Series Preview: Cubs v. Nationals, July 4 – July 7, 2011

The Cubs in the Nation’s capital for Independence Day. I suspect this series had a whole lot more cache when it was being planned back in January.

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 Cubs dropped two of three to the White Sox, and lost the BP Crosstown Cup again this year. Grumble. At least they’re on a one-game winning streak, which is 50% of their season high.

The Nats have lost five of seven, but before that, they’d won 13 of 15. They’re just a game under .500, but 11 games out in the very tough AL East. Oh, and their manager recently quit.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, July 4 at 12:05 CT on WGN.
  • Tuesday, July 5 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, July 6 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
  • Thursday, July 7 at 6:05 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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

Cubs

Starters: Casey Coleman (2-4, 7.78), Ramon Ortiz (0-0, -.–), Randy Wells (1-3, 6.59), Matt Garza (4-7, 3.77)

Lineup:

  1. Fukudome, RF
  2. Barney, 2B
  3. Castro, SS
  4. Ramirez, 3B
  5. Pena, 1B
  6. Soriano, LF
  7. Johnson, CF (also Campana)
  8. Soto, C
  9. Pitcher

Nationals

Starters: Jordan Zimmermann (5-7, 2.63), Ross Detwiler (0-0, -.–), Tom Gorzelanny (2-6, 3.77), Livan Hernandez (5-8, 3.73)

Lineup:

  1. Roger Bernadina, LF
  2. Danny Espinosa, 2B
  3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
  4. Michael Morse, 1B
  5. Jayson Werth, RF
  6. Rick Ankiel, CF
  7. Ivan Rodriguez, C (Wilson Ramos)
  8. Ian Desmond, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Aramis Ramirez has seven homers in his last 10 games, and has his OPS up to .816. Brace yourself for something shocking: of all qualifying 3B in the NL, Aramis Ramirez leads in hits, homers, RBI, SLG, and OPS. He probably should have been named an All-Star. That’s messing with my head. Somewhere, reader Ramy16 is locking a bathroom door.

Darwin Barney has an eight-game hitting streak, wrapped around his stay on the DL. It’s been a bit of a hollow streak, though: during those eight games, Barney’s average has gone up just five points, his OBP just four, and his SLG just one.

The Cubs’ bullpen has a 1.53 ERA in the team’s last 14 games. And, with the surprise starts by Casey Coleman and Ramon Ortiz, they’ll need to keep it up.

Somewhat appropriately, in a series featuring Coleman and Ortiz on the Cubs side, the Cubs will face the 6th starter that never was, Tom Gorzelanny, whom they shipped to Washington in the off-season for prospects who’ve done absolutely nothing since.

Jordan Zimmermann was dominant in June, holding an ERA under one in six starts.

Jayson Werth is doing his best to demonstrate why gigantic, long-term contracts for guys with only moderate past success are never a good idea. In his first year of a seven year(!), $126 million(!) contract, Werth is hitting just .223/.326/.382. He’s already 32. Alfonso Soriano’s contract and performance immediately look miles better than they did yesterday.

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.

You know who’s STILL crazy hot? Victoria’s Secret model Erin Heatherton. Where has the world been hiding her? I only became aware of her recently, but, once I saw that she was from Skokie, Illinois, I knew she had to represent the Cubs asap.

I said before her first series that she’d be sticking around for a few series, regardless of the outcome. And I’m sticking to that. Yes, the Cubs lost again to the White Sox, but they, um, pitched really well! I might not be able to keep her in the role too much longer, but I’m going to cling as long as I can.

As for the Washington Nationals, on our Nation’s birthday, I can think of no better representative than a no-talent reality “star,” with bleached blonde hair and big, fake boobs, who’s made her bones by preying on the minds of countless Americans: Heidi Montag. God bless America!

erin heatherton open shirt

Versus

heidi montag america bikini

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

56 responses to “Series Preview: Cubs v. Nationals, July 4 – July 7, 2011”

  1. wernert

    Who did we get for Gorzelanney again? I have seriously forgotten.

  2. Toosh

    God bless America, Heidi! I salute you!

  3. Ramy16

    Ace..i did lock the door..lol…and you know he got snubbed..oh well..something for him to proove to the cubs organization in the 2nd half!

    1. STG3

      Hate to tell you this but, the Cubs are a bad team and they need to move forward not backward.

    2. COCub

      Perhaps on another team…

      1. chris

        And who would replace aramis? I don’t think were getting david Wright so if aram will take less $$$$ he might be the best option

  4. Cheryl

    No more Aramis. He was good at one time. Not now. Have Flaherty or someone else take his place. Move Castro to third after the season. The cubs would be better off without him

  5. ry

    wow, typical cubs today, puking away another game. all boiled down to the fact that livan hernandez could lay a bunt down when campana couldn’t. oh yeah and the fact that kerry wood choked hard on it too. so pathetic!

