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.
Starters: Ryan Dempster (8-8, 4.96), Randy Wells (3-4, 5.89), Matt Garza (5-8, 3.78)
- Castro, SS
- Barney, 2B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Soto, C
- Soriano, LF
- Colvin, RF
Starters: Mike Leake (9-6, 3.89), Johnny Cueto (7-4, 1.72), Bronson Arroyo (7-9, 5.45)
- Drew Stubbs, CF
- Edgar Renteria, SS
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Brandon Phillips, 2B
- Jay Bruce, RF
- Fred Lewis, LF
- Ramon Hernandez, C
- Miguel Cairo, 3B
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.
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.