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The Cubs head to Philadelphia to take on the formerly-incredible, suddenly-mortal Phillies for four games. Their offense has struggled almost as much as the Cubs’ has, and they’ve actually scored fewer runs than the Cubs have on the year (and that’s after scoring 15 runs over the last two games). You didn’t think that was possible, did you?

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 won a series! The Cubs won a series! They took two of three from the Cardinals this week, and will look to repeat the feat against the Phillies. A series split would be fine, though, all things considered.

The Phillies likewise won their last series (against the Diamondbacks), after splitting a four-game set with the woeful Padres. They are 9-10 on the year.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, April 27 at 6:05 CT on CSN, MLBN.
  • Saturday, April 28 at 6:05 CT on WGN, MLBN.
  • Sunday, April 29 at 12:35 CT on WGN.
  • Monday, April 30 at 6:05 CT on CSN.

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: Paul Maholm (1-2, 8.36), Randy Wells (0-0, 3.60), Matt Garza (1-1, 3.38), Jeff Samardzija (2-1, 4.13)

Lineup:

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

Phillies

Starters: Roy Halladay (3-1, 1.50), Joe Blanton (1-3, 4.34), Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 9.39), Vance Worley (2-1, 2.16)

Lineups:

  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Pete Orr, 2B
  3. Jimmy Rollins, SS
  4. Hunter Pence, RF
  5. Shane Victorino, CF
  6. Ty Wigginton/Placido Polanco, 3B
  7. Laynce Nix, 1B
  8. Brian Schneider/Carlos Ruiz, C
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Randy Wells gets another shot to show he deserves to be back with the big team permanently, while Ryan Dempster continues to recover from a quad strain. And Paul Maholm will try to carry some momentum into this start from his last – which was his first solid one this year.

Ian Stewart is really struggling. He’s hit the ball reasonably hard a few times over the past week, but his season line has sunk to .175/.246/.270. It’s early, but, given that he sported a nearly identical line in last year’s injury-filled campaign (one of which injuries was a wrist problem he’s still dealing with), it’s fair to be worried.

Alfonso Soriano’s OPS is even lower than Stewart’s right now – it’s just .500. At least Bryan LaHair is killing it, with a 1.190 OPS through 54 plate appearances.

Starlin Castro had a crummy series against the Cardinals, mustering just two hits (both singles) in 13 plate appearances.

James Russell has yet to give up an earned run in seven innings of work this year. Ditto Scott Maine in his 3.2 innings.

In the Spring, Roy Halladay was getting slapped around. His velocity was bad, and he couldn’t locate his pitches. Folks were worried. Well, he’s been ridiculously good – again – so I think we can put those worries to rest, only to be exhumed if the Cubs crush him (which they kind of did one time last year).

Vance Worley continues to dominate despite not having the look of a dominant pitcher. Sometimes scouts are wrong, I suppose.

Prepare to … cry? Laugh? Be angry? The best hitter on the Phillies right now is arguably Juan freaking Pierre. He’s going .339/.361/.373. That’s not exactly an all-universe line, but the Phillies are at .254/.294/.355 as a team.

New closer Jonathan Papelbon has been lights out for the Phillies, so at least one of this offseason’s insane contracts is working out in the early going.

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.

We dared to give Marisa Miller another shot as the Cubs’ representative against the Cardinals, and it paid off with the Cubs’ FIRST series win of the year. She ain’t goin’ anywhere until the Cubs get crushed.

As for the Phillies, it’s going to be Danica Patrick. I know, you’re like, “wha?” No, she’s not from Philadelphia, no the Phillies aren’t sponsored by GoDaddy, and no she isn’t a fan of the team to my knowledge. But, here’s how we get there: Phillies is kind of like the plural of filly (not really, but it sounds like it). A filly is a female racehorse. Danica Patrick is a female race car driver. So, there you go. There’s always an internal logic.

versus

  • Myles

    Marisa, easily.

    I say we take 2 of 4.

  • TWC

    Marissa vs. Danica?  Marissa.

