The Chicago Cubs won just enough in a row to awaken that tiny, completely irrational part of my brain that had become numb to the ever-growing pile of losses. What would have raised my shoulders in a haughty shrug just a week ago now drives me as crazy as it did in April. Losses. I hate them once again. And I hate that tiny, completely irrational part of my brian that thought maybe the Cubs can pull of a miracle streak.
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 finally dropped a game, ending their seven-game winning streak. Even after all the winning shenanigans, the Cubs stand 17 games under .500, and 16 games out in the Central.
The Nationals have won six of nine, but are four games under .500, which is good enough for last place in a ridiculously strong NL East. The Cubs would be 25.5 out, for what it’s worth.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, August 8 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Tuesday, August 9 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Wednesday, August 10 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.
Starters: Matt Garza (5-8, 3.78), Rodrigo Lopez (2-3, 5.17), Ryan Dempster (9-8, 4.87)
- Castro, SS
- Barney, 2B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Soto, C
- Soriano, LF
- Colvin, RF
Starters: Chien-Ming Wang (0-2, 6.00), Ross Detwiler (1-1, 2.66), Jordan Zimmermann (7-9, 3.12)
- Rick Ankiel, CF
- Danny Espinosa, 2B
- Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
- Michael Morse, 1B
- Jayson Werth, RF
- Jonny Gomes, LF
- Ian Desmond, SS
- Wilson Ramos, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Starlin Castro remains scorchingly hot. On his current eight-game hitting streak, Castro has three doubles, two homers, eight RBI, and he’s hitting .486.
Rodrigo Lopez, who remains in the Cubs’ rotation for reasons that are a mystery to anyone not named Hendry or Quade, has given up a whopping 12 runs and 15 hits over his last two starts. Casey Coleman, meanwhile, is battling for the ERA title in the very hitter friendly Pacific Coast League.
Don’t look now, but Carlos Marmol has five consecutive scoreless appearances, in which he’s recorded five saves, struck out seven, and allowed just one hit and one walk.
Tony Campana is 5 for his last 12, and he’s riding an unprecedented wave of love… but he still hasn’t taken a walk since July 24. You gotta use your skill set, kid.
Ryan Zimmerman is slapping it around plenty in August – he’s gone 12 for 28 in the month. He’s currently riding a 16-game hitting streak.
The Nats apparently specialize in players with 12 or more homers but a batting average under .230: Jonny Gomes is at 12 and .218, Jayson Werth is at 13 and .223, and Danny Espinosa is at 17 and .228. Don’t look behind the curtain where you see Carlos Pena’s feet.
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.
It remains impossible to change the Cubs’ current rep, Victoria’s Secret model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (had you told me in June that the same rep would last five series, I never would have believed it – or, more accurately, I would have assumed I found someone I liked, and was obstinately trotting her out regardless of performance, not unlike the Cubs and James Russell as a starter).
Under her 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, and then won another series on top of it.
As for the Nationals, how about Jennifer Aniston? I don’t believe she’s been around these parts (at least not in a while), and as someone who’s frequently considered an “All-American” woman, she makes sense for the Nationals.