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World Series, Game 1: Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians name starting pitchers

By The Sports Xchange
World Series, Game 1: Chicago Cubs, Cleveland Indians name starting pitchers
Progressive Field during World Series Media Day prior to game 1 of the World Series at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio on October 25, 2016. The Indians will play the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series. Photo by Kyle Lanzer/UPI | License Photo

Jon Lester will start Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday for the Chicago Cubs.

Lester, co-MVP of the National League Championship Series, has allowed one earned run in 21 career innings pitched in the World Series. He's 3-0 with a 0.43 earned run average in the Fall Classic.

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Corey Kluber was named starter for the Cleveland Indians, who won the American League pennant in five games over the Toronto Blue Jays.

"Lester's been there, done that before," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Saturday night after the Cubs punched their ticket to the World Series for the first time since 1945. "These guys, they're not just satisfied by getting to this point. We want to win this whole thing."

Lester said the Cubs are not satisfied getting to the World Series.

"Nobody likes second place," he said.

Of intrigue in the Game 1 matchup is Lester's ability to slow down the Indians' running game. Cleveland led the American League with 134 stolen bases, including 43 by outfielder Rajai Davis.

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In the NLCS, the Dodgers attempted to dare Lester to throw to first base -- the veteran left-hander has not shown the ability to be accurate or successful making even the most basic toss to first -- but Los Angeles' runners rarely risked being thrown out at second base.

Davis was part of the Blue Jays' team that first rattled Lester, then a member of the Boston Red Sox, into precariously wild pick-off attempts in 2013. At the time, Mike Napoli, designated hitter for the Indians, was a teammate of Lester's with the Red Sox.

Maddon said after Game 5 that Lester has been instructed to throw the ball to home plate.

"The most important thing is that Jon throws the ball well to home plate," Maddon said. "That's the most important part of this. That gets overlooked. And I don't want him to get caught up in the minutiae of everything else. Do what you do best. What he does best is he throws pitches very well, up to 94 miles an hour where he wants to, and then he has a great cutter and a curveball.

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"So why would I want him to get mentally infiltrated with trying to hold runners if he's not comfortable? So we have other things in place to take care of that."

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