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The Chicago Cubs’ consistently .500 streak is intact, but will be seriously threatened in this series. To maintain the streak, the Cubs have had to alternate series wins and series losses, but, having just lost to the Dodgers, the Cubs would have to beat the Rockies to keep the thing alive. And, as you’ll see in the preview, that’s going to be a tall task.

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

As noted, the Cubs have alternated series wins and series losses so far this year, and they come into this one 10-11. The Dodgers series, however, was a low point for the Cubs. The one game they took was a miracle comeback (in a game they’d blown), and they were blown out in the other two games. Not good.

The Rockies continue to be, like, good. They dropped back-to-back series after playing the Cubs last week (note that I did not say that they dropped a series to the Cubs), but remain three games up in the NL West with the second best record in the National League.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, April 25 at 7:05 CT on CSN
  • Tuesday, April 26 at 7:05 CT on WGN
  • Wednesday, April 27 at 1:20 CT on CSN

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups should be pretty close to the real deal.

Cubs

Starters: Matt Garza (0-2, 4.74), James Russell (1-2, 8.00), Casey Coleman (1-1, 7.43)

Lineup:

  1. Castro, SS (I’m guessing he’s back here; though Fuk’s OBP is over .500, so…)
  2. Barney, 2B
  3. Byrd, CF (again, guessing)
  4. Ramirez, 3B
  5. Pena, 1B
  6. Soriano, LF
  7. Fukudome, RF
  8. Soto, C
  9. Pitcher

Rockies

Starters: Esmil Rogers, (2-1, 6.75), Jorge De La Rosa (3-0, 3.00), Jhoulys Chacin (3-1, 2.67)

Lineups:

  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Jonathan Herrera, 2B
  3. Carlos Gonzalez, LF
  4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS
  5. Todd Helton, 1B
  6. Seth Smith, RF
  7. Jose Lopez, 3B
  8. Chris Iannetta, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Once again, it’s all about the pitching. The Rockies have it; the Cubs don’t. Indeed, the Cubs have decided that trying to win Tuesday’s game would be futile, so they’re going with James Russell for the third time. Have I mentioned that he was previously dominated by the Astros (terrible) and the Padres (terrible)? And that righties are hitting over .400 against him? He draws Jorge De La Rosa, who’s been great.

Wednesday’s game doesn’t look much brighter with suddenly awful Casey Coleman going against the horribly-named, but excellently-performing Jhoulys Chacin. If the Cubs don’t win on Monday, a sweep looks incredibly likely.

Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena are stuck on five RBI. Geovany Soto has just four. On the bright side, Kosuke Fukudome is being his usual April self with a .415/.529/.439 line.

You know who else has been hot? I know, I know, bite my tongue: Jeff Samardzija has strung together four consecutive scoreless appearances. Yes, he hasn’t always been pretty (especially when he looks like a pirate), but he’s gotten the job done.

For the Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki is still all-universe, and Carlos Gonzalez is still struggling mightily. Dexter Fowler and Jonathan Herrera have been a better 1-2 punch – if that’s possible – than Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney have been for the Cubs.

Series She-View

The Series She-View is one beautiful woman representing the Cubs taking on another (usually) beautiful woman representing the opponent. 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 at a cross-roads. Yes, the Cubs have been .500 under her watch, but, if they lose this series to the Rockies, they’ll fall below that mark for the first time this year. Such a failing will not stand. Yes, I know it’s a lot to ask of Brooklyn to bring the Cubs a series win in these kind of circumstances – but she brings a lot to the table.

This is it, Brooklyn. Win or go home. With me. For a slumber party.

Going once again for the Rockies this series is ‘Mad Men’ star and all-around beautiful woman, Christina Hendricks. I’ll leave it to you to figure out why she’s representing the Rockies.

christina hendricks cleavage

Versus

brooklyn decker bikini

  • Derrick

    The fact that James Russell is starting again is a crime against us Cubs fans. The guy shouldn’t be starting or even in the majors the way he has pitched. We are the only org that is seemingly afraid to call up a young guy and see what he can do. J. Jackson, R. Dolis, T. McNutt hey I even take Hayden Simpson even though he has been mediocre. Its like we are conceding every fifth day and that’s damn right ridiculous. Who knows how long Cash and Wells will be out and if this is the plan going forward I’d say goodbye to Hendry and Q Our so called aces have put together maybe 3 quality starts of the 15 or so they’ve pitched. Its looking a long season.

  • deej

    a guy can wish….

    Fuk, RF (ride it til it runs outta gas…)
    Barney, 2B
    Castro, SS
    Ramirez, 3B
    Soriano, LF
    Baker, 1B
    Soto, C
    Byrd, CF (Or Colvin)
    P

    I love byrd, but I think it’s time to trade him. Both to get some prospects, but also to shift Fuk to CF and see if Colvin is an everyday player or if he’s another Micah Hofphair.

    • Ace

      Fine by me, though I’d still let Pena go against the righties.

  • TWC

    Castro should be pulled out of the game right now. I don’t care if he’s batting .800, he’s gotta learn that you can’t keep making mistakes like that. THREE ERRORS in an inning? No excuse for that.

    Posting this here because Ace hasn’t given us/cursed us with a game day live thread…

    • deej

      sad but true…. i agree. he’s a stud but he has a lot to learn.

      • Mike S

        And yanking your star player in the middle of a tie ball game is the solution? Even if it was, I don’t think Quade has the nuts. And he obviously is aware that he can’t do that…yanking him doesn’t do anything

        • jh

          Yea agreed. Yanking your young star player for errors is not the right move. You want him focused but confident. Perhaps periodic (sporadic?) days off simply to work on defense.

