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As someone who is compelled to write a series preview for every series, let me just say that these two-game series are for the birds. The Cubs take their traveling circus to Miami to take on the Florida Marlins for a couple games. Unfortunately, the Marlins are having one of their “good” years, in their never-ending parabola of awesome and terrible seasons.

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

Deep breath. The Cubs are in trouble of becoming irrelevant before June even begins. They just lost two in a row to the Reds on the heels of losing consecutive series to the Cardinals and Reds (excluding a two-game split with the Giants). They’re now seven games out in the Central.

The Marlins, on the other hand, stand just a half game out in the hypercompetitive NL East, though they have lost six of their last eleven.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Wednesday, May 18 at 6:10 CT on WGN.
  • Thursday, May 19 at 6:10 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups should be pretty close to the real deal.

Cubs

Starters: Ryan Dempster (2-4, 6.71), Casey Coleman (1-3, 7.22)

Lineup:

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

Marlins

Starters: Ricky Nolasco (3-0, 3.02), Chris Volstad, (2-2, 5.77)

Lineups:

  1. Chris Coghlan, CF
  2. Hanley Ramirez, SS
  3. Logan Morrison, LF
  4. Gabby Sanchez, 1B
  5. Greg Dobbs, 3B
  6. Mike Stanton, RF
  7. John Buck, C
  8. Omar Infante, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Marlon Byrd’s career-high 16-game hit streak was snapped last night, fittingly, when he struck out four consecutive times.

Carlos Pena is on fire. He’s got five homers in his last 12 games, and is hitting .333/.456/.689 in May.

Ryan Dempster has strung together a handful of good starts, and he’s generally had success against his former team. Casey Coleman may be making his last start before Randy Wells comes back and takes the spot.

A rainout for the Fish means the Cubs face former Cubs prospect Ricky Nolasco rather than Anibal Sanchez. They’re both good, so whateves.

Hanley Ramirez, one of the best hitters in the game for several years running, is in the midst of an abysmal season. He’s going just .204/.291/.286 so far.

Not abysmal? First baseman Gabby Sanchez is hitting .329/.411/.533, with seven homers and 25 RBI.

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.

Although it pains me, Rashida Jones’ reign over the Cubs is over. Given how embarrassingly the Cubs played in Cincinnati, she just can’t remain. And that sucks.

You know who’s really good looking? January Jones. So now she gets the nod for the Cubs. Also, January was about the last time I felt good about the team, so it makes sense. (Also, she has so many excellent photos out there that I’m thinking she sticks around, even if the Cubs lose like 10 in a row.)

As for the Marlins, folks keep asking me why I don’t pick two women to represent the Cubs. That will increase the Cubs’ mojo, they say. Well I reject that approach (for now). You can’t force the mojo – in fact, the moment you glance at the mojo and acknowledge its presence, it turns on you. Therefore, I am picking two women to represent the *Marlins.* The Marlins get the two Kardashian sisters, who are frequently in Miami. The two good-looking sisters, I mean. Kourtney and Kim.

The gravitational pull of Kim Kardashian’s butt notwithstanding, the Cubs win, right?

january jones is sexy

Versus

kourtney and kim kardashian butt

  • Dan0mite

    I could stare at that bowl of jello all day.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/sperls13 Sperls13

    Sioux Falls, SD’s very own January Jones!! Represent. (dork!)

    Anyway, let’s hope she gets something “moving” in this team, because this ship is about to sink. Oh well, at least I can focus on my other summer hobbies: gardening, long walks on the beach, clam digging, listening to the sweet soothing melodies of Barry Manilow, etc. Cherish these special times…

  • awesome

    this morning 5/18/2011 on Mully and Hanley of the score radio, sun times Cub beat writer Gordon Wittenmyer said, Soriano told him he never practiced D till last year. before that he thought he was here just to hit and never worried about his D.

    most athletes when short on skills practice to get better, even on their own if need be. especially if your in the ML’s.

    the writer also said Soriano coming up never was good on D, tried SS, 2B, CF with Louie his first year of ST, after one game Louie moved him back to LF. i remember that one, lol.

  • awesome

    them photo’s, hmm, oh what were we talking about?

  • Jody

    January and I share the same birthday. Ohhhhh January…..*unzips*

    • Ace

      Creepy. But acceptable.

  • willis

    I would flip flop Byrd and Soriano. Soriano doesn’t stand a chance unless he doesn’t take his bat off his shoulders hitting in front of Hill or Castillo. They won’t and shouldn’t throw the guy any strikes.

  • http://BleacherNation Bric

    Well, if I had any hopes for this season, the top half of the first just sealed the deal. Fuk, Barney, and Castro just got made to look like a bunch of 14 year olds. Even if Wells, Z, Dempster, and Garza throw lights out, the hitting on this team isn’t good and isn’t going to get any better with all the different lineups Q can pull out of his ass. Even if by the slimmest of miracles the Cubs actually made the post season they’d get swept worse than the Reds did last year. Good pirching will always make hitting look ridiculous.
    Put Castro back in the lead off, stop f’ing around with the line up and shop Fuk, Byrd, and anybody else over 30 for whatever you can get. Then see what happens and start thinking about next year. You made your bed Jim, now be a man and sleep in it.

    • Ace

      Can someone else sleep in it?

      • http://BleacherNation Bric

        I’d think maybe Quade, but eyebrows or not, I don’t think he swings that way.

  • Raymond Robert Koenig

    The one on the right has a fat ass. On a more Cub related note, I think they might have turned the corner with the win tonight.

  • Steve

    LOL @ “they turned the corner”. I’m already mulling over this winter’s possibilities. Q needs to go. Byrd, Fuk, ARam, Hill, Wood…probably should just all retire. Hendry signs a 1st baseman that hit ONE NINETY SIX last year, and paid him $10,000,000. Huh? Wha? Any possible future everyday player was traded away for a decent number two starting pitcher…oh yeah, it happened.*cough* GARZA! And, it SEEMS as though, the thought major thought that dominates ownership’s small mind, is….ready for this???…..STADIUM RENOVATIONS!!!
    This year, already, is filed under: “Are you efffffffing kidding me?!?!??!!
    I’m not watching another game.

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