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e have to take responsibility for whats g

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      May 17, 2020 6:11 PM MDT
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    CLEVELAND -- The Chicago Cubs lavished Jon Lester with a $155 million contract in the winter of 2014 precisely for moments like the one he faced Tuesday night. Discount Angels Jerseys .On the road. Under the lights. In Game 1 of the World Series, with a chance to take a big step toward ending 108 years of franchise futility.And for the first time on baseballs biggest stage, Lester faltered. While his performance in Chicagos 6-0 loss to the Indians was hardly a meltdown, the left-hander managed just 5 2/3 ordinary innings when something significantly more was required to keep up with Cleveland ace Corey Kluber.Jonny pitched -- wasnt on top of his game, but really gave us a chance to win, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.The Indians didnt so much knock Lester around while sending him to his first World Series setback in four starts so much as they took advantage of the limited opportunities he gave them during a shaky first inning. Cleveland opened a two-run lead that felt considerably larger the way Kluber was dealing.When youre going against a guy like Kluber whos locked in from pitch one, to give up two in the first, its tough, Lester said.Lester took the mound having allowed just one run in 21 innings in the World Series during a career that includes a pair of championship rings he earned with the Boston Red Sox. By the time he got the final out of the first, Cleveland had doubled that total.Things began innocently enough. He struck out Rajai Davis and Jason Kipnis before Lesters postseason dominance briefly vanished.Francisco Lindor singled and took a massive lead off first, knowing all about Lesters inability to hold runners due to a tic that prevents him from making pickoff attempts with any kind of consistency or accuracy. At one point, Lester stepped off and Lindor found himself a good 25 feet off the bag. Yet rather than throw over, Lester stood and watched as Lindor scampered back to safety.It was hardly the first time opposing runners have toyed with Lester. Yet it seemed to be one of the rare occasions when it rattled him. He had trouble working out of the stretch and walked Mike Napoli and Carlos Santana to load the bases. Jose Ramirezs swinging bunt then brought Lindor home to stoke an already electrified crowd. When a 1-1 pitch hit Brandon Guyer on the leg, Chicago trailed 2-0.The first inning was tonights game, Lester said.Though he settled down -- thanks in part to catcher David Ross throwing out Lindor trying to steal in the third -- Lester again ran into trouble in the fourth when No. 9 batter Roberto Perez lined a solo shot that clanged off the railing above the wall in left field for the first of his two home runs.Yet its not the home run but the walks that are going to stick with Lester regardless of how comfortable -- or uncomfortable -- he felt when pitching with runners on base.I just didnt execute some things out there tonight, he said. Maybe if they get out of the first with nothing, maybe things are different.Lester, who came in 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA during the 2016 playoffs, handed the ball to manager Joe Maddon with two outs in the sixth and trudged to the dugout after giving up three runs on six hits with three walks and seven strikeouts.And when Perez clocked a three-run shot off reliever Hector Rondon in the eighth, the Cubs found themselves turning to Jake Arrieta for Game 2 on Wednesday night hoping to avoid heading back to Wrigley Field down 2-0 following a rare stumble by their ace who typically oozes October cool.Tomorrow we can get right back in it, Lester said. Everybody counted us out after Game 3 (of the NLCS) and called us the worst best team in baseball. ... Ill look to Jake to pick us up. Martin Maldonado Jersey . -- About a third of the way through the regular season, the Washington Wizards are at . Rod Carew Jersey . "It doesnt get any better than that," Giambi said. "Im speechless." The Indians are roaring toward October. Giambi belted a two-run, pinch-hit homer with two outs in the ninth inning to give Cleveland a shocking 5-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday night, keeping the Indians up with the lead pack in the AL wild-card race. .B. -- The Baie-Comeau Drakkar took over sole possession of first place atop the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Thursday with their sixth straight win. OAKLAND, Calif. -- At the