Series Preview: Cubs v. Pirates, August 1 – August 4, 2011

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.

Cubs

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)

Lineup:

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

Pirates

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):

  1. Neil Walker, 2B (?)
  2. Garrett Jones, RF
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Ryan Ludwick, LF
  5. Derrek Lee, 1B
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Brandon Wood, SS
  8. Eric Fryer, C
  9. Pitcher

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.

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.

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.

versus

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

31 responses to “Series Preview: Cubs v. Pirates, August 1 – August 4, 2011”

  1. TWC

    “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.”

    Six RBIs in 76 at bats? That’s smoking hot? That projects to 47 RBIs over a 600-AB season. Someone’s smoking something, that’s for sure.

    And did that Keira Knightley pic come from a 1981 issue of Cosmo? Soft focus, gaudy jewelry… yikes.

  2. Internet Random

    You might wanna take a look at those game dates.

  3. die hard

    more sexist photos!….pathetic pandering of p###y…thats it…..done with this blog…bye

    1. MichiganGoat

      Nice knowing ya

    2. Internet Random

      Seriously?

      I smell a troll.

      1. hardtop

        she wasn’t a troll; she was here often, and commented on the she-view pretty much every series these past few months. I’ll admit, her bizarre lineups, sacrilegious changes to Wrigley & the Cubs baseball tradition, and whacked-out trade predictions were entertaining, mostly because they were so impossibly ridiculous. And for the lost chuckle value, I’m almost barley a little bit sad to see her go. But she never quite got how, for men, baseball and boobies are connected on some deep level. I imagine this connection is even true for chicks, if they let themselves admit it and embrace their inner bi-curious lingerie clad hotty ;)

        and i agree about the tame nature of this segment. the photos are about as conservative as i can handle. bar tenders where less clothes in some places (…the places I like to go).

        so it goes.

        1. Internet Random

          “[S]he was here often, and commented on the she-view pretty much every series these past few months. I’ll admit, her bizarre lineups, sacrilegious changes to Wrigley & the Cubs baseball tradition, and whacked-out trade predictions were entertaining, mostly because they were so impossibly ridiculous.”

          None of that is inconsistent with the aroma of troll. Quite the opposite.

          1. hardtop

            yeah, i thought that as i wrote it. i see your point. but i think ‘it’ was actually serious… just delusional or misinformed or crazy

        2. TWC

          die hard was a she? Huh. I guess I assumed it was a dude with moral sensitivities.

          Goes to show, you don’t ever know.

          1. hardtop

            i just assumed… something about thinking women in underwear is sexist and not being able to write the word pussy on a baseball blog.
            sorry brett, it had to be done.

    3. deej34

      Really? this is sexist…? I’ve seen more skin in a hanes commercial on wgn. Apparently not very die-hard… eh?

      1. TWC

        Yeah, and that was Michael Jordan in that Haynes commercial!

    4. Laura

      I think the She-View is hilarious and adds charm.

  4. Fishin Phil

    “So, it totally makes sense to give her another series, right?”

    This is the one and only time this phrase makes sense: “Now is not the time for bold changes.”

  5. Caleb

    I’m starting to wonder if Victoria’s Secret sponsors this site.

    1. TWC

      I’d have no objection to that. Those would be far, far less annoying than the roll-over auto-play or pop-up ads that have appeared here over the last week.