about those conditions and the game not being finished. With EJax on deck for starting tomorrow night, it’s a big plus to have a very fresh bullpen that I imagine will be used for 4 or 5 innings. Who knows, maybe he can put together a solid 7 innings… send him the <<<>>>

    • Jeff Wilson

      I think it is safe to say that our grounds crew has a WAR of 1! :-P

  • triple

    I just saw a little video on the CSNChicago website of John Baker playing his acoustic guitar in the dugout during the rain delay and Rizzo is “singing” along while Baker plays an Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam) song that he wrote about the Cubs called “Someday We’ll Go All the Way.” I think this team the FO has put together is probably a lot tighter of a group of guys than we’ve seen in a while, and just shows that they are headed in the right direction. Here’s a link to the video if you’d like to check it out….

    http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/watch-cubs-rizzo-baker-sing-dugout-during-delay

    But even better, it reminded me of last summer when I was in Chicago for 3 days and there was a crazy thunderstorm (and lightning) on the night that Pearl Jam was playing at Wrigley. Anyway, long story short, I wasn’t there to see Pearl Jam, but had friends there who were. When I heard that the show was delayed because of the storm, I hopped on the L to Wrigley with a good friend and we got there right when the show restarted up around midnight. We snuck in and got to see Pearl Jam play till 2 a.m. Here’s a link to a video I just found of Pearl Jam singing that song that night at Wrigley, and even bringing Mr. Cub out on stage to join them. It was all such an amazing experience!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVRN64ebdqs

    It’s not my video, but while it’s a little shaky, the audio quality is surprisingly good. Hope some of you enjoy it…

    • Jeff Wilson

      Awesome!

    • John G

      Amazing – Thank you for that. It made my day.

    • http://www.AstroDecision.com/ Larry Schwimmer

      I think John Baker is a great guy, but I sure hope he’s not with the CUBS in 2015. He barely hits .200 and has a weak arm and is easy to steal on. We need a better “back-up” catcher than him.

      I loved Navarro last year. He was a clutch hitter with some power. Too bad he wanted to move into a full-time hitting role + more money. Personally, I would have rather had him as the CUBS full-time catcher than Castillo.

    • BillyFinT

      Thanks for sharing an experience (don’t do that again, if you got caught…); I’m always a little worried of Ernie Banks’ late health. If he could stay up 2 a.m., I guess he’s all good. The Pearl Jam song is a depressing one. I have their albums, but this is not the song I play to baseball fans.

      God Bless the Cubs. God Bless Ernie!

  • Sonate

    “The game should have been suspended and resumed Wednesday.” I agree, but my sense is that the rules do not allow that. Is there an exception for a grounds crew glitch? (Not being sarcastic, I really don’t know. I’ve never seen this situation before.) Also, the umps were a bit slow before signaling for the tarp to be put down, so they can share a bit of the blame for the snafu.

    • jtrain23

      I think there is a part of the rules that includes suspensions for “mechanical” failures such as electric, lights, automatic tarps, etc. I do not believe last night could have been considered that. Plus, it wasn’t as if the grounds crew and the Cubs intentionally let the field get wet in order to get a shortened win. They went out when the umpires instructed them to. This was just an extreme anomaly. It poured at Wrigley for a short period of time. It did not even rain on the other end of town, as evidence by the White Sox game. It is unfortunate for the Giants that they did not have the 6th-9th inning to attempt a come back, but I do not think there is anything that could have been done without ignoring the rules.

      • http://www.AstroDecision.com/ Larry Schwimmer

        I think THEO & JED were very sensitive to the fact that the GIANTS are in a pennant race. They were very classy and magnanimous to say they’d be happy to have the game be “suspended” so that it could be finished. If the situation were reversed, I highly doubt that the GIANTS F.O. would have made that offer to the CUBS.

  • Guest

    I was at the game last night and the grounds crew was absolutely inept. There was little leadership of the grounds crew. None of the efforts to either cover the field or dry the field seemed well coordinated. It was a complete blunder.

    For example:

    1. After the tarp was laid on crooked over the infield, the crew didn’t attempt to start over by first unfolding the tarp into right field and then returning the tarp to the infield. They just tugged the waterlogged tarp while covering the left side of the infield with a patchwork of smaller tarps. By the time the crew finally unfolded the tarp and attempted to start over, 10-15 minutes had passed and the damage to the left side of the infield was done.

    2. The crew didn’t completely squeegee the infield before beginning to dump mounds of diamond dry into the standing water. There was little order or coordination in the production–just a bunch of guys running around doing 10 different things at once without thinking about an orderly process for first removing the water.

    Someone needs to get fired over this. What an embarrassment.

    • SirGladiator

      While no doubt your analysis of what happened is 100% accurate, I have the completely opposite reaction to it. Those guys were awesome, they did what the Yankees ground crew did, they secured a win for their team, they deserve a raise!

    • paulcatanese

      Keystone cops. Watched it and the replay for a few hours, and it didn’t get better, not once. Correct call though, field was unplayable period.
      Really no excuse for the ground crew.
      Admirable by Theo trying to correct the field, I know that hurt the Cub pocketbook with all the overtime:)

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