It wasn’t completely unrealistic that the Pirates would be better than the Cubs in 2011 when the season broke. But 10-some games better by the All-Star break?
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 are coming off an incredible comeback in Washington, winning after being down 8-0. Some other games happened before that one, but I’m not entirely sure of the outcome. I can only assume the Cubs went about .700 in them.
The Pittsburgh Pirates. Are. One! Game. Out of first place in the NL Central. They are three games over .500, and haven’t lost a series since mid-June.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, July 8 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
- Saturday, July 9 at 6:05 CT on WGN.
- Sunday, July 10 at 12:35 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.
Starters: Rodrigo Lopez (1-2, 3.91), Ryan Dempster (5-6, 4.99), Ramon Ortiz (0-1, 3.00)
- Fukudome, RF
- Barney, 2B
- Castro, SS
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Soriano, LF
- Byrd, CF
- Soto, C
Starters: James McDonald (5-4, 4.40), Kevin Correia (11-6, 3.74), Paul Maholm (5-9, 3.08)
- Alex Pressley, LF
- Chase D’Arnaud, SS
- Garrett Jones, RF
- Andrew McCutchen, CF
- Neil Walker, 2B
- Lyle Overbay, 1B
- Brandon Wood, 3B
- Michael McKenry, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Aramis Ramirez remains scorching. In the last two weeks, Ramirez has a mind-boggling .400/.443/.945 line, with nine(!!!) homers and 16 RBI.
Starlin Castro has struggled over the last couple weeks, but he hasn’t been helped by opposing defenses. How many sure hits has he had taken away in the last week alone? Four? Five? More?
Rodrigo Lopez and Ramon Ortiz continue the fill-in wundertoor for the Cubs. Now that Ryan Dempster – who is expected to return in this series – has missed a start, we can say that every single member of the Cubs’ opening day rotation has been hurt. We’re not even to the All-Star break yet.
The Pirates have a good rotation, especially when compared to last year. How much better? This series, they’re trying to top their starter win total from *all of last season.*
They still don’t do much with the bat, as the Pirates rank in the lower third of the league in almost every major offensive category. The Cubs’ pitchers usually help with those numbers, though.
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.
Ok, ok. I get it. It’s time to let Erin Heatherton go, however attached I may be. The Cubs had a huge comeback yesterday, but that was only enough to salvage a 1-3 series loss to the Nats. Erin’s stewardship has been weak, to say the least.
Reader hardtop suggested we go with someone a little less girly. A little more harsh. Someone who could beat your ass. Someone with vengeance in her heart.
Challenge accepted. How about five women full of vengeance (and ten little fists of fury)? The Cubs will be represented by the women from ‘Sucker Punch.’
As for the Pirates, they get reader Caleb’s suggestion: Misa Campo. I don’t know who she is, but she’s just lovely to look at. And, given how much better the Pirates are than the Cubs, they probably deserve her more than the Cubs do.