Series Preview: Cubs v. Cardinals, September 23 – September 25, 2011

The Cubs head out on the final road trip of the year with the chance to end the Cardinals’ season. Cool.

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 took yet another series, this from the division-leading Brewers. In doing so, they’ve tied the Pittsburgh Pirates for fourth place in the NL Central, which some people will tell you is a good thing.

The Cardinals have been so hot that they’re actually back in Wild Card contention (the Braves’ disastrous September has helped), having won 14 of 20 in September. But they vomited one away last night against the Mets, so they’re two back in the Wild Card.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, September 23 at 7:15 CT on CSN.
  • Saturday, September 24 at 12:10 CT on WGN.
  • Sunday, September 25 at 1:15 CT on CSN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

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

Cubs

Starters: Ryan Dempster (10-13, 4.63), Rodrigo Lopez (6-6, 4.71), Randy Wells (7-5, 5.09)

Lineup:

  1. Castro, SS
  2. Barney, 2B
  3. Byrd, CF (just a guess with Ramirez out)
  4. Pena, 1B
  5. Baker/LeMahieu/DeWitt, 3B
  6. Soriano, LF (LaHair could grab a start here or in RF)
  7. Soto, C
  8. Colvin, RF (I’m going to keep putting him here, even though it isn’t true)
  9. Pitcher

Cardinals

Starters: Chris Carpenter (10-9, 3.66), Kyle Lohse (14-8, 3.47), Edwin Jackson (5-2, 3.73)

Lineup:

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Allen Craig, LF
  3. Albert Pujols, 1B
  4. Lance Berkman, RF
  5. David Freese, 3B
  6. Jon Jay, CF
  7. Yadier Molina, C
  8. Skip Schumaker, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Starlin Castro’s consecutive games-reached-based streak is now up to 34, and he’s just a hit short of 200 for the season.

Randy Wells is coming off his worst start in over a month, so he’ll try to rebound before calling it a season.

Geovany Soto has seven hits, including three homers, in his last five games. He’s raised his OPS some 25 points in the process, which he needed just to get it back over .700. It hasn’t been a good year for the Cubs’ backstop.

Ryan Dempster will get his extra start in so that he can reach 200 innings on the year. Swell.

It’s hard to imagine given where he started, but Albert Pujols’ 2011 season is no longer the worst of his career. He’s already probably passed his sophomore season, and, with a few more hits, he’ll probably top his 2007 campaign as well.

The Cardinals just extended Lance Berkman for another year after putting up an OPS near 1.000 this year at age 35. Cough. Cough. I’m sorry, the smoke is making me cough.

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.

We’re running out of series on the year, so it’s time to break out some favorites, who may have no connection to either of the teams in the series.

So, here’s a random one: Anna Kendrick. I think she’s very pretty, and I’m a big ‘Up in the Air’ fan (though it might be one of the more depressing movies in recent memory). If you haven’t seen, it’s a great flick.

I’ve been pretty hard on the Cardinals all year, so I’ll throw them a bone. To prove that not all Cardinal fans are troglodytes, here are a couple pretty girls wearing Cardinal attire. They’re either fans, or staring down the barrel of a pleading, mustachioed gunman on the other side of that camera. (“It puts the Cardinals gear on or it gets the hose again.”)

Versus

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

13 responses to “Series Preview: Cubs v. Cardinals, September 23 – September 25, 2011”

  1. Zbo

    Wow- Quoting Jame Gum- always brings back frightening visions! Ha!

  2. RY

    quite possibly the best two chicks of the year! all natural beauty.

  3. LARRY

    It’s rivalry weekend.  Go Cubs, and Bear the hell down.

  4. Caleb

    Up In The Air was a great movie. Fact.

    Anna Kendrick is hot. Fact.

    I’m going to the game tonight. Fact.

    Castro will reach 200 hits tonight. Fact.

    If I see the 2 Cardinal girls at the game, I’ll buy them some Cubs gear. Fact.

    When I saw the picture on the last “Obsessive GM Watch” post I thought Jim Carrey was in the running. Fact.

    1. Jef

      Caleb, I was hoping for live updates and a play by play thread on the message board. Where’s the love?????

      1. Caleb

        Message boards are too complicated for me. Summary: young guys, not impressive yet. Dempster: laboring. Cardinal fans on castros big hit: clueless.

  5. Jamesjones

    God. How I hate the Cardinals. But damn it I absolutely despise the Atlanta Braves. Its something relative to growing up in the south.

    Anyways. I still want the Cubs to beat the Cardinals and if it means crushing their hopes at the wild card, then so be it….

    …but if the Cardinals own the Cubs this series and overtake the Braves, well seeing the Braves utter fail, makes baseball worthwhile.

    /Hoping the Red Sox choke as well.
    //I hate bandwagon fans.

    1. Cardfan

      Here’s to worthwhile baseball. Thanks for the bone, as well. Nicely done!

    2. Toosh

      I don’t mind the Braves. Never liked their old announcers, though.

  6. Caleb

    I saw it! Hit 200! Awesome. Though the reaction from cardinal fans was distinctly muted. On a related note, they really love and appreciate the sport of baseball, more than cubs.

    1. Toosh

      Congratulations, Starlin! As for the Cardinal fans, f*** them and the Clydesdales they rode in on and I’m sure some are having sex with.

  7. Caleb

    That catch was amazing- my first thought, ” no way Ramirez just tried.”

  8. Caleb

    Why? Why did they walk Pena?? Awesome! Way to go sori! These cardinals are sore losers.