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The Chicago Cubs limp toward the conclusion of their dramatically unsuccessful homestand with a three-game set against the San Francisco Giants. Even a series win would do little to salvage what was a pretty bad stretch of baseball.

By way of reminder, 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 Chicago Cubs dropped a series to the Cardinals on the heels of dropping a series to the Reds. Both series were winnable, and both series were critical if the Cubs hope to actually compete in the NL Central. As it stands, they’re four games under .500, and five games out.

Just the Cubs’ luck, the San Francisco Giants are on freaking fire. They’ve won six in a row – sweeping the D-backs and Rockies (see how you’re supposed to handle your own division?) – and eight of nine to take a one-game lead in the NL West. Jealous.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, May 13 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, May 14 at 6:10 CT on FOX.
  • Sunday, May 15 at 1:20 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.

Cubs

Starters: Ryan Dempster (1-4, 7.20), Doug Davis (0-0, -.–), Carlos Zambrano (4-1, 4.35)

Lineup:

  1. Fukudome, RF (except against lefties)
  2. Castro, SS (or Barney)
  3. Byrd, CF
  4. Ramirez, 3B
  5. Pena, 1B
  6. Soriano, LF
  7. Barney, 2B
  8. Hill/Castillo, C
  9. Pitcher

Giants

Starters: Madison Bumgarner (0-5, 4.21), Ryan Vogelsong (2-0, 3.05), Tim Lincecum (3-3, 2.11)

Lineup:

  1. Andres Torres, CF
  2. Freddy Sanchez, 2B
  3. Aubrey Huff, 1B
  4. Buster Posey, C
  5. Cody Ross, RF
  6. Aaron Rowand, LF
  7. Miguel Tejada, SS
  8. Mark DeRosa, 3B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

I don’t much feel like singing the virtues of any particular Cubs this series. They displease me. The guy to watch, though, obviously, is Doug Davis in his first start.

The Cubs are still brutal as a team with runners in scoring position (.227). That’s decidedly “not.”

The Cubs are also brutal as a team on the mound (4.68 ERA – 28th in baseball). That’s decidedly “not.”

Madison Bumgarner has been pretty darn good over his last three starts – just two earned runs and 19 Ks – but doesn’t have a win to show for it. And Tim Lincecum is, sigh, Tim Lincecum. But someone really, really needs to tell him about his hair.

Offensively, the Giants don’t have much to tout. Their leading home run hitter, Pat Burrell, is a guy who rarely starts. And he’s got just five homers (of course, as a team, they’re tied with the Cubs in homers, so what does that tell you about the pathetic power production of the Cubs?).

And while I hope the Cubs don’t see closer Brian Wilson this series – 12 of 13 in save opportunities – it would be nice to see a comebacker take the ridiculous beard right off his face.

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 or something like that.

The Chicago Cubs were represented in the Series She-View by Sofia Vergara, but, after a frustrating series loss to the Reds, I went in a very different direction. I went with a burrito. Then the Cubs lost a series to the Cardinals. Back to the traditional route.

How about this. Although she has no connection to Chicago that I can discern, on TV, she plays a nurse in the fictional Indiana town of Pawnee, which I can only assume is close to Chicago. The Cubs’ rep: the beautiful Rashida Jones. I really hope the Cubs win this series…

As for the Giants, since they’re all about no offense, we’ll give them a woman who is, at times, offensive: Sarah Silverman.

sarah silverman boobs

Versus

rashida jones is beautiful

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    You know that the burrito had no queso in it, right?

    How do you, sir, expect a QUESO-LESS burrito to right the Cubs’ ship?! Hmm???

    Get your act together, Ace.

  • Pingback: Series Preview: Giants v. Cubs, May 13 – May 15, 2011 | Bleacher … | | The Cubs ShopThe Cubs Shop

  • Kevin

    Does anyone else notice that when Castro is in the 1 hole, Barney is much better in the 2 hole as well? Why keep changing a good thing?

    • Ace

      Could just be a hot streak/cold streak/hot streak thing. But, yeah, probably shouldn’t mess with it while it’s working. Then again, Fukudome is still generally successful leading off against righties – so what do you in those games?

      • MichiganGoat

        bat him third until he cools off

        • Ace

          Fine, I suppose. It’s not like they’re getting any power from anyone else batting third.

  • wernert

    Can we talk about Barney in general? I know nobody saw this coming and he doesn’t have any power, etc. But he’s better than the Theriot already. Right?

    • Ace

      Eh. I’d be careful on that one – Theriot turned a lot of heads much in the same way in his first couple of months with the Cubs. I still feel like Barney’s ceiling is Theriot but with excellent defense. It’s not to say there isn’t a spot on the roster for a guy like that, I’m just not sure it’s as a starter on a playoff team.

  • wernert

    Well I do recall the great frenzy over THE RIOT and it feels the same — only with 50 percent less frenzy — with Barney. But I understand your point. We likely need the next level player up to be a real bad ass lineup.

    • PFK

      To say Barney isn’t good enough for the Cubs to be a contender is crazy. It all depends on who your other players are. If we get good 3, 4 and 5 hitters, then Barney is perfect even if he hits .275. He blows Theriot away. He’s a better glove by far, a smarter runner by far, has a superior arm and turns a wicked double play. Plus he and Castro have great chemistry. The top of the lineup is set for years, leave it alone. It’s not the problem. The middle of the lineup is the problem, so focus on that and stop all the talk about Castro and Barney. Fukudome is gone after this year so play him somewhere else in the order and stop all the platooning and shifting in the order.

      • MichiganGoat

        well said, our problem with Theriot was his glove, his lack of productive hitting, and when he tried to be a power hitter. Barney will always have the superior glove and if hits and doesn’t strike out much then he will be a perfect #2. And the chemistry btwn your 2B and SS is extremely important, if Castro can get his fielding more consistant then we may have a 1/2 combo that will be a future of the team.

      • Ace

        I understand your point, but you could say that about any one player (“You don’t have to have a good first baseman if everyone else is good!”). The point is this: the second basemen on playoff teams, on the balance, tend to be better than what I imagine is Barney’s ceiling (and that’s if he reaches his ceiling). I hope like heck he keeps getting better, but it’s pretty rare that guys in their mid-20s get *better* at the big league level than they’ve ever been in the minors.

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