conclusion of a 45-point thumping at the hands of the Golden State Warriors on Saturday evening, a livid Portland Trail Blazers All-Star addressed his teammates in the locker room.Damian Lillard didnt mince words in criticizing his team, telling ESPN the Blazers performance was ridiculous and that the teams recent slide is on us, not the coaches.Man, its OK to turn the ball over, its OK to make mistakes, but we have to play with some damn heart and compete out there, he said of his teammates.The Warriors secured a 135-90 win at Oracle Arena and shot 59 percent in the process. It was the largest margin of victory in the NBA this season, and it was the Warriors largest ever over the Trail Blazers.Portland has lost six of its past seven and is dead last in defensive efficiency (109.6).The visiting locker room was virtually silent.Players were speechless. Lillard got dressed at his locker stall and routinely shook his head in disappointment. At 13-16, the Trail Blazers are only a game up on the Denver Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings.Golden State executed an offensive clinic. Backdoor cuts went uncovered by Portland, several lob dunks went uncontested and a multitude of mental blunders led to wide-open 3-pointers for the Warriors.Several Trail Blazers players expressed afterward that they felt like they had disrespected the game.This is unacceptable, no matter who youre playing against, champions or not, C.J. McCollum told ESPN. You have to be ready to play and perform and compete, and I dont think we did any of those things today.Reserve?Allen Crabbe?offered his take.Honestly, there are really no words for it, Crabbe said to ESPN. Our play is really self-explanatory right now. Weve got to get it together. It was a 40-point loss. Thats embarrassing right there.Despite a flawed roster, Portland head coach Terry Stotts is doing his best to try to manufacture a nucleus capable of providing extended stretches of high-level defense. As for personnel, the Trail Blazers didnt improve from last seasons squad that overachieved and went 44-38. The offseason addition of Evan Turner and his four-year, $70 million deal hasnt paid off.Furthermore, the rim protection they so desperately need from Festus Ezeli is likely sidelined for the season, due to his knee injury. Swing forward Al-Faarouq Aminu has been in and out the lineup with a back contusion, but hes not the answer for Stotts. Mike Trout Jersey. This isnt about what the coaches are doing, this is on us, Lillard said to ESPN in retelling what he stated to his teammates. We have to take responsibility for whats going on. This s--- is ridiculous. Weve got the talent; weve just got to put it together consistently.In the locker room after Saturday nights loss, Lillards facial expressions spoke volumes, and he was in a rage with his teams effort. But he made it clear that his confidence hasnt wavered one bit.Im a soldier, he said. I feel like if I die, I can come back to life and win.Lillard has been critical of his team before. Last month, he told reporters, simply, that the Trail Blazers kind of suck right now, following a blowout loss to the Houston Rockets, though he added, Well get it right, and things will be fine.The Trail Blazers have had a couple of heart-to-heart discussions after some disappointing losses this season, but not to the extent of categorizing them as players-only meetings.If this sort of play continues, that might change.I think were getting close to that point, McCollum told ESPN. Dame talked to the guys today, but its more about us as players. And the coaches, theyre not playing. Theyre not responsible for losing by 40 or winning by 40. Its the players job. Its not [San Antonio Spurs coach] Gregg Popovich, its not [Cleveland Cavaliers coach] Tyronn Lue, its the players making the decisions, like Kawhi Leonard and?LeBron [James]. Theyre the guys that change the culture of the team, and they change the impact of the game.Crabbe agreed with McCollum.I feel like guys are speaking out more about how our play is unacceptable and how we have to step up more, so I mean a [players-only meeting] may come, may happen soon, Crabbe said. Its going to come to a point where everybody is going to be fed up with it. Were pretty fed up with it now. I mean, its frustrating going to games and just getting beat like this and not even giving ourselves a chance. Weve got to figure it out.On whether the Trail Blazers have reached their lowest point of the young season, McCollum told ESPN, S---, we lost by 40 today. It doesnt get no lower than that. 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      April 23, 2018 1:54 AM MDT