The Chicago Cubs Spoiler Tour is probably at a close (or at least on a break), as they now welcome the already-spoiled Cincinnati Reds to Wrigley Field for a three-game set.
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 salvaged one game (yesterday’s) in the series against the Pirates this weekend, which series marked the end of a nice stretch of winning for the Cubs. For the record, the Cubs have officially been eliminated in the NL Central race. Shucks.
The Reds are no longer remotely in the NL Central race, standing 14.5 out and two games under .500. The Reds did just take two of three from the Cardinals, but, before that, they were swept in four by the Phillies.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, September 5 at 1:20 CT on WGN.
- Tuesday, September 6 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Wednesday, September 7 at 7:05 CT on WCIU.
Expected Starters and Lineups
These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded.
Starters: Matt Garza (7-10, 3.64), Rodrigo Lopez (4-6, 4.94), Ryan Dempster (10-11, 4.75)
- Castro, SS
- Barney, 2B
- Ramirez, 3B
- Pena, 1B (though LaHair is actually getting a start today… against a lefty, and batting 8th…)
- Byrd, CF
- Soriano, LF
- Soto, C
- Colvin, RF
Starters: Dontrelle Willis (0-4, 4.10), Mike Leake (11-9, 4.12), Johnny Cueto (9-5, 2.29)
- Brandon Phillips, 2B
- Edgar Renteria, SS
- Joey Votto, 1B
- Jay Bruce, RF
- Yonder Alonso, LF
- Drew Stubbs, CF
- Ramon Hernandez, C
- Juan Francisco, 3B
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Matt Garza was pretty great in August, sporting a 2.45 ERA for the month.
Oh, Tony Campana… why can’t you get on base at a better clip than .306? You could be so very valuable otherwise…
Bryan LaHair finally played yesterday, and had a couple hits. He’ll get the start today at first base, but he’s going against a lefty and batting 8th. I’m sure he appreciates it. Actually, he probably does.
Rodrigo Lopez is repeatedly mentioned as “competing” for a rotation spot next year. Let’s hope that’s kindness. I don’t make the decisions, folks, I just pass them on.
Jay Bruce was crazy hot there for a while, but he’s cooled considerably: he’s gone just .188/.264/.333 in his last 12 games.
Also cooling a bit is Johnny Cueto. A month ago, he was *literally* the best pitcher in baseball. Now he’s merely one of the very, very good pitchers in baseball. His ERA is over four in his last six starts, so there’s that.
Former Cubs farmhand Dontrelle Willis hasn’t won a game in a year and a half, but… I think you know how this story plays out. He’s actually pitching well of late, for what it’s worth.
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.
We’re running out of series on the year, so it’s time to break out some favorites (and/or reps that I find humorous… as you’ll see), who may have no connection to either of the teams in the series.
The Cubs get Blake Lively this series. Yes, I know she’s technically appeared earlier this year, but (1) it was for another team, and (2) it was as a duo. So this is totally different.
For the Reds, sticking with the standard redhead theme, they get … Ariel, the Little Mermaid. I don’t know if it’s because she’s half-fish, a cartoon, or wears an awesome clamshell-bikini, but Ariel is hot. That’s just a fact. (And, while I know there are “modernized” versions of the ‘Little Mermaid,’ I’m sticking with the classic.)