The Chicago Cubs head out west to take on the surprisingly still good Colorado Rockies. And so begins a very tough stretch – and yet critically important – of the Cubs’ schedule. Prepare for terror. A refresher on the series preview here at Bleacher Nation:
The idea is to hook you up with the bare minimum of what you need to know about every series this year. That way you can look like a genius, hardcore fan in front of all your friends, with minimum effort. Oh, and there will be pictures of hot chicks, too.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs dropped their first game against the Reds in forever, but still come into today’s series against the Rockies relatively hot since the All Star break. They remain tied with the Cardinals (technically, the Cubs are ahead by a few percentage points) atop the NL Central. The Cubs have owned the series against the Rockies of late, but aren’t nearly as dominant in Colorado.
The Rockies dropped two in a row to the Phillies, and are 5-5 in their last 10. Still, they are just one game back of the Wild Card leading Giants (really? the Giants?), and have a better record than the Cubs. And here’s the real shocker: the Rockies have won 14 straight against NL Central opponents. Yo.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, August 7 at 8:10 CT on CSN.
- Saturday, August 8 at 7:10 CT on CSN/MLBN.
- Sunday, August 9 at 2:10 CT on WGN.
- Monday, August 10 at 7:40 CT on CSN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups aren’t always perfect, but they’re usually close.
Starters: Carlos Zambrano (7-4, 3.35), Ryan Dempster (5-5, 4.09), Randy Wells (8-4, 2.73), Tom Gorzelanny (4-1, 3.38)
- Fukudome, CF
- Lee, 1B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Bradley, RF
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C
- Fontenot, 2B
Starters: Ubaldo Jiminez (8-9, 3.76), Jason Marquis (12-7, 3.49), Jason Hammel (6-6, 4.62), Jorge De La Rosa (9-8, 5.00)
- Dexter Fowler, CF
- Seth Smith, LF
- Todd Helton, 1B
- Troy Tulowitzki, SS
- Brad Hawpe, RF
- Garrett Atkins, 3B
- Chris Iannetta, C
- Clint Barmes, 2B
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
You’ve got to watch, well, the entire Cubs offense. Coors Field is the place for bats to play, and the Cubs are always looking to heat up the bats. Geovany Soto is finally back from his strained oblique, marking the return of the full Cubs starting lineup for the first time in three months.
It will also be interesting to watch Tom Gorzelanny’s second start. Was his first just a product of facing the hapless Reds, or is he really back? And is Carlos Zambrano’s lower back problem really just a one-game thing?
Todd Helton is back. The ageless wonder is hitting .315, his OPS is nearly .900, and he’s healthy. And he’s not alone – the Rockies have a kabal of hitters rocking the joint this year: Troy Tulowitzki is raking and leads the team with 20 homers, Brad Hawpe quietly leads the team with a .936 OPS, and Seth Smith (who?) has been a break-out stud.
And now the best part of the preview: if the teams were represented by beautiful women, who would they be, and what would the match up look like. I thought long and hard about who would represent the Cubs this year. Given the fact that she’s thrown out the first pitch, sung the Seventh Inning Stretch, probably likes the Cubs – oh, and the fact that she is a level of hot commensurate with the Chicago Cubs’ ability, I’ve chosen supermodel Marisa Miller.
For the the Colorado Rockies, well, the entendras abound, don’t they? Well, I’ve managed to avoid the temptation to simply post the grandest, um, rockies out there, and come up with a worthy opponent for the Cubs’ Marisa Miller.
Though the Rockies’ representative wasn’t born in Colorado, she did spend many of her formative years in the state when her family settled in Boulder. She is the beautiful, and probably really intelligent, Jessica Biel.
Given our readership, you probably loved her appearance as a stripper in the film, ‘Powder Blue.’ I have trouble picturing that movie as anything other than the kid from ‘Powder’ getting doused with Gatorade, staining his albino white skin blue. But that’s just me. You probably picture Jessica Biel’s boobs.
So who do you like in this matchup? I don’t know, Cubs fans. Rockies might take this series.