Cubs

Teague takes small step in win over hometown team

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Teague takes small step in win over hometown team

SOUTH BEND, IND. Back in his home state for the first time as a professional, Bulls rookie point guard Marquis Teague felt the pressure to perform.

With starter Kirk Hinrich sidelined, Nate Robinson filled in, meaning that Teague was the second-stringer for the evening.

In the second quarter, the Indianapolis native got his chance and while the numbers werent spectacular 0-for-1 shooting, a turnover and an assist apiece he looked remarkably improved from his previous exhibition outings.

Before the contest, the Bulls coaching staff was privately encouraged by Teagues development in practice and although he hadnt previously had a chance to play extended minutes, head coach Tom Thibodeau was an ardent defender of the first-round picks progress and afterwards, he voiced his satisfaction.

I thought Marquis played very well. In the second quarter, he was aggressive. I thought he got fouled on a full-court drive to the rim, didnt get the call, still stayed aggressive, so thats a good sign, Thibodeau said. I thought defensively, it was much better and thats all I want him to concentrate on, is his improvement. Learn, improve, come in the next day, improve some more.

As for Teague himself, the University of Kentucky product was quietly confident about how he made out.

I felt pretty good. I just want to play aggressive, run the offense and play good defense, he told CSNChicago.com. They just told me when I see the gaps, take them, be aggressive, so when they told me to be aggressive, it made me a lot more comfortable. Im just trying to play my game.

It didnt hurt that he had several well-wishers in attendance.

Oh yeah, always. When I come home, my familys here, everybody, friends, so I want to play better, Teague, who said he didnt grow up a Pacers fan, but acknowledged being a supporter of the NFLs Colts, admitted. I had a lot of people. Every time I play in Indianapolis or Indiana, Im going to have a lot of friends and family here.

Joe Maddon goes after Sean Doolittle's delivery: ‘That's exactly what I was told Carl can't do’

Joe Maddon goes after Sean Doolittle's delivery: ‘That's exactly what I was told Carl can't do’

The Cubs finished Saturday's loss at the Nationals under protest after Joe Maddon saw what he believed to be an inconsistency in how illegal pitches are being called.

Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle came in to close the game out in the ninth with the Nats up 5-2. After one pitch, Maddon went to the umpires to complain. This dragged on throughout the inning.

Maddon didn't like that Doolittle's delivery involved him pausing and potentially even touching the ground in the middle of his wind up before coming home with the pitch. To Maddon, it was clearly an illegal pitch and he was fired up because that's something Carl Edwards Jr. got called for earlier in the season. By comparison, Edwards' version may be more deliberate, but Maddon thinks it is the same thing.

"That's exactly what I was told Carl can't do," Maddon said postgame in a video posted by ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "There's no judgment. If he taps the ground, it's an illegal pitch, period. There's nothing to judge. You can judge whether he did or not. It's obvious that he did, or if you can't tell that then there's something absolutely wrong."

Maddon and the Cubs protested the game as a result. If they win the protest, the game would be restarted with one out in the ninth, when Maddon notified the umpires of the protest.

Doolittle was less than amused by Maddon's protest.

"I have no qualms against Doolittle," Maddon said. "He's great, but they took it away from our guy so for me to sit in the dugout and permit that to happen while they stripped us of that ability earlier this year with Carl, how could I do that? You can't do that. I got to say something."

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Jon Lester's hot streak comes to an end at Nationals

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USA TODAY

Jon Lester's hot streak comes to an end at Nationals

Jon Lester was on a heck of a run since coming off the IL in late April, but it came to a screeching halt on Saturday.

Lester had by far his worst start of the season at the Nationals in a 5-2 Cubs loss. He labored through his start, giving up five runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Lester gave up 10 hits, which matches the most he has given up since joining the Cubs. He gave up a fair number of hits in his last two starts, but was able to avoid trouble on the scoreboard. Lester gave up nine hits in 6 2/3 innings against the Brewers last time out, but only gave up an unearned run. On May 7, Lester gave up eight hits to the Marlins, but only allowed two unearned runs in six innings of work.

This time, Lester couldn’t stay out of trouble. Brian Dozier got the Nats on the board with a solo shot in the second and then the wheels came off in the third.

To open the third inning Lester gave up six straight hits. The Nats got three runs that inning and then added another in the fifth, when Lester departed the game.

Since Lester came off the IL on April 25, he had allowed just one earned run (four runs in total) in 24 2/3 innings. During that stretch, he had 25 strikeouts against just two walks. His ERA fell to 1.16, which would have led all of baseball if he had enough innings to qualify. It’s at 2.09 after Saturday’s loss.

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