The Chicago Cubs head out to Pittsburgh to take on the always scrappy (read: crappy) Pirates. 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 streaks, lineups, game times, broadcast schedule, etc. 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 just took three in a row from the Diamondbacks, proving that they can, in fact, beat teams other than those from Milwaukee. Unfortunately the Cardinals are playing out of their goddamned minds, so the Cubs are still plenty back in the Central, despite getting back to .500.
The Pirates just lost three in a row after winning three in a row after losing seven in a row after winning three in a row. So, they are guaranteed to sweep the Cubs. Believe it or not, the Pirates are tied for fourth in the Central.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Tuesday, May 4 at 6:05 CT on WGN
- Wednesday, May 5 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
- Thursday, May 6 at 6:05 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups should be pretty close to the real deal.
Starters: Ryan Dempster (2-1, 2.78), Ted Lilly (1-1, 4.91), Randy Wells (3-0, 3.45)
- Theriot, SS
- Fukudome, CF
- Lee, 1B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Byrd, CF
- Soriano, LF (when does he slide back up the order?)
- Fontenot, 2B
- Soto, C
Starters: Paul Maholm, (1-2, 4.83), Charlie Morton (0-5, 12.57), TBA
- Lastings Milledge, LF
- Akinori Iwamura, 2B
- Andrew McCutchen, CF
- Garrett Jones/Ryan Church, RF
- Ryan Doumit, C
- Andy LaRoche, 3B
- Jeff Clement, 1B
- Bobby Crosby/Ronny Cedeno, SS
- Pitcher (sometimes they do that ridiculous pitcher-batting-8th thing)
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Alfonso Soriano is blazing hot, having homered in three straight, and driven in 10 in that span. Moreover, he looks patient at the plate, and is picking his pitches to drive.
Look for Xavier Nady and Tyler Colvin to make it into games in this series somehow. It’s been difficult to shuffle the outfield too much, as all of Soriano, Marlon Byrd, and Kosuke Fukudome are absolutely raking.
Obsessive Aramis Ramirez Suck Watch is starting to percolate, as he continues to struggle. Current OPS? Sit down first. Ready? .493. Four teammates – Byrd, Fukudome, Soriano, and Colvin – have a higher slugging percentage alone than Ramirez’s OPS.
And if not for Ramirez’s struggles, everyone probably would have noticed Derrek Lee’s early season funk (which is actually typical for him). He’s hitting just .221 with a .700 OPS.
As for the Pirates, there simply isn’t a whole lot of good to speak of. That is not intended as a insult – it’s merely the product of combing over their stats to find something interesting to say. Um… their team average is .234. How’s that work for you?
Evan Meek and Javier Lopez (not that Javy Lopez) have been dominant out of the Pirates’ pen, so there’s that.
Paul Maholm is the Pirates’ ace, but he’s struggled on the year – ERA approaching 5 – and he’s been rocked in his last four appearances against the Cubs, to the tune of a 10.35 ERA.
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 Pittsburgh Pirates, the choice was surprisingly easy. Not because Pittsburgh is hemmoraging hot chicks, rife for inclusion here.
No, it’s not the Pittsburgh part that made it easy. It’s the Pirate part. And when I think of hot pirate chicks, only one woman comes to mind: the beautiful Keira Knightley.
Word on the street is that Knightley will not be reprising her role in the upcoming fourth Pirates of the Caribbean installment, and thus, we must use her – that is to say, use her in the Series She-View – as much as we can this year. So who you got? This is about as good as it gets for the Pirates.