Lighting delay leads to Cubs' protest vs. LA
CHICAGO -- The Cubs defeated the Dodgers, 4-2, on Monday night, but played the final part of the game under protest after patches of lights stopped working for 20 minutes.
Every light bank was still functioning across Wrigley Field, but groups of lights went out with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning, halting play for 10 minutes.
The Cubs led, 2-1, when manager Joe Maddon talked with umpires about waiting. Maddon came out onto the field twice to speak, as he became concerned about facing Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw with a disadvantage.
"I didn't like the idea that we had to play against a guy that's really, really, really, really, really, really, really good," Maddon said. "You had to see spin and everything, and I didn't like the fact that we had to go out and play without all the lights on.
"'Be a little more patient and wait for the lights.' That was my argument, that's it. Nothing more complicated than that. I just thought it was inappropriate, and I made my case."
Umpires originally told Maddon he could not protest what they deemed a judgment call. However, Maddon argued that judgment calls did not include the lights and was allowed to protest.
Rule 4.19 of Major League Baseball's rulebook states that the game will not be replayed unless the [League] finds that the violation "adversely affected the protesting team's chances of winning the game."
"We felt that we would be able to continue playing, that it was sufficient lighting," crew chief Jerry Meals told a pool reporter. "Out of the six banks, none were out. There were scattered lights out, and the information I got from Roger with the Cubs [groundskeeper Roger Baird] was that the lights are going to come on slowly, sporadically, one at a time, here or there."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told Meals he had no problem playing without all of the lights on, but expressed frustration with the umpires' indecision.
"Once they made the decision to play, I wanted them to get on with it," Mattingly said. "Once they came back out, [Kershaw] was kind of upset. 'Hey guys, play or call it.' But six or seven minutes of back-and-forth stuff?"
Kershaw was agitated on the mound, pacing and speaking to Meals as he waited for the game to resume. He ended the inning without allowing a run, but surrendered a home run in the seventh.
"I just wanted to say, 'Get off the field and keep the game going,'" he said. "But standing around for 10 minutes, my legs were getting heavy. I wanted an answer.
"I don't know if Joe was trying to do it on purpose or what? It didn't affect me, but it was a good idea."