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Cripple fight! Cripple fight!

That’s insensitive. Most “cripples” are far more successful and capable than the 2011 Cubs and Astros.

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 lost yet another series (to the Phillies), and stand a season-low 21 games under .500. That makes nine straight series losses for the Cubs. They’ve won just one series in the last two months. How on Earth is that defensible?

Amazingly, the Astros are 5.5 games worse than the Cubs, 32 games under .500. So, even a sweep won’t get the Astros over the Cubs in the standings, but, then again, they’d probably just as soon stay down in the cellar for draft pick purposes. Yes. We’ve reached that point in the season.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, July 22 at 1:20 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, July 23 at 12:05 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, July 24 at 1:20 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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

Cubs

Starters: Carlos Zambrano (6-5, 4.78), Randy Wells (1-3, 6.71), Matt Garza (4-7, 3.80)

Lineup:

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

Astros

Starters: Bud Norris (5-6, 3.59), Wandy Rodriguez (6-6, 3.67), Jordan Lyles (0-5, 4.55)

Lineups:

  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Angel Sanchez, 2B
  3. Hunter Pence, RF
  4. Carlos Lee, LF
  5. Brett Wallace, 1B
  6. Chris Johnson, 3B
  7. Clint Barmes, SS
  8. Humberto Quintero, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Mike Quade has suggested that Randy Wells is pitching for his spot in the rotation. Yes, he’s been terrible, but whom exactly would you rather see getting starts? Rodrigo Lopez? Ramon Ortiz? Maybe Casey Coleman. Either way, how much can you really tell from a start against the Astros?

Kosuke Fukudome clearly doesn’t want to help the Cubs find a taker for him. In July, he’s hitting just .220/.278/.280. Shh. Don’t tell Other Teams.

Ditto Alfonso Soriano. He’s an even more abysmal .164/.193/.200 in July.

Hunter Pence is the subject of a number of trade rumors these days, but teams might consider being careful: he’s in the middle of either a breakout or aberrant season. He’s besting his career BA and OPS by 25 and 24 points, respectively.

After an abysmal April and May, Carlos Lee has a .304/.372/.487 line. If an AL team is looking for a salary dump DH, why wouldn’t they consider Lee over someone like Soriano? Oops – am I not supposed to say that?

Since his very good debut against the Cubs (they’ll do that for you), Jordan Lyles is 0-5 with a 4.84 ERA. But, he’s 20 years old.

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 have some connection to the team or something like that.

Well, Alex Morgan was a fine representative for the Cubs against the Phillies, but, like her World Cup team, the Cubs failed to win a series. Couple that with a general dearth of Alex Morgan pictures, and it’s time to move on to a new representative.

From time to time, people mention Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as a possible rep for the Cubs. Since she’s in that ‘Transformers’ flick, and I don’t have anyone better in mind, she gets the job. Treat us well, Rosie (I’m not typing the rest of your name again).

As for the Astros, how about an old Texas standby? Jessica Simpson. She’s kind-of-sort-of becoming relevant again.

Who you got? I say the Cubs finally win one.

Versus

  • Toosh

    Things are looking Rosie! Wow!

  • Fishin Phil

    Excellent She-views for both teams.

    Brett, did you go to the Hendry school of talking down the guys we are trying to trade?

    You’d make a lousy used car salesman. ;)

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yeah, as I typed it all, I couldn’t help but judge myself. You’ll note, however, that I talked up Fukudome and Soriano in each of their respective rumor posts.

  • ISU Birds

    Ace I’m going to the game Sunday and was looking for ideas for a witty sign. Any suggestions?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Trade. Them. All.

      “It’s not the time for bold moves.” – Mike Quade

      “You gotta perform.” – Mike Quade

      Bleacher Nation has been scientifically proven to grow back your hair and get you laid.

      • RoughRiider

        Is that grow your back hair ?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          No, but it can do that, too, if you’d like.

  • RY34

    i really hope this can be a fun weekend for the cubs, however i have my doubts. i just hope to hell we don’t get swept again by this team. two questions:

    1. What is our record on Sundays; do we still have only one win on Sundays this year?
    2. how many starts this year has Randy Wells had where he didn’t give up a run or more in the first?

    • deej34

      I am an obsessive compulsive cubs fan who prints a calendar and tracks all wins and loses each year… or at least til the beginning of September when I get pissed and trash it.

      The cubs have won just two Sunday games all year, end of May vs PIT and July 3rd vs the White Sux. So we win one Sunday game every other month thus far. So I would wait til September before going to another Sunday game.

      Brett – Great She-View… I’d say 99% of us love that aspect of the site, thanks for defending it against the complaints the last couple weeks. Though I do feel a little guilty checking that section out while at work.. haha

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    That’s a great picture of Jessica Simpson. Thank you.

    Read an article today saying “Fire Quade BECAUSE he is pitching Wells instead of Lopez.”

    So… fire him if he pitches the crappier pitcher instead of a red-hot Lopez,

    OR

    Fire him because he doesn’t go with the young guy who will be part of our future.

    Sorry Quade- you’re out of luck.

    • TC

      Thats astoundingly stupid. Was this some bleacherreport garbage, or from a somewhat respected source?

  • Joe Cartwright

    You know what’s embarrassing? Their pitchers (with the exception of Lyles, and even then he’s only higher than Garza’s) have lower ERAs than ours do.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Quite embarrassing.

    • TC

      Yea, but can any of their pitchers pull off a terrible Harry Caray impersonation for the FOX Saturday Game of the Week? Didn’t think so….

  • Joe Cartwright

    So, I just turned on the game on MLB.tv and this is the first time i’ve seen a real difference in attendance! There’s actually little areas of seats completely not filled! And it’s like awkward quiet!

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