All the San Francisco Giants asked for was a fair shot, and that’s exactly what they got in the end.
Hector Rondon stopped Angel Pagan’s smash with his right foot for the final out on Thursday night, and the Giants lost to the Chicago Cubs 2-1 in the conclusion of a suspended game.
The Giants needed the first successful protest since 1986 for a chance to finish Tuesday’s game after umpires called it following a 4 1-2 hour delay. Thursday’s resumption was also delayed by rain: 1 hour, 57 minutes
“It was a little bit of a strange one with the suspended game today,” said manager Bruce Bochy, who added, “You know, they got it right.”
Trailing by a run and with runners were on first and second in the ninth inning, Pagan sent a hard hit ball that glanced off Rondon the closer’s follow through. The right-hander scrambled to retrieve the ball before he underhanded it to first base.
“Yeah, it was a hard-hit ball, and the pitcher did a great job from stopping it from getting through,” Bochy said. “It keeps us from tying the game. It’s a shame.”
The Cubs led 2-0 Tuesday when a short rainstorm caused a delay of more than 4 1/2 hours because the grounds crew couldn’t put the tarp down quickly. The umpires said the field was unplayable and called it at 1:16 a.m.
But the Giants protested, and MLB ruled that the tarp had not been properly put away after its previous use. The game was suspended.
When play resumed after the rain delay in the bottom of the fifth inning, Giants reliever Yusmeiro Petit struck out the side. The right-hander also fanned the first two batters in the sixth.
“Geez, it’s hard to throw any better than he did,” Bochy said. “I liked to think that would get us going, and it really did.”
Pinch-hitter Joe Panik’s RBI single off Jacob Turner in the sixth inning made it 2-1. But Turner, Pedro Strop and Rondon protected the lead with a scoreless inning each. The save was Rondon’s 19 in 23 tries.
Tuesday’s starters proved to be the pitchers of record. Tsuyoshi Wada (3-1) earned the victory, while Ryan Vogelsong (7-9) took the loss.
Anthony Rizzo hit a two-run homer.
Cubs: RHP Edwin Jackson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right lat strain. Jackson dealt with a similar injury at the end of last season and hopes that by going on the DL now, he will be able to pitch again in September. … SS Starlin Castro was placed on the bereavement list after leaving the team for a family emergency. Bereavement list rules require a minimum stay of three days and a maximum stay of one week.
Giants: INF Ehire Adrianza has been a slow to recover from a second strained groin injury, which raises doubts about his status in the final weeks of the season. “He’s not ready yet, so that’s another decision we’ll have to make,” Bochy said. … Bochy was optimistic that 1B Brandon Belt and C Hector Sanchez would recover from concussions in time for the stretch drive.
Following the completion of the suspended game, the Cubs and Giants will finish their three-game series. LHP Travis Wood (7-10, 4.86) takes the hill for Chicago. He will face Madison Bumgarner (13-9, 3.14). The Giants will then head to Washington for a weekend series with the Nationals, while the Cubs stay home to host the Baltimore Orioles.
Bochy expressed gratitude to Cubs officials for their attempts to play the game in its entirety. Chicago’s support might have played a role in the Giants’ successful protest. “I don’t know for a fact, but I think so because they were for finishing the game today,” Bochy said. “I give my compliments to (president) Theo (Epstein) and their organization.”
Earlier Thursday, the Giants recalled relief pitcher George Kontos from Triple-A Fresno to serve as the 26th man in the regularly scheduled game. He will return to the farm club after the game.