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The Cubs come back to Chicago after an ugly road trip, the end of which just saw them get swept in Miami. Being swept in the new Marlins Park has the same feel of getting swept at Minute Maid Park in Houston. You already feel silly playing in such a place, but then to get slapped around while doing it? Humiliating.

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, expected lineups, etc. That way, if you want to check only one place to get a sense about an upcoming series, or to plan ahead, you’ve got it. Oh, and there will be pictures of beautiful women, too.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs were swept by the Marlins after losing the final two games in St. Louis, which makes for a five-game losing streak. The team is 3-10, which makes last year’s frustrating 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 8-8, 9-9, 10-10 start seem much less frustrating. In fact, it looks like a dream right now. The Cubs would have to win seven in a row to get to 10-10. Ugh.

The Reds are 5-8 on the year after losing three straight series (two to the Cardinals, one to the Nationals). At least they’re losing to the same teams as the Cubs. Well, except for that series win the Reds took from the Marlins to start the year.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, April 20 at 1:20 CT on CSN, MLBN.
  • Saturday, April 21 at 12:05 CT on WGN.
  • Sunday, April 22 at 1:20 CT on WGN.

Expected Starters and Lineups

These lineups are likely to be pretty close to what actually gets fielded, but you’ll want to check each day’s Pre-Gamin’ post for the actual lineup.

Cubs

Starters: Chris Volstad (0-1, 4.91), Paul Maholm (0-2, 13.50), Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.33)

Lineup:

  1. David DeJesus, RF
  2. Darwin Barney, 2B
  3. Starlin Castro, SS
  4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  5. Bryan LaHair, 1B
  6. Ian Stewart, 3B
  7. Geovany Soto, C
  8. Marlon Byrd, CF
  9. Pitcher

Reds

Starters: Homer Bailey (0-2, 5.40), Mike Leake (0-1, 5.84), Johnny Cueto (1-0, 1.89)

Lineup:

  1. Zack Cozart, SS
  2. Drew Stubbs, CF
  3. Joey Votto, 1B
  4. Brandon Phillips, 2B
  5. Jay Bruce, RF
  6. Scott Rolen, 3B
  7. Ryan Ludwick, LF
  8. Ryan Hanigan, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

The Cubs are averaging two runs a game in their five recent losses, so it’s easy to believe that hardly any Cubs have had a good offensive stretch recently. Darwin Barney had a nice series in Florida, going .385/.385/.538 over the three-game stretch.

Bryan LaHair continues to hit, too. His line on the young season is .357/.455/.679 in 33 plate appearances. He’s struck out in one third of those plate appearances, but, so far, it hasn’t been an issue.

Paul Maholm is still looking for his first non-horrible start on the year, and the Reds might be the right team. With a couple of the biggest bats on the team coming from the left side (Votto, Bruce), maybe Maholm will be able to avoid big damage.

Byrd Watching: .075/.159/.075.

Young shortstop Zack Cozart has been pacing the Reds, hitting .286/.352/.469. Jay Bruce and Brandon Phillips have been at the other end, with a rough start each, hitting just .216/.236/.431 and .235/.257/.353, respectively.

Johnny Cueto continues the transformation he started last year, and looks more and more like a true ace with each start. That Sunday match-up between him and Ryan Dempster could be a great one.

Sean Marshall returns to Wrigley Field, and I’d guess there are zero boos when he first takes the field (except for the fact that it would mean the Cubs are probably losing).

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. It is immature, and the connection to baseball is tenuous at best. These things, I know.

Ok, so, the whole using-the-last-opponent’s-rep was a total disaster. I thought maybe there would be some reverse mojo there, but I was clearly wrong. We need to get back to basics with the Cubs scrambling for a win. We need to get back to the start. The woman who started it all. The still-gorgeous Marisa Miller, the Cubs’ first rep ever (and only rep for a couple years). Help us, Marisa. You’re our only hope.

The Reds pretty much always get a redhead as their rep, because, well, I’m not that clever. How about Hayley Williams from Paramore? She’s fairly pretty, and adding music to the story makes her more attractive in my book.

I think the Cubs can win this one.

Versus

Versus

  • cubchymyst

    The series she-view seems to fit nicely with all of the cubs games I’ve seen on TV (especially the cubs on WGN). In between innings all camera men tend to do the same thing and just look for beautiful women.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      There is an unspoken connection there.

