The Chicago Cubs head to Houston to take on the theoretically worse-than-Cubs Astros. I’m back in win-this-series-or-the-season-is-doomed mode. Join me.
The Series Preview hooks you up with what you need to know about every series this year – streaks, broadcast information, pitchers, lineups, 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 beautiful women, too.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs dropped back-to-back games in Milwaukee, including a heart-breaker yesterday. The series loss put the Cubs at 4-5 on the season, though they’ve been in every game but one. I’m still not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
The Astros are a modest 2-7 on the season after losing all three of their series to open the year. Though one of those series was against the Reds, they did win one of those games, so, from the teams in the Central who might actually compete for the Division, thank you (note that I’m not quite sure I’m including the Cubs in that group). The Astros’ current one-game winning streak is better than the Cubs, however.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, April 11 at 7:05 CT on CSN+.
- Tuesday, April 12 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Wednesday, April 13 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups should be pretty close to what actually gets thrown out there.
Starters: Ryan Dempster (0-2, 6.59), James Russell (1-0, 0.00), Carlos Zambrano (1-0, 525)
- Fukudome, RF (if healthy)
- Castro, SS
- Byrd, CF
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C
- Barney, 2B
Starters: Nelson Figueroa (0-1, 10.13), Brett Meyers (0-0, 2.03), Wandy Rodriguez (0-1, 6.55)
- Michael Bourn, CF
- Angel Sanchez, SS
- Hunter Pence, RF
- Carlos Lee, LF
- Brett Wallace, 1B
- Bill Hall, 2B
- Chris Johnson, 3B
- Humbert Quintero, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Starlin Castro has cooled off a bit in the last couple games, but I still heart him. Ryan Dempster has been nothing but cool, and I still heart him, too. He’ll try to finally get his season on track against the most pitcher-friendly lineup in baseball.
Marlon Byrd is doing his best to prove me wrong about the whole 3-spot thing, as he’s now sporting a .342/.375/.474 slash line. Not so much proving me wrong? He’s got two RBI. Two.
Obviously the guy to watch in Tuesday’s game is pitcher James Russell. Forced into the rotation by injury, Russell was similarly forced into the rotation competition in the Spring because of his handedness (left) and not his ability (poor). Hopefully he can give the Cubs four or five solid innings, as Mike Quade has said Russell is unlikely to go more than 50 or so pitches.
For the Astros, today’s starter, Nelson Figueroa is a guy to fear – if not on the mound, then at the plate. His .667 average (2-3) leads the ‘Stros. Tee hee.
Shortstop Angel Sanchez is hitting over .300, though I still haven’t heard of him. Are the Astros sure he’s not Anibal Sanchez? In which case, I have to recommend they consider switching him from shortstop to starting pitcher.
So, as I’ve explained, we’re going to do something a little different with the Series She-View this year. It will still be one beautiful woman representing the Cubs taking on another (usually) beautiful woman representing the opponent, but the Cubs won’t have one set representative for the entire year. The Cubs’ representative will change as the team’s needs change – in other words, if the Cubs are winning, the rep will stay the same. But if the Cubs’ performance calls for a change, someone new will step in. The opponent’s representative will change from series to series, at my whim. But at least she’ll probably be wearing the opponent’s colors.
As you may know, Marisa Miller has represented the Cubs from time immemorial. And the Cubs won their last series, so there should be no reason for change.
But then I changed. For no reason. Well, no reason other than the fact that Brooklyn Decker is all kinds of hot. And, because this feature is completely arbitrary and subject to my editorial control, now the Cubs are represented by Brooklyn Decker. That’s right, the Chicago Cubs, for the immediate future, will be represented in the Series She-View by model, mathematics expert, and humanitarian, Brooklyn Decker. You’re welcome.
Going for the Astros this series, it’s the next “it” girl, Jennifer Lawrence. She was nominated for an Oscar this year, and she’s going to star in “The Hunger Games,” which I’m told is going to be some kind of big deal. But what actually matters is, she’s really, really good looking.