For Chicago Cubs' Maddon, protest was 'common sense'
Cubs manager Joe Maddon and Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw shared a smile and shook hands behind the batting cage during batting practice Tuesday.
The previous night, Kershaw seemed irked that Maddon was taking a long time talking with the umpires about some of the lights going out at Wrigley Field. Kershaw was forced to stand on the mound for 10 minutes before umpires finally decided to resume the game as the affected light bulbs finally and gradually came back on.
Maddon denied any gamesmanship was involved or that he tried to "ice" Kershaw.
"The lights were not on," Maddon said. "Also, this is one of the few fields where there's no back lighting, so that makes this lighting even more important. It was noticeable to me when it happened. My argument was you've got to be able to see spin on the baseball and this guy (Kershaw) is exceptional.
"With inadequate lighting and no backlighting, to see him do what he's doing out there, I thought was totally advantage them. I'm going to argue against that."
Maddon played the game under protest, but because the Cubs won, the point was moot. Did Maddon feel he had a chance to win the protest?
"I have no idea, but the point had to be made," he said. "There has to be some protocol when the game gets picked back up. Of course, you're on defense and the guy's pitching, of course you're good with inadequate lighting, but you're never good with that when you're on offense. It's just common sense."
Catch of the day:
Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel popped out foul to end Tuesday's second inning, but it was no ordinary popout.
As Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez went to make the play reaching over the tarp, a man holding a baby reached over the wall and caught the ball, much to the delight of the crowd.
The Dodgers argued that the play was fan interference. A replay review backed up the Dodgers, and Hammel was called out. The fan was identified as Keith Hartley of Chicago. His son, Isaac, is 7 months old.
"I was a little bit nervous, a little bit scared he was going to drop the baby," Hammel told ESPN. "Fortunately he held on tight to both the ball and Isaac, so we were OK."
This is Chicago?
The Cubs' front office may want to hire some Chicago-style election campaigners. First baseman Anthony Rizzo, who is among the league leaders in several offensive categories, has fallen way off the pace in voting for the All-Star Game.
Rizzo is fifth among first basemen with 2.129 million votes. The leader is Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt, with 5.867 million. He's followed by the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, Cincinnati's Joey Votto, St. Louis' Matt Adams and Rizzo.
With center fielder Dexter Fowler day to day with a left-ankle sprain, Matt Szczur started in center Tuesday. On Monday, Szczur enjoyed a scrapbook moment when he homered off Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw after being called up from Class AAA Iowa earlier in the day.
"For sure," Szczur said. "But it's more fun to help the team than add to the scrapbook."
In other injury news, the Cubs remain hopeful Tsuyoshi Wada will be able to start Saturday in St. Louis. Wada suffered cramping in his left deltoid Monday, but he played catch Tuesday.