  6. Ramy16

    Wow..wouldnt you know..the cubs lose again! By the way ramy went yard again..look at all you Ramirez haters..funny to see

    1. Jeff

      To all you Ramirez fan boys; Where was this kind of production when it mattered? Where was this kind of production when it mattered last year? The answer is, it wasn’t there. Padding his stats in meaningless games doesn’t make him good. He needs to hit like this when the team is in contention.

    2. Raul

      I really don’t understand you. Are you trying to rub a loss in our faces? Because that isn’t really going hurt anybody. A lot of people already are looking to next season and are saying goodbye to Ramirez. I mean, he is lacking in defense and takes half the season to start hitting. Just in this game, he had a chance to end the nationals rally and only managed to knock the ball down. I’m not saying he didn’t used to be good. He’s just not the same as he used to be. I’m a big Ramirez fan and I would like see him get back to how he used to be, but I don’t see it happening. I think he’s going the same way D-Lee did.

    3. MichiganGoat

      I’m still waiting for statistical analysis that show ARam is worth it and not just the scattered months when he’s been great. I still can’t look at the last three years and see a consistent productive player, a month of great baseball does not make you worth 16M.

      1. TWC

        No, but your month of great commenting makes me want to send you $16, MG.

        1. MichiganGoat

          Yeah but you’ll regret the no-trade clause and player option once I start slumping.

    4. Raul

      And how is it funny to see your favorite player lose?!?!?

    5. MichiganGoat

      Herevis the link for your reference http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/ramirar01. Take a serious look at his defensive numbers, you see a average to below average fielder and offensively he is still just average over the last 3 years. I have to see continued level of this performance before I can even consider keeping him around.

      1. TWC

        Thank. You.

    6. LouCub

      I’m not a Ramirez hater, he’s been my fav Cub since we got him, but it’s time to cut ties for lots of reasons..The biggest being that they could maximize value for him right now the way he’s been hitting and secondly he’s 33 and most likely on the downside.

      1. Michigan Goat

        That exactly where I’m at. I have a ARam jersey, I have found memories about him, but the right decision is to let him go ala DLee last year. The right business move is to let him go, if we were on the cusp of a playoff run, and we are not, I could see keeping him.

        1. TWC

          I never figured you for a jersey guy, MG.

          1. MichiganGoat

            I got that one after 2003, but for the past 5 years I only rock the Santo jersey and only at games.

            1. TWC

              *sniff* Aw, Ronnie….

              Moreland, is the same kind of doofus — and I say that lovingly — but without the heart.

  7. Toosh

    Bye, bye, Aramis.

  8. Joe

    Yeah, too bad he couldn’t end the first inning when he had the chance. That way we might’ve won. Btw he had two chances and only one was screwed up because of the umpire.

  9. Ramy16

    Twc Michigan goat, Raul ..you crack me up..his numbers are better than any NL starting 3rd baseman in this years all star game..let me see you want Josh vitters who can’t get past AA ball to start 3rd base? Blake ( iam inconsistent ) Dewitt ..he knows (Ramirez) that the cubs dont have a 3rd baseman..let’s face it ..the Cubs can’t replace his bat..the last 7 games his home runs have given us the lead or gotten us back in the game only for our pitching and stupid decision making of Quade has lost the game..Aramis is on pace to hit over 20 hrs and drive in 100 RBI

    1. Michigan Goat

      I’m still waiting for your statistical justification to keep him next year for 16M! If you ignore this hot streak (and like all professional player, he has hot streaks) and look the past three years in their entirety I don’t see how you can justify 16M. Yes he is on cure and currently is out performing the other 3B players in the league, but his defense is below average and if he didn’t have this recent hot streak his offensive numbers would also be average at best. Ramy16 this is not about love/hate, this is about not making decisions based on the fandom or pockets of performance.

  10. Toosh

    Trade him while he’s hot or buy him out then renegotiate a figure between 2 and 16 million.

    1. MichiganGoat

      I really hope that he is now attractive as a trade candidate.

  11. hardtop

    ace. erin’s a cutie, but he’s bringing us some bad mojo. since she’s been on board its been the story of one run loses to teams the cubs should beat. time to cut her loose.
    we need someone who is hot and tough at the same time. you should hunt down that cute little tattooed girl that sells big guns or ammo for AAC… thats what the cubs need now: vengence girl!

  12. Toosh

    Stand ‘em on their heads and they all look the same.

    1. hardtop

      oh yeah, that’s classy.
      (and not true, they still look different, just upside-down different).