          • TWC

            I dunno… to me, his errors show a significant mental lapse. His physical skills are there, but he’s clearly losing focus — it’s not like he’s tripping over his own feel to get to the ball, but his brain and arm aren’t syncing up. He was clearly spooked by error #1 tonight — you could see it w/ errors 2 and 3.

            He definitely needs sporadic days off. But his manager needs to make sure that he impresses upon his star player that those mental lapses aren’t gonna cut it. He’s on pace for >50 errors at this rate!

            • jh

              Yea I am not arguing that the errors are not a problem but pullling a 21 year old in the middle of the game is going to spook him. He needs time in the majors working with major league coaches to improve. It is not going to happen in the first month of his first full season. I think part of the problem is also that he has gotten where he is on pure, raw talent. He needs time to mature but pulling him mid-game is not the right choice.

    • Joe

      yep, should have yanked him.

      He’s still too young to leave out there after that many so huddled together. If he ends up making another one, you run the risk he takes steps back – or worse, develops some sort of mental tick. I do agree with letting him finish the inning if he can (if its close enough to over and he isn’t too shaken), and taking his AB (if he comes up in the lineup) before pulling him, just so he doesn’t feel as though its 100% punishment. But best to get him out of there.

      Besides, its unlikely he will be much use at the plate the rest of the game after an inning like that. And since he is probably going to be the headline now anyway, you just don’t run the risk he digs himself deeper.

      • jh

        There is a difference between him half-assing it and making mistakes (regardless of the amount). You pull him midgame on a team that is one of the worst on defense to begin with and he is going to get gunshy. He will improve, he is only 21. He’s had less than a year with major league tutilage. I have seen much worse defense from veterans like Soriano (physical) & Ramirez (mental) that should have gotten them pulled because they know better.

        • Joe

          So how will it help him if he makes 1 or 2 more and goes 0-fer-4/5 in his attempt to go from goat to hero?

          Sure he will improve over time, but the next 6 innings wont factor into that at all. Why not give the kid a break, let him shower up and calm his nerves away from the pressure of such a disastrous game? You stand to screw up his psyche leaving him in, while gaining absolutely nothing other then the ever-so-slight advantage he would normally provide in his 2-3 remaining PA (an advantage which is probably completely gone now anyway because of the hero-complex which is likely in his head at this point)

          There is a reason you don’t leave kids on the mound long when they are getting absolutely pounded. The same should go for position players as well…

          • jh

            The mound is different. So you pull him and give him all night to stew and worry about it? Or you leave him in, give him a few more chances to make up for it and let him work out of it. Pulllng him tells him you have no confidence in him to work out of it. There are going to be nights like this. He had a bad stretch and calmed down. He will get coached throughout the rest of the game and after by his teammates & coaches. You pull him after and that’s all he has to think about until next game. Like it or not he is going to need to face this to improve. There is no better lesson than going through it. Pulling him tells him that he can call it a night and try again another day, not a great message. The advantage is not for the team necessarily, it’s leaving him in and showing that you have confidence in him even if he’s having a rough night.

  • Cheryl

    Castro is trying too hard. People wanted him to bat third and he’s feeling the pressure . It won’t do mch good to ynk him. That compunds it. Tell him he’s had a bad day and switch him back to leadoff and put Fuu in the 3 hole. Bench Pena for now and put Baker at first.

  • Eric

    well, no need to watch the next two games as the cubs are going to get spanked. once again russell will go 3 or 4 innings giving up atleast 5 runs. this season is already getting very frusturating and it’s only APRIL.

  • awesome

    at the pace Ortiz and Barney are going, Barney will hit more homers.

    • awesome

      i meant Pena, not Otiz. my bad.

  • awesome

    seriously, leave the kid at lead-off. stop trying to have him hit 1,2 and 3 at one time. Quade has panicked, Quade is the one who can’t handle the pressure.

  • Steve

    Time to mature? This will happen on occasion? What-? He needs more “major league” coaching??? Seriously? Umm, last time I checked, a ground ball rolled…uh, well, ON THE GROUND the same way…whether a high-schooler, college kid, minor leaguer, or big league player hit it.
    The kid doesn’t keep his head in the game. Period.
    Give him a day or two off. If he wants to view it as punishment, so be it. I could care less about his psyche. Catch the ball & throw the ball. GEEZ.

  • Cheryl

    My lineup would be Castro
    Barney
    Fuko
    Baker (Give Aram another night off) (He’d be at 1st)
    Soriano
    Soto
    Byrd
    DeWitt

    I would have sent down DeWitt and called up Flaherty. I’d also call up Brett and have him take Byrd’s place and Soriano’s so he gets playing time. But I’d bat him third and put Pena on the DL and hope a trade can be worked out for one of the other players. There’s no way I’d continue with this pitching by bullpen. Call up Ortiz.)

  • pfk

    The Cubs are going to ruin Castro by trying to make him a 3-hole hitter. He is not now, nor ever will be a 3-hole hitter. He is perfect in the 1 or 2 hole. You can literally see him changing his approach when he bats third – trying to yank everything to get more power. He is the type who needs to get on ahead of the middle of the order, create havoc, stir things up. This organization is in such a mess and the media gives Hendry a pass. Unbelievable! I’d love to be a fly on the wall and hear what the Ricketts are saying behind closed doors. They can’t possibly be thinking Hendry is doing a good job. Can they?

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    The Ricketts have shown what their main concern is. Creating more revenue. They might say they want to see their on the field product be successful, but their daily actions belie their words.

  • Ace

    I understand the frustration with Castro in the three hole, but, for reasons discussed in a forthcoming post (later this morning), I don’t agree that moving him back to the top of the order is the right move.

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