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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

  • wernert

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

  • Toosh

    God bless America, Heidi! I salute you!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m pretty sure she’s the reason Lee Greenwood was proud to be an American.

  • http://BleacherNation 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!

    • STG3

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

    • COCub

      Perhaps on another team…

      • 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

  • 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

  • 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!

  • http://BleacherNation 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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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.

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

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

        • MichiganGoat

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

    • Raul

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

    • 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.

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

        Thank. You.

    • 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.

      • 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.

        • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

          I never figured you for a jersey guy, MG.

          • MichiganGoat

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

            • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

              *sniff* Aw, Ronnie….

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

  • Toosh

    Bye, bye, Aramis.

  • 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.

  • http://BleacherNation 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

    • 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.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        The justification would be something like this: it’s not $16 million, it’s really just $14 million (because the Cubs owe him a $2 million buyout if they don’t pick up the option), and there is no one better in the system or on the market for the Cubs. Ramirez probably isn’t worth $14 million, but he might be worth $10 to $12 million, and, given the dearth of other options, it might be worth the extra scratch.

        I’m not saying I’d make that argument, but that is the argument.

        • MichiganGoat

          I could see 8-10M if this production continues all year, but I’m always cautious of a player who has been inconsistent until his contract year. We already fell for contract year performance ala Soriano and Bradley. If we resign him for anything more than a year we are essentially blocking 3B from any developing players. I just don’t see next year being a playoff year and ARam is a risk to extend as we go young.

          • EQ

            really, he’s only had one down year.. and that was last year.. he hit .241/25/83. Not a terrible year, just a avg. drop really.. In 2009 he dislocated his shoulder, with only playing 82 games he hit .317/15/66. From 2004-2008 he consistently hit around .300, averaged 30+ hrs and was a lock for 100+ RBI a year.. The way I see it, he’s had one “down” year and still produced decent numbers then…

            Why is everyone bailing on him? He’s once again putting up good numbers and if he stays healthy this year will be another good year… I think that 14mil. with his production is the best option for next year, after that, let’s get someone else.

            • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

              Ramirez is the perfect example of what many see as everything that’s been wrong with the Cubs over the last several years: poor defense, poor baseruning, visible lack of hustle, declining offensive production (SLG and OBP have dropped every year since 2004, and apparent indifference to all of it. Add in his high price tag, and you have the perfect 2000’s Cub.

              Now, we happen to have a starting left fielder whose name could easily be substituted into the above paragraph. But with Ramirez, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Soriano’s gonne be around until I’m a great-grandfather.

              • EQ

                I agree with all of that, but I’m talking specifically about next year only.. who would be a better fit for next year? I’m trying to say that his offensive production may be the best available for 3B next year.. I would let him walk after that, but unless we can find an adequate replacement, we might as well stick with ARAM for 1 more year. I also agree that our LF is a bigger problem.

                • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

                  I offered my services at 3B, but no one listened. Whatever.

                  As for Ramirez, his production may indeed be the best available for 3B next year, but that doesn’t mean that level of production is worth $16m.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Here’s what I’d like to see: 1- save the 14M, 2- let spring training, end of this year, and next year be “tryout” time at 3B. Let Baker, DeWitt, LeM, Vitters, and the surprise player aka D. Barney win the job. If at the end of the season we still don’t have 3B figured out look at the trade and FA options. Keeping ARam at 3B leaves us with the same problem we are discussing, who will play third next year? We should be planning and building for 2013/2014 now instead of overreacting and getting delusional that 2012 will be the year. It time for the Cubs to make sound business decisions that build the team for future instead of trying to shine shit every year.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Eh; the difference with keeping Ramirez is, it gives those LeMahieus/Vitters/whoevers an extra year to develop and emerge, instead of being thrown in the fire. Because right now, it’s clear that none is ready.

                  • Toosh

                    Agreed. If the Cubs keep Ramirez for next season, be prepared for another April and May where he starts awfully slow. Then the team will be in the same spot they were in this year when he started slow, like he always does. Plus, he’ll be a year older. There’s a saying in baseball. I paraphrase, “It’s better to get rid of a player a year too early than too late”.

                  • Hogie

                    If DJ can impress the rest of the year in Iowa, I say give him the upper hand to win the spot in spring. His defense is very solid at 2nd and 3rd. Having seen him a few times live this year, he looks to have great range at third. His slugging is lower than you want at third, but he has a pretty wide frame. As he fills out he should start to develop some pop.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      Yeah, I’ve heard his defense at 3rd is very good, but only OK at 2nd. Obviously his bat plays a whole lot better at 2nd (and I’m still not sold on Barney as a future starter).

        • CubFan Paul

          Barney is a future utility player for 2nd, 3rd, & SS ..he’s the front office’s excuse along with dewitt to not spend money on that position

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            Exactly.

  • Toosh

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

    • MichiganGoat

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

  • 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!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Vengeance, eh? All right. I’ll try to find someone who looks a little more hardass, though it will be very hard to part with Erin.

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

        She’s way too “little girl” like for me… kinda creepy, frankly. Especially this series’ pic. Find someone who’s clearly above 15, please. Perhaps Eleanor Roosevelt?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Just to ward off the FBI, I must say: she’s 22. Just because you’re 93 doesn’t mean we all have to be into Kim Cattrall.

          • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

            Kim Cattrall?

            ::shudders::

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              …with excitement. I finished your thought for you.

              • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

                This is the worst site ever. I hate it.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Hugs not drugs.

                  • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

                    OK, just for today, you have a deal.

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I enjoy this place.

                    • Michigan Goat

                      I like hugs with drugs… Just saying

  • Toosh

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

    • hardtop

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

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