The Cubs head to Arizona with story lines that have nothing to do with wins or losses dominating the discussion. Trade candidates, injuries, and Anthony Rizzo. Expect to hear plenty more about all of that.

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 dropped the final game of their three-game set with the White Sox, but phrasing it that way suggests the Cubs won the first two games. And, hey, they did. Neat!

The Diamondbacks, after a long, rough start to the year, have slogged their way back to just a game under .500, 7.5 out in the NL West. They’ve dropped five of their last nine, though, after a torrid stretch.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Friday, June 22 at 8:40 CT on WGN.
  • Saturday, June 23 at 9:10 CT on CSN, MLBN.
  • Sunday, June 24 at 3:10 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.


Starters: Jeff Samardzija (5-5, 4.04), Paul Maholm (4-5, 4.88), Matt Garza (3-5, 4.07)


  1. David DeJesus, CF
  2. Starlin Castro, SS
  3. Bryan LaHair, RF
  4. Alfonso Soriano, LF
  5. Steve Clevenger, 1B
  6. Darwin Barney, 2B
  7. Geovany Soto, C
  8. Luis Valbuena, 3B
  9. Pitcher


Starters: Joe Saunders (4-5, 3.44), Ian Kennedy (5-7, 4.13), Wade Miley (8-3, 2.30)


  1. Chris Young, CF
  2. Aaron Hill, 2B
  3. Justin Upton, RF
  4. Jason Kubel, LF
  5. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
  6. Miguel Montero, C
  7. Ryan Roberts, 3B
  8. John McDonald/Willie Bloomquist, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Starlin Castro has been scorching hot over his last four games, hitting .471 and slugging .941. So what if his OBP is also .471? That’s high!

Since May 18, Jeff Samardzija’s ERA has steadily climbed from 2.89 to 4.04. Over that stretch of six starts, he’s got a 5.50 ERA, and has allowed 40 hits (plus 14 walks) in just 34.1 innings.

Matt Garza had a great start against the White Sox if you can ignore the two home runs, one of which was very much wind-aided.

So, Wade Miley? I don’t want to exaggerate, but is the 25-year-old lefty a Cy Young candidate? He’s got a 2.30 ERA and a 1.057 WHIP in 82.1 innings, and an 8-3 record (which is stupid, but tends to matter to Cy Young voters). He’s also got an OPS over .800 at the plate, for whatever that’s worth.

This offseason’s top strange signing – the Diamondbacks picking up expensive outfielder Jason Kubel despite having a crowded outfield – has worked out relatively well, as Kubel is hitting .297/.373/.489 and is leading the team in a number of offensive categories.

Justin Upton is just 24, so there’s plenty of slack to be cut, but he’s having a rough year (for him). He’s hitting just .258/.341/.371, but has been slightly better – .299/.369/.421 since May 17.

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.

Well the Cubs FINALLY won a series, and it was a big one, over the White Sox. If Brooklyn Decker wasn’t already going to stick around for another series, she definitely was now.

The Diamondbacks will get a local rep – well, actually, a collection of local reps. Nearby Arizona State is consistently lauded as having the most beautiful coeds in the country, so how about some Arizona State cheerleaders to represent the pro baseball team? Anyone else feel like there’s a Matt Garza trade allusion here? Multiple prospects for an established player, or something like that?


  • http://thatessencerare.wordpress.com BK

    Brett, I am seeing some serious issues with the Cub’s lineup you proposed.

    • HuskerCub

      Yeah, I think I have seen enough of Campana no matter where you place him in the order.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Don’t read anything into it. It’s the residue of having made major changes to the lineup while in American League parks, and while knowing that Rizzo is coming.

      But, based on what the Cubs have done the last three games, it’s pretty much the gist, despite how it might look.

      EDIT: Oh, you jokesters. Yeah. See how major those changes were?

      • hansman1982

        You have three LF and no 3b…

        HOORAY! I finally caught something before Brett edited it!

      • Featherstone

        Now our comments will look like were just complaining about our lineup…. again.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Nah – folks will see the edit and know that I goofed.

  • Featherstone

    Yeah I do too, let’s wait until he sees it.

    • Fishin Phil

      Ha! I finally caught it.

  • Fishin Phil

    Pull any nine names you like from the current 25-man roster and there will be issues.

    • Featherstone

      Unfortunately the ineptitude of the offense is not the culprit this time.

  • Jp

    i remember thinking a month ago that damn our catcher position provides no pop and somehow we’ve found a way to put 2 catchers spots in the lineup… Im glad this is only temperary. For what it’s worth I’d much rather see clevenger in the lineup than Soto.

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    Now that Brett has pointed out Justin Upton’s struggles (overall, not totally recent), we all know he will probably collect 7 or 8 hits, including 2 bombs, to get his confidence back. Well done, Sir!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Just playing my part.

  • Dan

    Haha, nobody will be playing 3rd base today. I can’t believe Dale will be useing the four outfielders approach. **sarcastic**

    • Dan

      Boo, Brett changed it.

  • Jp

    Ummm who’s on 3B Brett?

