Series Preview: Cubs v. Cardinals, May 14 – May 15, 2012

The Cubs head to St. Louis for a short, two-game set against the Cardinals (and return home for a short, two-game set against the Phillies). The Cubs won their last series against the Cardinals in exciting, dramatic fashion. More of that would be nice.

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 FINALLY dropped a series, losing two of three in Milwaukee. The series loss put them back in last place in the NL Central, but they actually gained a game on the NL Central-leading Cardinals, because …

The Cardinals were swept in three games by the Braves (you know, the same Braves team that the Cubs largely dominated), and fell back to 20-14. They’re still up 2.5 in the Central, though.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, May 14 at 6:05 CT on ESPN, WCIU.
  • Tuesday, May 15 at 12:45 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: Ryan Dempster (0-1, 1.02), Paul Maholm (4-2, 4.05)

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. Geovany Soto, C
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Cardinals

Starters: Jake Westbrook (4-2, 1.76), Kyle Lohse (5-1, 2.08)

Lineup:

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Jon Jay, CF
  3. Carlos Beltran, RF
  4. Matt Holliday, LF
  5. Lance Berkman, 1B
  6. David Freese, 3B
  7. Yadier Molina, C
  8. Tyler Greene, 2B
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Bryan LaHair had just one hit in this weekend’s series, but he did hit the ball hard a few times. Still, he had what I would call his first “foolish” looking at bats of the year, and he’s probably going to have to do some adjusting. He was never going to keep up his Ruthian pace, as Theo Epstein put it, but he can remain a top tier hitter if he keeps reforming his game.

Ryan Dempster has been absurdly good this year. His W/L record is stupid because W/L record, as a stat, is stupid. Every other reasonable stat says that he’s been among the top five pitchers in baseball.

… and, in his last four starts, Paul Maholm may have outpitched Dempster. In those starts, Maholm has a quality start in each, throwing 25.1 innings and giving up just three earned runs. Opponents have just a .505 OPS against him during that stretch, which is awesome, but they’ve also got just a .173 BABIP, which suggests he’s due for a bit of regression. The Cardinals’ lineup can do that to a lot of folks.

Seriously, look at that freaking Cardinals lineup. With Carlos Beltran tearing the world apart, and Lance Berkman back from the disabled list, they may have the best lineup in baseball outside of Arlington. How do they do this every year?

I don’t even have Allen Craig in the starting lineup, because I’m not sure where to put him. But, in limited duty this year, the outfielder has a .359/.413/.821 line. He has five homers in just 39 at bats.

The Cubs might not be facing the biggest names in the Cardinals rotation, but they’re facing arguably the two most effective pitchers all year. Obligatory voodoo magic comment.

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.

Marisa Miller had her first hiccup as the Cubs’ rep, but I don’t think it’s quite enough to bounce her from the role. If the Cubs get swept in this two-game set, I’ll have to re-think things. For now, she stays, and she stays clothing optional.

For the Cardinals, who don’t get a real representative, how about Big Red? You know, the gum? It always seems like it’s going to be better than it is – at first it tastes all right, but then there’s just too much cinnamony burn for me. So, ultimately, it’s kind of crappy.

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.

36 responses to “Series Preview: Cubs v. Cardinals, May 14 – May 15, 2012”

  1. Matt

    The series is in St. Louis, isn’t it?

  2. gblan014

    Not to be “that guy” but I do believe the next two games against the Cardinals are in St. Louis, not in Chicago. That’s what mlb.com says, anyway.

  3. Robert

    Correct. Game is in St. louis for two. then we return home to play Philly. for two games, as well.

  4. brett

    They are in STL boys, you’re correct.

  5. Andy Russell

    Yeah, Bret I’m pretty sure they are in St. Louis for these before coming home against the Phillies and Sux this weekend

  6. TWC

    Oh, for just a momentary sea breeze…

  7. MaxM1908

    I love that the Cardinals’ representative is manufactured by Wrigley’s. Take that Cards! Also, Marissa Miller is stunning in that picture. Here comes the sweep.

  8. Spencer

    Fun schedule in MLB this week. No off days for anyone, everyone has a pair of 2 game sets, then interleague weekend!

    1. Stinky Pete

      Man, I hate 2 and 4 game serieseseses.

      1. hardtop

        Man, I hate interleague baseball.

        1. TWC

          Shit yeah.  The only time I want to see AL teams is in the playoffs.  The rest of the time, it’s like watching soccer.

  9. MaxM1908

    Also, is anyone else REALLY annoyed that a third of Milwaukee’s wins have come against the Cubs. Dag nabit!

    1. Fishin Phil

      Annoyed doesn’t quite capture my emotion. Try “white-hot rage”.

    2. hardtop

      i used to kind of like milwaukee… until a few years ago when the inferiority complex button was depressed and  their fans became horribly classless and willingly uninformed.  its hard to like, or even tolerate, a club whose the fans are ignorant and obnoxious with a roster that sports at least one world class cheater and a pile of human waste like nyger morgan.

  10. brittney

    I’m stoked today for the game! Its my birthday and ill get home in time to watch the cubbies spank the cards! It’ll be a damn good birthday if they show em who their daddy is!

  11. Spencer

    Kickin it old school with the picture before the jump, brett.

    1. TWC

      I know, right?  I keep waiting for him to realize it and change the pic.

  12. MaxM1908

    I’ve noticed that the Cubs are 1-5 on Saturday and 4-2 on Sunday this season. Does anyone think that perhaps the Cubs are partying it up too much on Friday nights?

    1. Spencer

      Not unless Mark Grace is back on the team.

  13. rcleven

    “The Cardinals were swept in three games by the Braves (you know, the same Braves team that the Cubs largely dominated), and fell back to 20-14. They’re still up 2.5 in the Central, though.”

    Am absolutely amazed at Cubs starting pitching. To hold Atlanta bats down the way they did.WOW.
    Being a Cub fan just waiting for the other shoe to drop. Till then I am just going to enjoy it.

  14. Andrewmoore4isu

    Brett the games are in stl

  15. Aisle 424

    Sorry for using the space to pimp out a business, but if anyone is going to St. Louis for the game and you enjoy craft beer, Six Row Brewing Company has a couple of special releases going on for American Craft Beer Week. Today they have a small batch release of Fresh Strawberry Honey Weizen, and tomorrow they are tapping a cask of Peppercorn infused Double IPA. Plus they have lots of other great styles on tap and nice, but simple menu.

    They’re not RIGHT by the ballpark, but they aren’t far and are a good stop for a little pre- or post-game action. It’s good stuff and I’m not just saying that because my GF’s brother-in-law owns the place.

    More info here: http://sixrowbrewco.com/

    Sorry again.

  16. ty

    Sorry for using space but I have a 2001 Seville with only 52,000 miles for $9,000 . Mother-in-laws car. E-mail Brett.

    1. Fishin Phil

      Does she know you are selling it?

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