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hongwei28


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Subject : The Eagles have plenty
CHICAGO — Jon Lester may be having the best season of his career and the timing couldn’t have been better for the Chicago Cubs.

While the starting rotation has experienced its share of issues and the Cubs have struggled to find consistency Kyle Connor Jersey , Lester has been more than steady. Lester takes a 10-2 mark into his 17th start of the season Sunday when the Cubs attempt to finish off a three-game sweep of the Minnesta Twins at Wrigley Field.

Lester has won six straight starts and allowed four runs in his five starts in June, which bodes well for a team that won its third straight game after Saturday’s 14-9 back-and-forth victory over the Twins.

Lester threw 119 pitches — a sign that at age 34 he has plenty of good work left in him — two starts back. He had thrown 106 pitches in six innings when manager Joe Maddon elected to keep Lester on the mound.

“At that point, what’s 15 or 20 more pitches,” Lester told reporters, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Said Maddon: “Jon gave what we needed.”

Lester has provided consistency while fellow starters Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Tyler Chatwood have struggled and Yu Darvish has battled injury. Lester will attempt to keep rolling Sunday against the Twins, against whom he is 3-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 12 career starts.

The Twins continued to struggle Saturday and lost for the seventh time in their last nine games. For the second straight day, Minnesota blew leads as the Cubs rallied from behind twice before scoring five runs in the seventh inning to snap a 9-9 tie.

Minnesota’s bullpen allowed 10 runs and for the second straight day the Twins were unable to match the Cubs’ offense, which pounded out 20 hits on a day when the temperatures were in the 90s and the heat index registered 107 degrees.

The Twins lost left fielder Eddie Rosario, catcher Bobby Wilson and outfielder Max Kepler during the game to heat illness. Cubs’ center fielder Albert Almora Mark Scheifele Jersey , Jr. also left with cramping because of the conditions.

“When the conditions are like that, you do the best you can to prepare them with nutrition and hydration and all those things, but it overtook three of our guys today,” Twins manager Paul Molitor told reporters. “So it was just tough.”

Twins right-hander Lance Lynn will take the mound against a team he is familiar with from his days with the St. Louis Cardinals. Lynn enters Sunday’s start with a 5-6 record and a 4.81 ERA. He allowed five runs (four earned) and struck out eight in his last start against the Chicago White Sox.

Lynn is 6-6 with a 4.06 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) against the Cubs.

Lynn will try to bounce back from an outing in which he had a lead but couldn’t pitch out of trouble in his final inning.

“It’s frustrating, especially with the way things had been going all night. I had eight strikeouts in five and you’ve got 8-9 up, bases are loaded, even though it’s been kind of a funky inning, you want to have that chance,” Lynn told the team’s official website. “But with the way things had unfolded that inning, you get it. We’re trying to win the game.”

Duron Harmon thought it was time to speak up.

It was about a half-hour after the Patriots’ 33-30 loss to the Carolina Panthers on Oct. 1. As his teammates walked around in a daze following their second loss in four games Mathieu Perreault Jersey , Harmon didn’t hold back when asked what was wrong with a defense that already had given up 30 or more points three times.

”Obviously, what we’re doing is not good enough, so we need to go take a look in the mirror and just look and realize: Are we doing enough to win?” he said that night.

Both the words and the sentiment had a familiar ring to them.

That’s because it was Harmon who issued a similar challenge to his team during halftime of last year’s Super Bowl against Atlanta. It’s a pep talk his teammates credited with helping them complete their 25-point comeback.

Since signing a four-year, $17 million contract this past offseason, the defensive captain has become an even more vocal presence in the Patriots’ locker room and was one of their most consistent players down the stretch.

He led the team with four interceptions, including one in the end zone in the waning seconds of New England’s 27-24 win at Pittsburgh that would help it secure home-field advantage in the postseason.

The 27-year-old says he still feels like a ”young player” but that he has felt more at ease speaking his mind as he heads to his third Super Bowl, where the Patriots will face the Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday.

Part of the reason is because he thinks he’s playing alongside a defensive unit that is just as tough mentally as the one that showed up when it had to against Atlanta. He also doesn’t have to worry about hurting anyone’s feelings in a locker room where the demand for excellence is so high.

”Just a group of fighters,” Harmon said. ”I mean you just look at the way the year progressed – started the year not the way we wanted to, came out and lost the opener, got to 2-2 Michael Hutchinson Jersey , but nobody in here really listened to the noise. We ignored it. We did everything we can to get better and try to progress throughout the year and that’s the reason why we’re here right now, just because we continued to fight.”

Patriots safety Devin McCourty said Harmon’s preparation is noticeable to his teammates and gives him credibility when he chooses to speak out. It also has allowed the coaching staff to trust him late in games.

”The situation doesn’t affect him. The pressure doesn’t bother him,” McCourty said. ”Since he was a young guy in here, if he was thrown in there at the end of the game he was ready to go, and I thought he’s always done a good job of taking advantage of opportunities.”

It’s also kept Harmon on the field.

He appeared in all 16 regular-season games for the fourth straight season. Though often used in nickel situations as the third safety, including in the playoffs, Harmon has been on the field for 60 percent or more of the Patriots’ defensive snaps 11 times this season.

Having him out there is never a bad thing, coach Bill Belichick said.

”Whether he’s 60 percent or 80 percent, whatever it is, 70 percent Nikolaj Ehlers Jersey , whatever it ends up being – we want him on the field. He does a good job for us,” Belichick said.

Harmon said playing in place that puts such a premium on accountability is what drew him in from the beginning.

”If you love winning it’s not hard,” he said. ”I mean this is what this place is about – winning. Everything we do, everything we sacrifice for is for to win. Coming here as a young guy five years ago, I just see how competitive this place was and I just wanted to be a part of it so I did everything in my power to continue to get better and try to make sure that at the end of training camp I’m always on this roster.”





Posted on November, 08 2018 12:11:35 PM

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