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The Chicago Cubs continue their West Division swing by heading back home to host the San Diego Padres. Hopefully home is kinder than was Coors Field, where the Cubs dropped two of three.

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 two of three to the top dog Rockies after taking two of three from the low dog Astros. They’re a game under .500, which sucks, but when considering how abysmal the pitching and half of the lineup have been, it’s kind of encouraging.

The Padres just split a four-game set with the Astros, which is like getting swept in four games by a good team. They, like the Cubs, stand at 7-8 on the season.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, April 18 at 7:05 CT on WCIU.
  • Tuesday, April 19 at 7:05 CT on CSN+.
  • Wednesday, April 20 at 1:20 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups should be pretty close to reality.

Cubs

Starters: Carlos Zambrano (2-0, 6.11), James Russell (1-1, 7.20), Matt Garza (0-2, 6.27)

Lineup:

  1. Castro, SS
  2. Barney, 2B
  3. Byrd, CF (sigh)
  4. Ramirez, 3B
  5. Pena, 1B
  6. Soriano, LF
  7. Fukudome, RF
  8. Soto, C
  9. Pitcher

Padres

Starters: Tim Stauffer (0-1, 4.80), Dustin Moseley (0-3, 1.83), Aaron Harrang (3-0, 1.50)

Lineup:

  1. Eric Patterson, LF (Ryan Ludwick will also play)
  2. Will Venable, RF (also Chris Denorfia)
  3. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  4. Chase Headley, 3B
  5. Brad Hawpe, 1B (also Jorge Cantu)
  6. Cameron Maybin, CF
  7. Alberto Gonzalez, SS (also Jason Bartlett – sense a theme?)
  8. Nick Hundley, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Once again, Starlin Castro is on fire. It’s almost hard to put into words how flaming he is.

Also flaming? Castro’s buddy at the top of the order and in the middle infield, Darwin Barney. Utterly flaming. Wait. I think you may be misunderstanding me. Castro and Barney are flaming on the baseball field. That’s all. They’re hot. At baseball. Together.

Not flaming? Marlon Byrd. But you know that story – he’s got just one hit in his last 20 at bats, and he has a whopping four RBI on the season despite hitting third all year and batting behind the top 1-2 OBP duo in the league.

Matt Garza and Carlos Zambrano get another chance to show why they are considered “good pitchers.” James Russell gets another chance to show why Mike Quade is “kind of crazy.”

For the Padres, catcher Nick Hundley is hitting .348 and has an OPS over 1.000. A career .720 OPS man, Hundley is flirting with the law of averages and small sample sizes. Chase Headley and Orlando Hudson have also been solid offensively for the Padres.

Aaron Harang, whom the Cubs briefly discussed this Winter, has been brilliant for the Padres so far this year, though two of his three wins came at spacious Petco Park, and the other came against the Astros. Dustin Moseley has also been brilliant – allowing just 4 earned runs in 19.2 innings of work – but has an 0-3 record to show for it. Hooray W/L record as a totally meaningful stat!

Series She-View

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.

The Chicago Cubs are currently represented in the Series She-View by model, mathematics expert, and humanitarian, Brooklyn Decker. You’re welcome. Her tenure, however, is becoming fragile after another series loss. Which is hard to admit, because she’s so damn hot.

Representing the Padres this week is beautiful actress Mila Kunis. The reason? Eh, she represented them once last year, and I certainly didn’t complain. Also, her dress in the picture below looks like those weird camo uniforms the Padres used to wear from time to time. Do they still wear those?

brooklyn decker naked

Versus

mila kunis brown dress

  • Willis

    Harang seems to be a pain in the ass for the cubs. And Tuesday is a loss for certain. Not feeling too great about this series. Blew a golden opportunity yesterday. Here’s hoping for a quick rebound.

  • Dave

    We need a unit of measurement to measure levels of flaming. I recommend the Soto. One Soto is pretty flaming, five Sotos is the most flaming thing possible.

  • Hogie

    This may seem a bit off the wall, but what about Fukudome in the three spot for now? He hit 3 his whole career in Japan and has had some sucess in limited time there while being in the states. Or is that too crazy?

    • Jeff

      I don’t think Fukudome has enough power to bat third either. At this point Ramirez is the only logical choice on the team. Unless Colvin, Pena, or Byrd start driving in some runs, Soriano should probably move up in the lineup as well.

  • wax_eagle

    What about Rami, Pena, Sori, Byrd?

    • wax_eagle

      Actually when Barney cools put Byrd at 2, Colvin/Dome at 6 and let the chips fall where they may.

      • Hogie

        I like that idea, but who would you slott third? I don’t really like anyone except Rami (and I’m sure that Castro could handle it) as the three. I am kind off afraid that Soriano’s sucess partially comes from batting in a low pressure spot and I definantly don’t want Pena there.

        • wax_eagle

          3 Rami, 4 Pena, 5 Sori.

          Honestly why doesn’t Geo bat higher? McCann bats 4th for the braves and he is about the same age.

          • Hogie

            Sorry didnt catch that at first.
            If Pena starts showing the pop and clutch hitting he used to have, then I could like that order.

            • pfk

              One of the things this organization has to stop doing is going after players who, “…starts showing the pop and clutch hitting he used to have.”
              We need to develop and pursue those players who are good and have great years yet to come.

  • Willis

    The problem is on this team there isn’t anyone other than Ramirez and maybe Castro that could play the part of a number 3 hitter. I think putting Byrd at 2 or moving him down to 7 or 8 is the smartest thing to do and slide Rami into 3. But then there is a huge hole at cleanup and there really isn’t a hitter on this roster to fill it.

    • pfk

      The problem on this team is that they only have 1 decent player to bat in the 3, 4, 5 positions. That is Ramirez. Nobody else can cut it there. Not Soriano, Byrd, Pena or Soto. They are all 6,7,8 batters.

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    Nice win tonight!! It was great to see Colvin come through for the team. Maybe that will open up someones eyes to give him a little more consistent playing time. I liked seeing Soriano, Pena and Garza already out of the dugout practically running down the third base line with Soto as he came in to score. Wouldnt have expected Soriano to show that sort of enthusiasm anymore. It was nice seeing the guys excited again!

  • rylan

    Why isn’t Soto being considered for the three spot? Byrd just isn’t producing..and Soto hasn’t always been known for driving in runs but he’s just too good to be at the bottom of the lineup all the time.

    • Ace

      No idea. Doesn’t make sense to me, either.

      • PFK

        It should make sense bust it seems every time they move him into the middle of the lineup he stops hitting. Some people just don’t adapt well to pressure. This could all be solved if they had a first baseman and an outfielder who hit with power and played well under pressure. Given regular playing time I think Clovin could be a good option hitting third. I think they’ll have to wait for the offseason or trade dead ing to get a good hitting first baseman. Then you’d have A nice 3,4 and 5 combo backed up by Byrd, Soto and Soriano hitting 6,7 and 8. So, you have: Castro, Barney, Colvin, Ramirez, Mr. X, Soto, Byrd, Soriano….not bad, assuming Colvin hits and we pick up a first baseman who hits with power and a good average. Perhaps Byrd is part of a trade for a pitcher or first baseman and we put Jackson in center.

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