    • Amz

      Which is to say, pointless? #malegaze

  • CubFan Paul

    finally, LaHair is batting clean up

  • BN Virgin

    Brett, I’m sure I’m going to get crucified for this but it is just a thought. I will start off by saying that I don’t like this idea, in fact I hate it. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. Being a baseball guy I am, by nature, superstitious. I love the Series She-View, as I’m never going to refuse an opportunity to look at beautiful women wearing very little. Having said that, we’ve been looking at beautiful women for quite some time and witnessing piss poor baseball throughout that duration. Perhaps it’s time to switch it up? Maybe an ugly woman, or (gulp)……a dude? I know! I Know! I know! I hate to resort to that. Of course, with our luck we’d look at shirtless pictures of Channing Tatum and still have to watch a terrible baseball team. Like I said, just a thought. A slightly hungover one one at that.So, forgive me.

    • TWC

      You obviously don’t remember last year’s burrito.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m always open to outside-the-box. But, yeah, we’ve tried ugly, a burrito (which was a masterstroke), and I think maybe a guy for the other team once. It remains possible – though unlikely – that the Cubs have just sucked for a while…

      • hansman1982

        NOOOOO the Cubs have not sucked – you just have failed in your she-view!

      • BN Virgin

        I remember the burrito. Do not remember the guy from the other team. That must have been during one of my “Maybe if I stop watching/listening/following they’ll start winning” stages. Those last for about 5 days at a time. Btw… I wouldn’t recommend doing that. They never work, just cause anxiety.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          It was Lance Burkman and a dog if I remember right.

      • http://calebshreves.blogspot.com Caleb

        Did we ever get to TWO burritos? Or was that just a pipe dream?

  • The Dude Abides

    While we are looking for left handed relief pitchers who did we get for Marshall and how much money did we save? Maybe we can offer up Byrd for him now since Byrd seems to be the bait we are using trying to replace him.

    • RY34

      dave sappelt, travis wood and some other dude.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Second base prospect Ronald Torreyes.

  • hansman1982

    Call me strange but I would take Hayley over Marissa…

    • hardtop

      strange. very, very strange.

    • TWC

      I have no idea who Hayley Williams is, and I’ve never heard of Paramour, but, yeah, she’s pretty much a babe.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I’m shocked you’re not a huge Paramore fan.

        • TWC

          Holy shit, my sarcasm meter just exploded!

  • RY34

    different strokes for different folks i guess, marissa is hard to beat!

  • Myles

    Pretty tight matchup, but I’m going with Marisa.

  • Frank

    Hayley is cute–but this one HAS to go to Marisa.

  • Pingback: Pre-Gamin’: Reds v. Cubs (1:20 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc. | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

  • MikeW

    Fellow BleacherNation’ers –
    I’m going to the game tomorrow..don’t have tickets yet. There’s a ton of em on Stubhub, but i kinda wanna sit in the Bleachers..those are minimum 55 on there. Do you think they’ll be cheaper on the street at gametime? cubs.com has them sold out..its the only section sold out on the Cubs website. Trying to figure out the best way to get tickets. If we dont sit in the Bleachers we’ll probably just try to sit in the terrace box or the 100s – will those good of seats be available from street guys or do those guys typically just sell terrace reserved/500′s? Any help in advance from people who go to games often would be appreciated.

  • HoustonTransplant

    “Being swept in the new Marlins Park has the same feel of getting swept at Minute Maid Park in Houston. You already feel silly playing in such a place, but then to get slapped around while doing it? Humiliating.”

    What’s wrong with Minute Maid, other than the players on the field, haha? Well, the hill is dumb…other than that, I think it’s a nice place to watch a game…unless you’re sitting along the first base line, staring at the sun. Ha, never mind.

  • MaxM1908

    Hey BNers, I have an extra ticket for tomorrow’s game–Terrace Reserved infield. http://www.bleachernation.com/forum/index.php?/topic/730-free-ticket-to-tomorrow-saturdays-reds-v-cubs-game/

    Let’s get drunk and talk about all the ways we’d run the team/organization better.

  • Pingback: Pre-Gamin’: Reds v. Cubs (12:05 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, etc. | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

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