CHICAGO — It’s unclear what happened during the last two hours of the 4-hour and 36-minute rain delay that eventually became a rain-shortened 2-0 Chicago Cubs victory over the Giants Tuesday night.
Manager Bruce Bochy wasn’t in a mood to provide details and the rest of the Giants rushed to make a late bus back to their hotel. The Giants have filed a protest.
Here are home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt’s quotes to a pool reporter:
What went into considerations for how long this thing took and what you were dealing with out there?
“Number one, it’s a very important game with playoff implications. All parties involved — from the office of the commissioner to the umpires to the front office of the Chicago Cubs — we exhausted all efforts to get this game played.”
So there were communications with the MLB office?
“Hundreds might be an exaggeration. But on our side there were 20 to 30 communications just from the umpiring department and I know that the Cubs were working on it. There were communications. Everyone was involved. The office of the commissioner takes this very seriously. All the parties involved were kept up to date on every detail as they developed.”
Was there a scenario, is there a rule that covers where this game at any point once the top of the fifth was played could have been suspended or postponed?
“I think the problem that all the parties faced was, by the baseball rulebook, there was nothing to put our hat on to suspend the game. The game became regulation with the home team winning in the top of the fifth inning. That’s a complete game, a regulation complete game, and there was really no way around it.”
I imagine that was part of the discussion with MLB?
“You would probably have to discuss that with the MLB office a lot more for the different scenarios. From our point, we just reported the different scenarios. Obviously the word suspending the game was going on from both dugouts and the front office. But ultimately we have no decision-making with that. Higher pay grades take care of those things.”
The rain started in the top half of the inning; it wasn’t until the bottom half was about to begin that you called for the tarp. What was the reason for waiting that long for it?
“Basically the rain started sprinkling; it wasn’t even anything more than a light mist until the inning was completed. When the inning was completed, I went over and spoke with Roger (the groundskeeper), who as you know is one of the best in the business. Roger’s report from the weatherman was five to possibly 10 minutes of very light rain that was not even showing on the radar. That can be backed up because once it started coming down heavy, the tarp was called for immediately, to the point where when we watched the radar loop, according to the radar, Mother Nature was not raining, according to the radar. No one had any facts that saw this coming. Then it was just a bad set of unfortunate events that led us to where we are right now.”
That’s the umpire’s view of this whole night. It was really a phenomenally strange night. A fan ran on the field during the 15-minute rain delay and then was chased back onto the street by security. A Wrigley Field employee was taken off on a stretcher after some sort of accident near the Cubs dugout. Pablo Sandoval took selfies with fans. Chris Berman was in the Giants dugout. Matt Duffy was sent out at one point to test the dirt (rookie hazing?). A lone man with a rake worked on the field by himself for about an hour as everyone else waited for it to dry. He later came back, but just walked around holding the rake and looking at his phone.