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|CHICAGO — If Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon had his druthers http://www.buccaneersauthorizedshops.com/authentic-alex-cappa-jersey , his team wouldn’t have played a pair of games Tuesday.
But as the Cubs head into Wednesday’s series finale against the defending National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers, Maddon certainly won’t complain about having the opportunity to claim a series victory.
How they had to do it, however, is a different story.
The Cubs earned a doubleheader split with a 2-1 nightcap victory after Albert Almora, Jr., delivered a 10th-inning single. The win came after the Cubs blew a ninth-inning lead in Tuesday’s first game, which the Dodgers rallied to win, 4-3.
Maddon expressed his displeasure with the split doubleheader format ahead of Wednesday’s matinee series finale. After Monday’s game was postponed due to the combination of inclement weather and electrical issues with Wrigley Field’s lights, Tuesday proved to be a long day for everyone involved.
“I don’t like it,” Maddon said Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t think it’s a good idea. To be here for a noon game and then a 7 o’clock game Womens Connor Hellebuyck Jersey , that’s wrong. I don’t think there’s one player, manager, coach who thinks it’s a good idea.”
Maddon added: “I’m not crying. It’s just true. So it works for both sides. The Dodgers have to do the same thing. I’m not just talking about us. I’d just prefer a different method over the split doubleheader to appease when the game was rained out like it was (Monday) night.”
Maddon voiced his opinion ahead of Tuesday’s rescheduled series opener in which Cubs reliever Justin Wilson surrendered a two-out, two-run single in the ninth inning. Wilson pitched in place of closer Brandon Morrow, who was unavailable for Tuesday’s doubleheader due to back spasms. The Cubs didn’t make Morrow’s condition public until after Tuesday’s first game when Maddon said he was holding out Morrow for precautionary reasons. Morrow told reporters he considered his availability to be day-to-day.
After offense came at a premium in Tuesday’s second game, Wednesday’s showdown has all the makings of a pitcher’s duel.
Jon Lester (8-2, 2.28 ERA) takes the mound for the series finale looking to extend what has been a successful first half of the season. Lester has won four straight starts and has only allowed a pair of runs in three starts in June. Lester is 2-3 in seven career starts against the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will counter with Ross Stripling, who will take the mound with eyes set on his seventh straight victory. Stripling (6-1, 1.76 ERA) hasn’t lost since April 30 and has struck out at least six in each of his last seven starts. Over his last six starts, Stripling has struck out 47 and walked just two.
Stripling, who will make his first career start against the Cubs on Wednesday Jason Spezza Jersey , has taken over the role as the Dodgers ace in the place of injured Clayton Kershaw. His strong start has made him a strong contender for a place on the National League All-Star team.
“You never know if you’ll have another chance in a six-, eight-, 10-year career to make an All-Star game,” Stripling said recently, according to the Loss Angeles Times. “I want to go out there and do my best to try and get there because it would be pretty cool.”
Stripling has the vote of teammate Matt Kemp.
“He needs to be in there,” Kemp said, according to the Times. “That boy is pitching his butt off. It’s fun to watch.”
CINCINNATI (AP) — When the Bengals raised the curtain on their new offense, Joe Mixon was front and center.
The second-year running back was the focus of Cincinnati’s redesigned offense on Sunday, getting all but one of the carries and finishing second in receiving. A 34-23 win at Indianapolis showed a different focus in coordinator Bill Lazor’s redesigned playbook.
There’s a lot of Mixon in everything.
“He made some explosive plays and he is so talented, he can do it all,” quarterback Andy Dalton said. “I thought he played really well.”
The Bengals (1-0) wasted no time giving him the spotlight. He ran for 7 yards on their opening play Dontae Johnson Color Rush Jersey , and either carried the ball or was the intended receiver on seven of their first 14 plays.
He wound up carrying 17 times for 95 yards, a 5.6-yard average. Giovani Bernard got only one carry. Mixon also caught five passes for 54 yards, including a 21-yarder. Only A.J. Green had more catches. Mixon was on the field for 42 of Cincinnati’s 55 plays; Bernard was used only 14 times.
Mixon’s 1-yard dive with 4:05 to play put the Bengals ahead to stay at 24-23.
It’s the most significant difference from Mixon’s rookie season, when he shared time with Bernard and Jeremy Hill. Mixon got more carries later in the season when Hill got hurt. In the final game of the season, Mixon ran for 96 yards during a 31-27 win at Baltimore.
The Ravens (1-0) visit Paul Brown Stadium on Thursday night, coming off a 47-3 win over Buffalo that featured three touchdown passes by Joe Flacco.
Cincinnati finished last in the league in yards last season, and the running game was one of the worst in club history. A big part was the offensive line’s inability to open holes for running backs or give Dalton time to throw. The Bengals have four new starters on the line, which did better in Indianapolis.
“They did a great job executing blocks,” Mixon said.
Dalton seemed at ease with the redesigned offense, completing 21 of 28 passes for 243 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His passer rating was 109.7. Dalton’s only mistake was a floated screen pass to Mixon that was intercepted.
“Andy played unbelievable,” Green said.
The Bengals knew they’d face a public backlash when they drafted Mixon in the second round in 2017 even though he’d punched a woman in the face while at Oklahoma. They valued his ability to catch passes and break long runs http://www.officialcanadiensprostore.com/authentic-adidas-karl-alzner-jersey , and were willing to take the criticism for drafting him.
He’s emerged in his second season. Coach Marvin Lewis hopes he becomes a bigger part of the offense as the season goes along.
“You’d like to have more even,” Lewis said. “I think he can carry it 22 times.”
Safety Shawn Williams was waiting Monday to see if he gets suspended for his hit on Andrew Luck that drew a 15-yard penalty and an ejection.
Luck scrambled to get a first down and slid late. Williams hit him in the head with his shoulder, and there was helmet-to-helmet contact.
“If it’s up to me, he should slide and give himself up and he didn’t,” Williams said. “It’s unfortunate to me that there was contact to his head with my shoulder. I’m trying to stop him from getting the first down.”
Tight end Tyler Eifert got into the game for 22 plays and had three catches for 26 yards, including a 17-yard gain. Eifert played in the first two games last season before a back injury sidelined him and required surgery. The Bengals are easing him back in as a precaution.
“This is as good as I’ve felt in a long time,” Eifert said.
The Ravens opened last season with a 20-0 win at Paul Brown Stadium, the first time in their history that the Bengals were blanked in a season opener. Baltimore ended the season hosting the Bengals and got their final disappointment, losing 31-27 on Dalton’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd with 44 seconds left. The loss eliminated Baltimore and put Buffalo in the playoffs.
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