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.
Starters: Ryan Dempster (2-4, 6.71), Casey Coleman (1-3, 7.22)
- Fukudome, RF
- Barney, 2B
- Castro, SS
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Soriano, LF
- Hill, C
Starters: Ricky Nolasco (3-0, 3.02), Chris Volstad, (2-2, 5.77)
- Chris Coghlan, CF
- Hanley Ramirez, SS
- Logan Morrison, LF
- Gabby Sanchez, 1B
- Greg Dobbs, 3B
- Mike Stanton, RF
- John Buck, C
- Omar Infante, 2B
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.
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?