It’s series preview time again as the Chicago Cubs head out to beautiful San Diego to take on the surprisingly competitive Padres. The Cubs have little more than to play spoiler in this last week and a half of the season, so play the part they shall.
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. So there’s that.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs dropped two of three to the Cardinals after dropping two of three to the Giants. Two months ago, losing back-to-back series would have been something to yawn at, but under the Mike Quade regime, it hadn’t yet happened.
The San Diego Padres are deep in the thick of the playoff hunt. They stand a half game behind the Giants in the NL West, but stand a half game up in the NL Wild Card race. After a rough patch in August and in mid-September, the Padres have won four of six.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, September 27 at 9:05 CT on WGN.
- Tuesday, September 28 at 9:05 CT on CSN.
- Wednesday, September 29 at 9:05 CT on CSN.
- Thursday, September 30 at 5:35 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups should be pretty close to reality.
Starters: Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 3.56), Ryan Dempster (14-11, 3.87),Randy Wells (8-13, 4.28), Tom Gorzelanny (7-9, 4.28)
Lineup (it’s gonna change around):
- Fukudome, RF
- Castro, SS
- Byrd, CF
- Ramirez, 3B
- Nady, 1B
- Soriano, LF
- DeWitt, 2B
- Hill, C
Starters: Tim Stauffer (5-4, 1.95), Mat Latos (14-8, 2.91), Chris Young (1-0, 1.20), Jon Garland (14-12, 3.58)
- Will Venable, CF
- David Eckstein, 2B
- Miguel Tejada, SS
- Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
- Ryan Ludwick, RF
- Oscar Salazar, LF
- Chase Headley, 3B
- Yorvit Torrealba, C (also Nick Hundley)
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
You’ve probably noticed a lack of Starlin Castro in this space over the last couple of weeks, and that’s because he’s cooled considerably. His average is now hovering just barely over .300, and he’s likely ejected himself from the Rookie of the Year race. Still, it’s been an incredible season for the youngster, and there should be brighter days ahead.
Carlos Zambrano is pitching out of his mind (oops, bad pun for a crazy guy). He’s 6-0 with a 1.42 ERA since returning to the rotation, and better still, he has looked fantastic in his last four starts.
Chris Young has only recently returned to the mound for the Padres, but he’s been great – in three starts, he’s given up two earned runs in 15 innings.
Adrian Gonzalez is poised to finish with another fantastic year – he’s hitting over .300 with 30 homers and 98 RBI. Let us all look lustily upon him while thinking of the gaping hole at first base for the Cubs.
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 Padres, I wanted to get back to someone who actually hails from San Diego. It’s a beautiful city with plenty of beautiful people to choose from, so it wasn’t tough to find several possible representatives.
But then I realized that we haven’t had Mila Kunis as a team representative before, and that’s just insane. She’s from Southern California, so that’s close enough.
Mila Kunis certainly isn’t unexpectedly good, but she’s still a good representative for San Diego. They’re hot, she’s hot. Their name is the Fathers. Wait. That one probably doesn’t fit.
So who you got in this one? It’s a tough matchup for the Cubs and Marisa.