Ah, a one-game winning streak with the new look Cubs. Watch out, Pirates!
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 snapped a five-game losing streak yesterday, which strongly suggests that the organization made the right move by not making any trades. The Cubs are 22 games below .500, but are still far ahead (behind?) of the Astros for the worst record in baseball.
The Pirates recently demonstrated why, although it would make for a nice story if they make playoffs, they’re probably not bound for glory: they were swept in three games by the Phillies. Before that, they split in four with the Braves. They’ve slipped 4.5 back in the NL Central, and are just two games over .500. Come on, Pirates: I don’t have the Cubs to root for, and I’m sure as shit not pulling for the Cardinals or Brewers.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, August 1 at 6:05 CT on CSN+.
- Tuesday, August 2 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
- Wednesday, August 3 at 6:05 CT on CSN+.
- Thursday, August 4 at 6:05 CT on CSN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.
Starters: Carlos Zambrano (7-6, 4.59), Randy Wells (2-4, 6.16), Matt Garza (4-8, 3.99), Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 4.40)
- Castro, SS
- Barney, 2B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Soto, C
- Soriano, LF
- Colvin, RF (thanks, Mike)
Starters: Paul Maholm (6-10, 3.16), Kevin Correia (12-8, 4.24), Charlie Morton (8-6, 4.04), James McDonald (7-5, 4.17)
Lineup (I have no clue how this will shake out with Ludwick and Lee on board):
- Neil Walker, 2B (?)
- Garrett Jones, RF
- Andrew McCutchen, CF
- Ryan Ludwick, LF
- Derrek Lee, 1B
- Pedro Alvarez, 3B
- Brandon Wood, SS
- Eric Fryer, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Marlon Byrd is still smoking hot. Since July 7, he’s gone .355/.388/.566 with two homers, a triple, eight doubles and six RBI in 76 at bats.
Rodrigo Lopez and Matt Garza will try to rebound from terrible outings in St. Louis. Before that, each was pretty darn hot.
The Cubs get to face an old friend on the Pirates, Derrek Lee. He was traded away by the Cubs this time last year, and now he’s been traded to the Pirates just in time to play the Cubs. I’m sure there will be some friendly reunions… and then Derrek will hit four homers. The Pirates also added former Cardinal (by way of San Diego) Ryan Ludwick, so he’ll probably tear it up as well.
After a hot start to the year, Kevin Correia allowed 16 earned runs in just 20.2 July innings.
It’s the same story for Charlie Morton, who, early in the year, looked like Roy Halladay lite. Now he looks like, well, Charlie Morton. He’s got an ERA over seven in his last eight starts.
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. And the Cubs dropped two of three in St. Louis, did nothing at the trade deadline, and were embarrassed by Matt Holliday. So, it totally makes sense to give her another series, right?
As for the Pirates, I know it’s been done before – again and again – but it still makes me chuckle to have Keira Knightley as their representative. She was in a few movies about pirates, so that’s good enough for me. Oh, and she’s easy on the eyes.