    Marissa vs. Juan Pierre’s mustache?  Ouch.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      CRAP! I missed an opportunity here. Clearly.

  • http://www.whyb2.com PhishHeadCubby

    Do you have an intern now that helps you find actual HOT photos of models? You were in a slump and now seem to be in midseason form. Kudos.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ha. Got a lot of negative feedback – I’m nothing if not responsive.

  • brittney

    Ill def take danica AND the car behind her! That picture is now a screensaver on my phone until I find another hot picture!

  • MaxM1908

    I think this young fan would be a much better phillies representative…especially given the success of our Cards’ “Moran” fan.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azWC1NBWpT4

  • Noah

    Wow, the Phillies’ lineup is TERRIBLE. It might be just as bad the Cubs’ lineup!

  • Kev

    Holy photoshop, Batman! There’s no way Danica actually looks that good.

    You should’ve just chosen a cheesesteak for the Phillies’ rep and been done with it.

    • SouthernCub

      Yeah…….Ms. Patrick DOES actually look that good, there are more pics on the web if you care to see. However, I feel I should caution you.

  • hardtop

    Ugh, all right handed starters for Philly. This means we are going to have to see a lot of Ian Stewart, and that angers me.
    if Stewart sees one pitch against a left handed reliever, I’m going to be angered even further.

    • willis

      Maybe…just maybe Stewart snaps out of it. I doubt it. But four righties should (God willing) allow for a couple starts from Clevenger over the weekend. Which would be a nice thing.

  • Spencer

    Does anyone find it weird that we’re playing a four game series starting on a Friday? I don’t ever remember doing that before.

  • RWakild

    Hmmmmm. Danica has a way hotter picture. Not feeling good about the Cubs chances if this has any effect on the game.

  • rcleven

    As for the Phillies, it’s going to be Danica Patrick. I know, you’re like, “wha?” No, she’s not from Philadelphia, no the Phillies aren’t sponsored by GoDaddy, and no she isn’t a fan of the team to my knowledge. But, here’s how we get there: Phillies is kind of like the plural of filly (not really, but it sounds like it). A filly is a female racehorse. Danica Patrick is a female race car driver. So, there you go. There’s always an internal logic.

    So thats how your mind works.

    One hot shot of Danica tho.

  • florida Al

    photoshop danica …umm yeah…there are pics out there where she is sporting a target on the backside!! target??!! yeah…aka reading material …tramp stamp…sumpin to aim at….tattooooo…but anyways thats a tough choice twix those two. and danica is from the chitown area dude…shouldve gotten somone diff…

  • RY34

    marissa is soooooooooo nice to look at! never knew danicas arse looked so good!

    • ty

      Danica and her husband live here in Mesa about 10 minutes from Fitch Field Wheels around in a black mercedes and very good possibility she is a Cubs fan.

      • JustSwain

        I thought she had a black Lamborghini Gallardo. Did she sell it?

  • butlerdawgs

    I’ll be in Chicago this weekend. My fiancee and her sister are going to be doing some wedding dress bullshit; so, I figured I could do something productive like go to a bar to watch the game on Sunday. Anyone have any suggestions or going to be out and about?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I got nothing specific – I’m sure there are a ton of great options, but I don’t know that I could offer the best.

  • ty

    Friends see her frequently in Mercedes SUV but we do have a Lambor dealership nearby in Scotsdale –Z always kept one here at his home. He could go through the gears nicely.

    • JustSwain

      That doesn’t sound like Z.

  • Njriv

    I don’t like the fact that on a season that was not supposed to mean a whole lot, people are already pouncing on players like Stewart who are in slump when we have barley completed one out of six months of the season. Especially when he did not get that many at-bats last season, he’s still at a good age and I haven’t given up on him yet, (another reason is that I’m not really sold on Vitters yet). He has a good glove and I think he needs a few more at-bats under his belt before we can really start judging him.

    • hardtop

      he has 1487 plate appearances? when can we start judging him?

      • Njriv

        I’m talking about this year, Stewart has never really hit for a good avg but before his injury last season he averaged around 20 HR’s and 70 RBI’s.

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