The Chicago Cubs wrap up an August of extremes by heading West to take on the World Champs. Spoilers, ho.
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 have lost seven of eight after being swept in Milwaukee. They’re a season-low 23.5 games out in the NL Central, and are back to 20 games under .500.
The Giants just split a four-game set with the Astros, which is like getting swept in an eight-game set by a good team. In fact, the Giants have lost to the Astros four times in the last nine games. Those woes, among others, have taken them four games out in the NL West.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, August 29 at 9:15 CT on CSN+.
- Tuesday, August 30 at 9:15 CT on WGN.
- Wednesday, August 31 at 2:45 CT on CSN.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.
Starters: Randy Wells (5-4, 5.53), Matt Garza (6-10, 3.68), Rodrigo Lopez (4-5, 4.80)
- Castro, SS
- Barney, 2B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B
- Byrd, CF
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C
- Colvin, RF (will he stay up higher in the order?)
Starters: Tim Lincecum (12-10, 2.46), Ryan Vogelsong (10-4, 2.54), Madison Bumgarner (8-12, 3.59)
- Orlando Cabrera, SS
- Jeff Keppinger, 2B
- Carlos Beltran, RF
- Pablo Sandoval, 3B
- Aubrey Huff, 1B
- Cody Ross, CF
- Brandon Belt, LF
- Chris Stewart, C
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
We’ll see if Ryan Dempster’s “kick in the butt” still does the trick for Randy Wells. He needs to put together four or five straight quality starts to end the year for me to have any kind of confidence that he can be counted on as a four or five next year.
Aramis Ramirez had his 16-game hitting streak snapped yesterday, but he says he’s still feeling it.
Geovany Soto is hitless in his last 23 at bats. Heading into an offseason where a new GM might consider shopping Soto, his deep slump (not to mention his crappy year overall) is ill-timed.
Matt Garza had a rough outing against the Braves his last time out. I suspect he’ll rebound against a much leaner Giants lineup.
Tim Lincecum has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last nine starts. Did I say last nine starts? Ten seems a fair bet.
Madison Bumgarner doesn’t walk, like, anybody. The Cubs don’t take walks off, like, anybody. I’m setting the over/under on Cubs walks against him at 0. And I’m strongly considering the under. (Not possible, you say? Every five strikeouts counts as a negative walk. According to me.)
The Giants paid a steep price for Carlos Beltran, but he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype – he’s been hurt, and, when he’s been healthy enough to play, he’s hitting just .303/.324/.439. An upgrade for their lineup, to be sure, but hardly the kind of line you give up a top pitching prospect for.
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, the Cubs were swept in Zooey Deschanel’s first series as Cubs’ rep. But she’s staying. Why? A few reasons.
I keep seeing trailers for ‘My Idiot Brother’ and her sitcom on NBC, so she’s stuck in my head. Also, the Cubs were playing the Brewers at Miller Park, where Brewers are impossible to beat this year. She stays for at least one more series.
As for the Giants, how about Gisele Bundchen? Mrs. Tom Brady is pretty tall (“Giants”), and her name starts with a G (“Giants” – do you see the depths of my creativity on this one?).