    • Featherstone

      *Obligatory What’s on 2nd? comment*

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    Brett I have to say I just love the “She View” Gives me something to look forward to every start of a series lol. Brilliant idea

  • P hertz

    Please stop the “He’s got a” stuff. It’s terrible English. Try “He has a”. “He’s got” is really “He has got”.

    “He’s also got” meaning “He has also got”? Try “He also has” If this is supposed to be journalism at least treat the language with some respect.

    • TWC

      You can haz problems with Bleacher Nation?

    • Ted

      I don’t know what’s so bad about the present perfect tense, but I’m sorry it’s got you so upset.

    • The Show

      I b3tz U 1s g3tt1n mad 6y m3 typ1n l1k3 di5 a1nt ya?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It has been FAR too long since we last had someone blasting me with this kind of self-seriousness, complete with grammatical admonitions .. sidling up alongside grammatical mistakes. Truly, I’ve missed it.

      To the extent a legitimate response is required (it isn’t), here are some thoughts: (1) This is not journalism. Not only have I never claimed to be a journalist – and have expressly eschewed the same – but I recognize completely that I don’t have the chops for it. I’m just a dude who writes about the Cubs. (2) The writing here has always embraced evolving linguistic standards, as well as the intentionally informal-speak associated with blogging, and, especially, sports blogging (i.e., to whatever extent “he’s got” is not grammatically appropriate, it’s just fine around here). (3) I have an excellent respect for, and grasp of, the English language, thankyaverymuch.

      • Rob

        Brett, as a senior journalism major and rabid consumer of media, I can inform you that your writing is actually better than a lot of things considered journalism. You may not always use proper AP Stylebook rules, but trust me, that rarely matters (and you usually are right). I appreciate your patience with stories; not reporting on rumors as facts is what makes this site special.

        And hey, if Ain’t It Cool News can be a trusted news source for pop culture, surely people don’t much care about grammar.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Ha. Thanks, Rob.

      • Patrick W.

        I think the real important point of what you just said is point (2). Language evolves at the pace of the use of the language. The differences between 1950 and 1550 are vast, but I suspect the difference between 1950 and 2050 will be just as dramatic. No two people use the language in the same way, and as more people join the ranks of a language’s users, and as more people find more ways to communicate, more evolution will happen. This brand of communication is at most, what, 20 years old? That it has take an informal use of the language as opposed to the more formal use in printed form ought not be a surprise when an entire communication device can be so popular specifically because it limits you to 140 characters.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Indeed. And I’m certainly not one who advocates the bastardization of the language – we can still use proper grammar, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling – but intentional colloquial Internet expressions? I’m down with that.

    • Jp

      Who f’n cares dude? If you’ve got a proble with what HE’S got to say root for the cards or somebody.

      • TWC

        HE GONE!

    • hansman1982

      I do not have perfect english by any means but here is what I find in error with your comment.

      “Please stop the “He’s got a” stuff. It’s terrible English. Try “He has a”. “He’s got” is really “He has got”. ” This is incredibly choppy and hard to follow; I would recommend writing it as such:

      “Please stop the “He’s got a” stuff as it is terrible English. It is more proper to write “He has a”, or “He has got”.”

      ” “He’s also got” meaning “He has also got”? Try “He also has” If this is supposed to be journalism at least treat the language with some respect.” — Again, incredibly choppy, hard to follow and I am not sure if there is a complete or proper sentence in this paragraph. Also, you did not specify which language. Next time try this:

      When you typed, “He’s also got”, did you mean “He has also got”? I think it would be more proper if you type “He also has”. If this is supposed to be journalism; at least treat the English language with some respect.

      Then again, your first paragraph’s beef is with Brett using contractions, something that is perfectly acceptable in the English language. You’re correction of his grammar is filled with grammatical mistakes and is incredibly hard to read. If this is what passes as proper English these days; sign me up for BN English.

  • Kevin

    How long should it normally take to sign a contract and pass a physical? The delay with Soler is somewhat concerning. Just asking……..

    • Puma0821

      It might have something to do with him having to be put the 40-man roster and it’s corresponding move.

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    is rizzo coming up tommorrow?

  • BleedBlueinWNeb

    I’ll take those 4 over that 1 any day of the week!

  • mudge

    “He’s got a” has a certain energy and force that “He has a” doesn’t have. It’s the right language to describe a ballplayer.

  • CubsFan4Life

    Hey Brett, I really like your choice for the She-View representation for the Arizona Diamondbacks, because I believe more beautiful women is a very good thing !!! I have a very serious question. Do you know why MLB teams do not have cheerleaders ??? I have always wished that the Chicago Bears had cheerleaders that could compete with the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. I wish the Cubs had 9 beautiful women representing them at every home game. The Atlanta Braves don’t have cheerleaders, but they always have a few hot women wearing Braves shirts and shorts dancing on top of the dugout during home games, so why doesn’t MLB realize that having hot women represent each team is a good thing?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      MLB is pretty old school, which is at least part of the reason I suspect you don’t see more stuff like that.

  • florida al

    id have to say its a toss up between brooklyn and the asu cheerleaders..and the only reason i say that because there is 4 of them to one brooklyn,,,pretty good odds i must say..

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