The Chicago Cubs have dropped their protest over the pitching delivery of Washington reliever Sean Doolittle.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon made the announcement before Sunday night’s game against the Nationals.
Maddon came out twice in the ninth inning of a 5-2 loss Saturday night to complain to plate umpire San Holbrook about Doolittle. Maddon said he believed the left-handed Doolittle was tapping his right toe on the ground before coming to the plate.
Cubs reliever Carl Edwards Jr. was informed at the end of spring training that his delivery, which featured a similar toe-tap, was illegal. That ruling miffed Maddon and the Cubs.
“The whole thing I really wanted to get done was to protect Carl,” Maddon said Sunday. “I really didn’t anticipate a whole lot to be done with (the protest) even though I still don’t agree with the conclusion because I think it’s exactly what Carl did, only a different version of it.
“But the point was, I would not be a good parent had I not spoken up for my guy.”
After being told Doolittle’s delivery was legal, Maddon announced the Cubs were playing the game under protest.
Astros outfielder George Springer left Houston’s game against the Boston Red Sox in the fifth inning because of lower back stiffness. Springer, who entered Sunday leading the American League with 17 homers, took three big swings in the first and struck out against Chris Sale. On the second and third swings, Springer appeared to reach briefly for the lower right side of his back.