The Chicago Cubs once again welcome the Houston Astros to Wrigley Field, as the season flips into September. And it’s not quite the September we all envisioned it would be.
So, the series preview: the idea is to hook you up with 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 Chicago Cubs finally managed to win a series, their last one against the Mets, but dropped the final game. Thus, despite their efforts, the Cubs fell to a season-worst 10 games out of first place in the NL Central. Being only 5.5 games out of the Wild Card sounds much better, but the Cubs trail four other teams.
The story isn’t much better for the Astros, who have fallen to six games under .500, and 14 games out of first in the Central. The battle for a meaningless second place rages on.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, August 31 at 7:05 CT on WGN
- Tuesday, September 1 at 7:05 CT on WGN
- Wednesday, September 2 at 1:20 CT on CSN
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are rarely perfect, but they’re usually close.
Starters: Rich Harden (8-7, 3.99), Randy Wells (9-7, 3.06), Ted Lilly (9-8, 3.35)
- Fukudome, CF (damn it, Lou!)
- Theriot, SS
- Lee, 1B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Bradley, RF
- Soriano, LF
- Soto/Hill, C
- Fontenot, 2B
Starters: Roy Oswalt (7-5, 3.86), Brian Moehler (8-9, 5.26), TBA (So mysterious!)
- Jason Bourne, CF
- Jeff Keppinger, 3B
- Lance Berkman, 1B
- Carlos Lee, LF
- Miguel Tejada, SS
- Hunter Pence, RF
- Kaz Matsui, 2B
- Chris Coste, 1B
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Despite my insistence that Lou Piniella place him in the leadoff spot, Kosuke Fukudome has thrived even down in the order, and has become something of a run producer. Alfonso Soriano is expected back for this series, which is, um… good? Lou says he’s going to spell the struggling Geovany Soto with Koyie Hill much more often.
Carlos Lee is struggling lately for the Astros, but the man loves to play at Wrigley Field – he’s hitting .333 there over the last two years. Roy Oswalt always pitches adequately against the Cubs. That is to say he keeps his ERA just a shade under 4.00, which I suppose means the Cubs fare better against him than do other teams.
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 Astros, although it’s the fifth time we’ve seen her, we’ve got to stick with the same representative: Jessica Simpson. Much like the team she represents, she’s strong up the middle, and always seems to show up even after you’ve counted her out. But she spent the offseason bulking up, and not in the good way.
So how do they match up? A lot of similarities between these two combatants – they even look the same in the right light. But the back end (of the rotation, I mean) separates these two. Of course, this series matches up the front end (of the rotations, I mean). Yup, we’re still using that joke.
So who takes it this time? We’ve got to do at least one where Jessica Simpson is Daisy Duke. And look! We even found a picture with Marisa Miller in daisy dukes. What a competition. What a day.