The Chicago Cubs welcome the best team in the National League – at least according to the Cubs – the Pittsburgh Pirates. Fortunately the Cubs have had a long break from the Pirates, so hopefully they’re able to turn things around against their hated nemesis. Time for the Series Preview.
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 beautiful women, too.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs had a 4-2 road trip, but just dropped 2 of 3 to the division-leading Reds. Now the Cubs will NEVER win the Central!
The Pirates were just swept by the Brewers, but immediately before that – get this – they took a series from the Cardinals. Guffaw. Still, the Pirates are bringing up the rear in the Central, 44 games under .500, and 32 games out of first place.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, August 30 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Tuesday, August 31 at 7:05 CT on CSN+.
- Wednesday, September 1 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be, well, wrong. But they’ll be close.
Starters: Carlos Zambrano (5-6, 4.64), Ryan Dempster (12-8, 3.42), Tom Gorzelanny (7-8, 3.98)
Lineup (Quade has been wont to change it up regularly, so these are some guesses):
- DeWitt, 2B
- Castro, SS
- Byrd, CF
- Ramirez, 3B
- Nady, 1B
- Colvin, RF
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C
Starters: Paul Maholm (7-12, 4.82), Jeff Karstens (2-10, 4.98), TBA
- Jose Tabata, LF
- Neil Walker, 2B
- Andrew McCutchen, CF
- Garrett Jones, 1B
- Ryan Doumit, C
- Pedro Alvarez, 3B
- Lastings Milledge, RF
- Bobby Crosby, SS
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Carlos Zambrano’s ERA since his return to the Cubs stands at an impressive 2.25. Unfortunately, his actual stuff has looked horrible. Here’s hoping I’m just blind, and Z’s actually on the road to redemption.
Ryan Dempster has made August his bitch: he’s 4-0 with a 1.31 ERA in five August starts.
Andrew McCutchen, who’s been out for a little bit, is expected back in the lineup, the Pirates are hoping he’ll hit a little better: he’s hitting just .083 in his last seven games.
Ryan Doumit has a three-game two-hit streak, which is neato.
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 whether I should change things up this year, and offer a different representative for the Cubs this year, after a 2009 full of Marisa Miller. But then I realized Marisa Miller is still smoking hot.
So, given the fact that she’s thrown out the first pitch, sung the Seventh Inning Stretch, probably likes the Cubs, and – like the Cubs – is still hot, just one year older, I’ve chosen to stick with supermodel Marisa Miller.
For the Pittsburgh Pirates, we had been using the very beautiful Pirates of the Caribbean babe Keira Knightley. But you know what? The Pirates freaking dominated the Cubs under the Knightley regime. So no more Keira. For now, anyway.
Instead, we’ll go with more of a local flavor. No, Pittsburgh is not overflowing with gorgeous women (Ben Roethlisburger will take anyone home, or to a bathroom, as the case may be). But nearby (in the sense that it’s in the same state) Wyomissing, Pennsylvania is the original hometown of a super hotty: Taylor Swift.
Yes, she’s got that girl next door thing going, but Taylor Swift is pretty hot when she wants to be.
So who you got in this one? Is it yet more domination for the Pirates? Or do the – er herm – more mature Cubs prevail?