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The Chicago Cubs Spoiler Tour continues as the Cubs welcome the Cincinnati Reds to Wrigley Field for a three-game set. Although, the Reds have kind of already spoiled their own season.

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 on an honest-to-God five-game winning streak. Sure, they’re still miles from .500 (to say nothing of first place), but it’s nice to see some winning baseball. Until, at least, you remember last August and September, and what those meaningless wins in 2010 did to the 2011 Cubs. Let’s not curse the 2012 squad the same way, mmkay?

The Reds have been schizophrenic of late – after being swept in four by the Mets, they swept the World Champion Giants in three. But then they lost a series to the Astros. I joke about spoiling, but the Reds really have done themselves in already. Since starting the year 25-17, the Reds have gone just 29-40.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, August 5 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
  • Saturday, August 6 at 12:05 CT on CSN.
  • Sunday, August 7 at 1:20 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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

Cubs

Starters: Ryan Dempster (8-8, 4.96), Randy Wells (3-4, 5.89), Matt Garza (5-8, 3.78)

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
  9. Pitcher

Reds

Starters: Mike Leake (9-6, 3.89), Johnny Cueto (7-4, 1.72), Bronson Arroyo (7-9, 5.45)

Lineup:

  1. Drew Stubbs, CF
  2. Edgar Renteria, SS
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  5. Jay Bruce, RF
  6. Fred Lewis, LF
  7. Ramon Hernandez, C
  8. Miguel Cairo, 3B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Not only is Starlin Castro hot at the plate (since moving back to the leadoff spot), but he’s also hot in the field. He hasn’t made an error since July 10.

Ryan Dempster is working on back-to-back bare-minimum quality starts (6 innings, 3 ER).

Carlos Pena’s homer last night was his first since July 18. He still leads the team with 21, though.

Since July 10, when his OPS squeaked over .700, Darwin Barney is hitting just .231/.265/.338. You can love the guy’s grit all you want, but he simply doesn’t have a Major League starter’s bat.

So, Johnny Cueto is like the best pitcher in baseball right now. That’s not an exaggerated way of saying he’s been good. He’s seriously, like, the best pitcher in baseball right now. When did that happen?

Mike Leake has stolen his way back in to the hearts of Reds fans, giving up just four earned runs in his last 18.2 innings.

In his last nine games, Joey Votto has four homers, five doubles, 10 RBI, and a 1.392 OPS. But he still asks people to call him “Joey,” so I’d say it’s a wash.

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 kind of impossible to change 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. And, after a tiny, little five-game losing streak, the Cubs swept a four game series in Pittsburgh. They’ve won five in a row.

The Reds, as is frequently the case, get a redhead. How about Emma Stone, who will be featured in the upcoming film, ‘The Help,’ which I can only assume is about the many butlers Alfonso Soriano retains by way of his $18 million salary. Hey, Alfonso: I will be your designated food-chewer for $200k per year. Think about it.

Oh, yeah. Back to the ladies.

Versus

  • Glenallen Hill’s One Home Run

    Great point on the Joey thing. I told people to stop calling me Scotty when I was like 6. Give it up, dude.

    • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

      I know, right?! The last person who called me TWC-y got kicked in the teeth.

      oh, and: “Mike Leake has stolen his way back in to the hearts of Reds fans”

      Heh.

      • Internet Random

        I was searching through the comments for “stolen” before I made my own comment. I just wanted to make sure that somebody capitalized.

  • willis

    Campy is starting today!!!!!

    • hardtop

      oh jebus, not the campana thing again. i guess we have to see what he can do eventually, so dammit, play his noodle-y arm out there and get it over with. my guess is if he started a dozen games straight, his obp would be about .270, but i hope im wrong.

      i assume harvey byrdman have the day off?

      where are the lineups posted?

      • willis

        I found it on the tribune’s website. Leake has got to be licking his chops with the AA lineup Quade has out there today. No Byrd, No Barney, No Johnson, No Soto.

