It’s series preview time again as the Chicago Cubs welcome the Cardinals for the last time this year to Wrigley Field. The Cubs have little left to play for this year, but putting the (second) final nail in the Cardinals’ playoff coffin certainly qualifies as something.
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 beautiful women, too. So there’s that.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs finally lost a series, this to the streaking San Francisco Giants. Still, the Cubs are in the midst of a hot streak, including winning 7 of their last 10.
The Cardinals are just four games over .500 and are 7.5 back of the Reds, thanks in no small part to their 4-8 record against the Cubs this year, including a sweep last week.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, September 24 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
- Saturday, September 25 at 12:05 CT on WGN.
- Sunday, September 26 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups should be pretty close to reality.
Starters: Tom Gorzelanny (7-8, 3.90), Casey Coleman (2-2, 5.02), Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 6.00)
Lineup (so hard to predict, what with the youngsters and all):
- Fukudome, RF
- Castro, SS
- Byrd, CF
- Ramirez, 3B
- Nady, 1B
- Soriano, LF
- DeWitt, 2B
- Hill, C
Starters: Adam Wainwright (19-11, 2.45), Chris Carpenter (15-8, 3.28), Jake Westbrook (2-4, 3.77)
- Felipe Lopez, 3B (could be Schumaker)
- John Jay, RF
- Albert Pujols, 1B
- Matt Holliday, LF
- Colby Rasmus, CF
- Matt Pagnozzi, C
- Skip Schumaker, 2B
- Brendan Ryan, SS
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Jeff Samardzija and Casey Coleman are battling for a spot in the 2011 rotation, so their starts in this series are far from meaningless.
Similarly, Tom Gorzelanny hopes to have a spot next year, but he’s almost certainly got a leg up on the two youngsters. Gorzelanny is making his first start since September 1, when he took a comebacker off the hand. Gorzelanny has cooled considerably after a hot start this year; he’s just 1-3 with a 5.36 ERA in his last seven starts.
Albert Pujols keeps setting (semi-arbitrary) numerical records – with his 40th homer, he has six seasons in his career with 40 homers and 30 doubles, tying him for the most with some guy named Ruth.
Pujols’ buddy Matt Holliday has been all-universe in the second half, putting up a .336/.409/.559 line. September has been especially kind at .408/.500/.671.
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 is still hot, just one year older, I’ve chosen to stick with supermodel Marisa Miller.
For the Cardinals, it’s always a difficult decision in this segment. On the one hand, they’re good – thus, they deserve a beautiful representative. On the other hand, I hate them, and want them to lose – thus, they should be given a hogbeast.
Still, you want to look at beautiful women, not hogbeasts. So we’ll go with the former.
But what beautiful woman to choose? I’d been looking for an excuse to include Christina Hendricks, and, well, she’s got red hair, and the Cardinals wear red, so whatever. Boom. Done.