Indeed, the “real team” in the last series took it to the Cubs in a way the Astros could not. And now, the Cubs face another real team, one strengthened by the combined voodoo magic of Ryan Theriot and Corey Patterson.
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 followed their first three-game winning streak of the season (a sweep of the Astros) with a three-game losing streak (a sweep by the Brewers). They are once again a weighty 21 games under .500.
The Cardinals just lost their last two games. To the Astros. Before that, they’d won five of six. Maybe Colby Rasmus was helping. As it stands, the Cardinals are five games over .500, a game and a half behind the Brewers in the Central (you’re welcome, Brewers).
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Friday, July 29 at 7:15 CT on WGN.
- Saturday, July 30 at 3:10 CT on FOX.
- Sunday, July 31 at 7:10 CT on ESPN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.
Starters: Matt Garza (4-7, 3.72), Rodrigo Lopez (2-2, 3.49), Ryan Dempster (7-8, 4.98)
- Campana, RF (is he really going to get the starts over Colvin?)
- Castro, SS
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Soto, C
- Soriano, LF
- Barney, 2B
Starters: Edwin Jackson (0-0, -.–), Kyle Lohse (8-7, 3.46), Jake Westbrook (9-4, 4.86)
- Daniel Descalso, 2B
- Jon Jay, CF
- Albert Pujols, 1B
- Matt Holliday, LF
- David Freese, 3B
- Yadier Molina, C
- Ryan Theriot, SS
- Corey Patterson, RF (Lance Berkman is supposed to return this weekend)
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Matt Garza will go seven-ish innings, giving up two or three runs, and the bullpen will blow the game. It’s just a given at this point.
The post-Fukudome era gets into full swing. Yesterday, Tony Campana got the start and lead off, but the belief is that Tyler Colvin will see the majority of starts in RF for the rest of the year. We’ll see what happens, as Mike Quade had a particularly short leash on Colvin in his first go-around this year (not that Quade was wrong, mind you).
As for Colvin, he was only hitting adequately at AAA this year, and, in a strong hitter’s league, that doesn’t bode well for his success now that he’s back with the big club.
Other players could depart during this series as well.
Colby Rasmus is gone, but he hadn’t been overly productive for the Cardinals this year anyway. In his stead, Founding Father Jo(h)n Jay will see action in center field.
The Cubs might also get to see old friend Corey Patterson picking up some starts should Lance Berkman’s shoulder keep him out for another game or two. Dusty Baker may have been right that “speed doesn’t slump,” but, in his time away from the Cubs, Patterson has proved that everything else does. He was hitting just .252/.287/.379 with the Blue Jays before the trade.
Obviously the thrust of the return for the Cardinals was pitcher Edwin Jackson, who makes his NL debut today. He’s an up-and-down type, so you can largely expect him to be “up” today.
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.
So, it’s been an up and down affair under the Cubs’ current rep, Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Under her beautiful watch, the Cubs put together their first three-game winning streak of the year. But then, the Cubs laid a three-game stinker in Milwaukee. Of course, .500 is a lot better than the Cubs have been this year, so I suppose it’s fair to give her at least one more series.
As for the Cardinals, well, I still hate the Cardinals. You know who I strongly dislike (totally randomly)? ESPN’s Wendi Nix. So the Cards get Wendi Nix. Because I say so.
The competitors will actually be in their teams’ respective colors this time, too.