  • hansman1982

    Emma Stone is hot, you did not do her justice with that pic…shame on you Ace…

    • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

      Holy Jinx, hansman1982. *If* that is your real name.

      Terrible… and there are a ton of good pics of her out there, too.

  • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

    YES HE DOES!

    You know what I’m talking about.

    Oh, and way to find the least attractive picture of Emma Stone ever. If we sweep the Reds, it’s your fault.

    • hardtop

      she looks okay to me…
      but give the guy a break, she’s wearing ‘red’ and representing the reds.

      • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

        True. Plus, she looks coked out of her mind, which is always hot.

  • Fishin Phil

    “He hasn’t made an error since July 10.”

    I hope you were knocking on wood when you typed that.

  • MichiganGoat

    You know who is not hot? ARam in his last 15 games sports a very poor line.

    H/AB: 7/46, R: 5, HR: 3, RBI: 10, AVG: .152, OPS: .553

    So I guess his value is dropping, and whats really odd is we are winning right now. So extension time anyone?

  • hardtop

    ugh, I found the line up. looks like this is where the streak may end friends
    it’s “rest-up” day for the home town faithfuls this Friday afternoon. I hope the trustfunders didnt cancel any appointments at the hair salon or spa for this one. Ol’ Koyie’s behind the plate,Barney & Byrd are out.
    Predication: Demp has a decent outing, gives up 2 or 3, but the Cubs get blanked, or the bull pen covers any ground the offense might gain with a Grabow appearnece in the 8th.

    Could go the “other” way: Demp gives up 6 in 3 innings, the Cubs somehow get 4 across, maybe a couple errors by the Reds, vut ultimately get crushed 10-4.

    Or, I guess, it could go like that game against the Marlins: Demp pitched a mega gem and we scored two on a dropped fonzie pop up.

    • Fishin Phil

      NOW is the time for bold changes.

  • fire hendry and quade

    isnt zambrano starting the 2nd game and wells the third and garza in the nationals series?

  • RY

    im sure the cardinals and brewers are loving qball for the crappy lineup

  • willis

    “Hey Willis.”

    “Yes Campy”

    “Did you see that? Huh you fucking bitch? Did you see what I just did Ass-Hole?!?!”

    “I did, Campy. That was a fine thing to watch.”

    “Keep my name out ya mouth dickhole!”

    • Fishin Phil

      I still don’t believe it.

    • hardtop

      im there willis. just got done shit talking campana and i’m happy to admit i was wrong. inside the park = amazing.
      pat hughe’s call was sweet! my co-workers think i’ve lost my damn mind.

    • MichiganGoat

      It wouldn’t have been an HR if the Reds would actually put a OF in LF instead of a 1B, but good job kid now let’s workmon that defense. I’m sure he’ll get a little extra attention from Q tonight.

  • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

    Holy CRAP Campana’s a fast little dude.

  • RY

    we will get swept, the reds have owned us the last two years.

  • jt

    lol, campana was already at home by the time that thing got back to the infield hahaha

  • Hogie

    Why not pinch hit a red hot Byrd instead of Baker if you’re going to put Barney at second anyway? Of course there were runners in scoring position, so maybe that’s why not Byrd–Ba-zing! Kidding aside, did Q really think Dusty wasn’t going to the pen when JB was brought in?
    Little things

  • Internet Random

    Man, whatever we do, we’ve got to get rid of Ivan the Jesus. It’s like he’s decided whether or not to wave somebody in before the pitcher even delivers to the plate.

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    I simply CAN NOT believe they just sent Barney home on Campana’s single into EXTREMELY shallow left field. He was out by 15 feet. Not even remotely close. The left fielder was literally throwing the ball as Barney rounded third and it looked like he was about 20 feet behind Barney as he was throwing it. Yea, there were 2 outs, but they could have had the bases loaded with Ramirez coming to the plate for Pete’s sake!! That was just absurd.

    • Internet Random

      Thank God we kept DeJesús in the organization and got rid of Sandberg. Good call, Jimmy. Really. Awesome work.

      • hardtop

        Nobody f***ks with the Jesus, man.

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