The Chicago Cubs welcome the Astros to town to close out the last winnable nine-game stretch they’ll have for a long time (a DOOM stretch begins on Friday, but we’ll get there when we get there). A series win means the Cubs went 5-4 during the stretch – the bare minimum for me to have any hope at all.
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 are pictures of beautiful women, too.
We’re Going Streaking
The Cubs won the series finale against the Pirates, but that was it. They’ve been treading water for quite some time, and stand five under .500, 7.5 back in the Central.
The Astros were just swept by the now-West-Division-Leading Diamondbacks (wha?) after taking back-to-back series against the Dodgers and Blue Jays. All in all, it’s been a tough year in Houston: they’re 15 games under .500, holding the worst record in the NL, and second worst in baseball.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, May 30 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
- Tuesday, May 31 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Wednesday, June 1 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups should be pretty close to what actually gets thrown out there.
Starters: Rodrigo Lopez (0-0, -.–), Carlos Zambrano (5-2, 4.59), Doug Davis (0-3, 6.75)
- Fukudome, RF
- Barney, 2B
- Castro, SS
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C
- Campana, CF
Starters: Aneury Rodriguez (0-2, 4.98), Jordan Lyles (0-0, -.–), Brett Meyers (1-4, 5.11)
- Michael Bourn, CF
- Jeff Keppinger, 2B
- Hunter Pence, RF
- Carlos Lee, LF
- Brett Wallace, 1B
- Chris Johnson, 3B
- Clint Barmes, SS
- JR Towles, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Another series, another new starter for the Cubs. It’s Rodrigo Lopez this time around, making his big league debut on the 2011 season. He recently tore up AAA, but was pretty crappy the last time around in the bigs. Still, I’d rather the Cubs took a chance on Lopez than sent James Russell or Casey Coleman out there again.
Alfonso Soriano has hits in 14 of his last 16 games, including five doubles and a homer.
Geovany Soto should actually play this series after technically returning in the finale of the Pirates series.
The Astros have their own pitcher making a debut in this series, though for Jordan Lyles, its his ML debut. He’s just 20 years old and is the Astros’ top prospect. Here’s hoping the Cubs make him throw strikes, and attack the ones he does throw.
Wouldn’t you know it, Brett Myers has been terrible this year… when he isn’t facing the Cubs. His only win of the year came in an earlier domination of the Cubs.
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 have some connection to the team or something like that.
Until this past series, the Cubs were represented by January Jones. And she lasted longer than most have this season, but that was partly based on her extreme beauty. And it pains me greatly to say that we’ve got to move on to another rep. Such is the price of a series loss to the Pirates.
Now, after (repeated) requests by reader RRK, the Cubs will be represented by Nikki Cox, who was hot approximately 15 years ago. That is both sexist and misogynistic, but, then again, this entire feature kind of falls under those categories. So, if only to please RRK, Nikki gets the call.
As for the Astros, how about Carrie Underwood? No, she’s not actually from Texas (she’s from Oklahoma), but she kind of seems like she would be. So, yeah, she’s it.