After TarpGate, Cubs hang on to beat Giants in protested game

After TarpGate, Cubs hang on to beat Giants in protested game
August 21, 2014, 8:30 pm
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More than 48 hours later, “Go Cubs Go” spilled out of Wrigley Field’s sound system.  

The suspended game finally ended Thursday night, the Cubs hanging on for a bizarre 2-1 victory after TarpGate and the San Francisco Giants winning a protest with Major League Baseball. 

Closer Hector Rondon had just knocked down Angel Pagan’s line drive with two runners on in the ninth inning, flipping the ball underhanded to first baseman Anthony Rizzo for the 27th out. 

Another storm late Thursday afternoon pushed the “official” delay to six hours and 31 minutes. But this one began Tuesday night, went down as a 2-0 five-inning victory for the Cubs on Wednesday morning and resumed play on Thursday night after the Giants became the first team since 1986 to successfully protest a game. 

While Cubs officials worked with the Giants to make their case, convincing Joe Torre, MLB’s executive vice president for baseball operations, it was a “mechanical” issue, that spirit wasn’t necessarily universally shared inside the clubhouse. 

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Rizzo had definitely changed his tune by late Wednesday night, going from calling the win a good team-bonding, sing-along experience – “We were all sitting around just kind of having like a slumber party” – to no-commenting MLB’s ruling.

“I think it would be better if I didn’t comment on that,” Rizzo said. “I’m just not even going to say anything.”

Rizzo’s two-run homer off Ryan Vogelsong onto Sheffield Avenue in the first inning on Tuesday night wound up being all the offense the Cubs needed. The Giants retired 11 in a row on Thursday before Javier Baez drew a walk in the eighth inning. Jacob Turner (one run), Pedro Strop and Rondon (19th save) preserved Tsuyoshi Wada’s win.

“I believe in karma,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said, “and I think everybody was trying to do the right thing.”