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ana, Toronto and Bost 
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Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:34 am
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Post ana, Toronto and Bost
LOS ANGELES — A four-time All-Star who has finished in the top five of the Cy Young Award voting three times http://www.giantsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-kyle-lauletta-jersey , Jon Lester looks to be getting even better in his 13th major league season.

And it leaves the Chicago Cubs with no better pitcher to stop a losing streak that was extended to five games Monday with a 2-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lester will try for his sixth consecutive victory when he faces the Dodgers on Tuesday night in the second game of the four-game series. He will square off against the Dodgers’ Ross Stripling, who had his own six-game streak come to an end last week in Chicago

The Lester-Stripling matchup is the second one in a span of six days.

Lester not only has a 1.64 ERA over his five-start win streak, he has pitched at least six innings in seven consecutive starts and has a 1.67 ERA over his last 12 outings.

“(Lester) is just slowing the game down,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said before Monday’s game in L.A. “He has gone to another level of maturation pitching-wise so I have really been enjoying watching him go about his business.”

Stripling is only in his third major league season, but he has shown an increased maturity level on the field as well this year. With the Dodgers in need of somebody to step up in the wake of a number of injuries to the starting staff, the right-hander made an easy transition from a bullpen role to rotation workhorse.

Stripling (6-2, 1.99) was not terrible in his outing against the Cubs last week Baker Mayfield Browns Jersey , Lester was just better. The right-hander gave up three runs to the Cubs on eight hits with seven strikeouts over six innings. He sounded eager for a rematch.

“We’ve faced these guys in the playoffs the last two years, and it’s a lineup we’re really familiar with, and they’re familiar with us,” Stripling said after Wednesday’s defeat, according to mlb.com. “We’re right there with this team, and we know that.”

Lester (9-2, 2.10) held the Dodgers to just five hits in his scoreless outing Wednesday as the Cubs closed out a series victory. It is the only series the Dodgers have lost since the middle of May when they were in Miami.

Not only are the Dodgers 16-5 in June Saquon Barkley Giants Jersey , they have 48 home runs in the month after hitting two Monday and nine in their past two games. Since a May 17 victory in Miami, the Dodgers are 26-9.

As good as the Cubs have been since the start of the 2015 season, winning at Dodger Stadium has proved difficult. They are just 2-8 in L.A. in that time, while going a baseball-best 334-226 in that same stretch. They did go 2-1 in L.A. while winning the 2016 National League Championship Series.

The Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez has three home runs in two games and has six in his last 13 games. He is expected to be in the starting lineup Tuesday against the lefty Lester. Hernandez, the Dodgers’ super-utility player, has a career .874 OPS against left-handed pitching.

If there is a glaring hole on Golden State’s championship resume, it’s that the Warriors have never gone back-to-back.

That will change.

The Warriors are about to win their second straight NBA championship and their third in the last four seasons – all of them coming at the expense of the Cleveland Cavaliers http://www.texansauthorizedshops.com/authentic-martinas-rankin-jersey , who won’t have enough even if LeBron James plays to the absolute utmost of his capabilities. The Warriors have home-court advantage, and have three of the best four players who will appear in the series.

They’re just too good to lose.

If they were going to lose, it would have been in the Western Conference finals against the Houston Rockets. Houston was a team that was built for one purpose – beating the Warriors. And the Rockets might have done it, too, had Chris Paul’s hamstring not popped in the final seconds of Game 5 and forced him to the sideline for the rest of the series.

Golden State rallied in both Game 6 and Game 7, as Paul looked on helplessly. Yes, the Warriors caught a huge break. They won’t waste this chance.

The teams have changed mightily over the last four seasons. There were 20 players who appeared in first Cavaliers-Warriors game of the 2014-15 season – only eight of them will be in uniform during this series. Kevin Durant is in Golden State now http://www.lionsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-da_shawn-hand-jersey , Kyrie Irving isn’t with the Cavaliers anymore, the benches are very different particularly in Cleveland’s case.

But the principals are still there: James, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green.

And over these four years since James returned to northeast Ohio, the Warriors are 17-9 against the Cavaliers. Golden State needed six games to beat Cleveland for the title in 2015, five games last season and if Andrew Bogut didn’t get hurt in Game 5 of the 2016 Finals the Warriors – who ended up blowing a 3-1 lead that year – probably would have won that series as well.

James might be playing the best basketball of his life. That’s why Cleveland is still in these playoffs.

Even he won’t be able to save the Cavs this time.

Cleveland looked like a team that couldn’t guard anyone in the regular season Tre'Quan Smith Color Rush Jersey , and to its credit has greatly improved on that end of the court during this postseason. But facing Golden State will be such a bigger challenge than Indiana, Toronto and Boston could provide. And if the Warriors get Andre Iguodala back, their spacing will be even better and pu
Imaget further demands on the Cavs.

The Cavs won’t have any pressure on their shoulders. The Warriors will have it all, but after Curry, Durant and Thompson found a way to rally from 15 points down in Houston to win a Game 7 on the road and capture the Western Conference, Golden State will come into this series brimming with confidence.

That confidence will keep growing until they get handed another Larry O’Brien Trophy.

The pick: Warriors in five.



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Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:53 am
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