The Giants are in the middle of a tight wild-card race, so every game and every win matters. They lost Tuesday night's game to the Cubs (CHI 2, SF 0), but only after a lengthy delay due to unplayable field conditions.
Long story short, the Wrigley Field grounds crew had trouble getting the tarp on the field during a rainstorm in the fifth inning. It only rained for 15 minutes, but the infield was soaked and the grounds crew was unable to dry it off adequately. Here's the video:
They waited more than four and a half hours for infield to dry but it never did, and eventually the umpires called the game. Since it was an official game in the fifth inning, the Cubs got the win.
The Giants were not happy the game was called early, and, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area, they have filed an official protest with the league. Here's more from Baggarly:
A club source confirmed the Giants went through all the proper channels and filed paperwork with the league, even though the strict interpretation of Rule 4.12 would appear to leave them no loophole for MLB to consider it a suspended game to be resumed at a later date.
A Giants official said via text message Wednesday morning “we are going to confirm that we have filed a protest but are going to hold off on discussing any specifics.”
Baggarly notes the Cubs were embarrassed they were unable to cover the field and lobbied the league to suspende the game so it could be resumed Wednesday.
This situation is not unprecedented. In fact, the exact same thing happened at Yankee Stadium during a Yankees-Rangers game last month. It rained, the grounds crew had trouble getting the tarp on the field, and the infield was eventually deemed unplayable. The Yankees won that game in five innings and the Rangers did not file a protest.
It has been nearly 20 years (since 1986) since MLB last upheld a protest and it happened with a very similar situation. From the United Press International archives:
Charles Feeney, the National League president, today upheld the Pittsburgh Pirates' protest that the rain-abbreviated game they lost, 4-1, to the St. Louis Cardinals Monday night was improperly called by the umpires.
The umpire in chief, John Kibler, called the game after rain delays of 17 and 22 minutes. Between the delays, play resumed long enough for two pitches to be thrown.
Feeney said he agreed with the Pirates' contention that Kibler called the game prematurely. National League regulations require that umpires wait at least 75 minutes during an initial weather interruption and 45 minutes during a second one before calling a game.
That game was ordered to be resumed two days later (the Pirates still lost).
If the league agrees with the Giants that Tuesday's game was called prematurely, they would resume the game at a later date. The Giants do not travel to Wrigley Field again this season, which complicates things.