And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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We all have bad days. Our job gives us headaches. We have disagreements with our significant others  We struggle with the challenges of being a parent. And the fears. We have trouble falling asleep at night, worrying that we haven’t done the best we can do with our lives and our short time on Earth.

Being a big famous ballplayer doesn’t make anyone immune from those bad days. It just changes them a little bit. They worry about their short careers and injury. Being separated from family for road trips is a special challenge. While most of them don’t have to worry about money or the figures on that darn Johnson account, they sometimes strike out five times in a game and then let a two-run lead disappear in the ninth by allowing a ball to go under their glove.

At least that was Washington Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor‘s day yesterday. Poor Michael Taylor. The Platinum Sombrero and then this, to give the Dodgers a walkoff win:

A Little League homer is pretty great, though, even if it’s tough stuff for the fielder who allowed it to happen. Anyway, here’s hoping your day is better than Michael Taylor’s day was yesterday.

Here are the scores:

Marlins 3, Braves 0
Yankees 9, Rockies 8
Mets 4, Royals 3
Astros 3, Angels 2
Cardinals 7, Cubs 2
Brewers 4, Athletics 2
Blue Jays 5, Diamondbacks 2
Orioles 7, Padres 2
Giants 7, Pirates 6
White Sox 8, Red Sox 6
Indians 6, Rays 1
Tigers 5, Mariners 1
Rangers 6, Reds 4
Twins 6, Phillies 5
Dodgers 4, Nationals 3

The Cubs played under protest after Joe Maddon disputed an ‘illegal’ pitching motion

Joe Maddon
AP Images
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The Cubs found themselves in a disadvantageous position toward the end of their 5-2 loss to the Nationals on Saturday. Down by three in the ninth, they were finally looking to gain some ground against closer Sean Doolittle after wearying themselves against Stephen Strasburg for the first eight innings of the game. Instead, the game ended under protest when Cubs skipper Joe Maddon took umbrage with Doolittle’s delivery:

The issue appeared to stem from the motion Doolittle made with his left foot, a kind of “toe-tapping” gesture that Maddon believed had previously been made illegal. The official rules state that a pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate during his delivery, a stipulation that had previously been violated by Cubs’ pitcher Carl Edwards Jr.:

Comparing the two motions, however, one would be hard-pressed to characterize Doolittle’s tapping motion as a full step toward the plate. Maddon clearly didn’t see it that way, and emerged from the dugout to dispute the pitcher’s delivery twice. Following Doolittle’s first-pitch strike to Albert Almora, the manager informed home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook that the Cubs would play the remainder of the game under protest.

An official decision has not yet been announced regarding the illegality of the delivery and the validity of the Cubs’ protest. According to league rules, “the game will not be replayed unless it is also determined that the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning.”

During the inning in question, however, the umpiring crew allowed Doolittle to continue his delivery. He helped secure the Nationals’ 5-2 win after inducing a groundout from Almora, striking out Kyle Schwarber, and getting a game-ending pop-out from Kris Bryant.

After the game, both Holbrook and Doolittle took issue with Maddon’s protest.

“In that moment, he’s not trying to do anything other than rattle me,” Doolittle told reporters. “And it was kind of tired. I don’t know, sometimes he has to remind people how smart he is and how much he pays attention to the game. So he put his stamp on it, for sure.”

Holbrook, meanwhile, said Doolittle did “absolutely nothing illegal at all.”