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Just because we’re in the midst of a 30-hour Trade Deadline Blogathon doesn’t mean that business as usual stops. The Pirates come to Wrigley Field for a three-game set with the Cubs, who could be understandably preoccupied.

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

Boom. Take that, St. Louis. The Cubs just took two of three from the Cards, after taking two of three from the Pirates. The Reds are lucky they didn’t have to face the Cubs over the last month.

After dropping that series to the Cubs, the Pirates took three of four from the Astros. They’re still holding onto a playoff spot right now, but have fallen three games back of the Reds in the NL Central.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, July 30 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Tuesday, July 31 at 7:05 CT on WGN.
  • Wednesday, August 1 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: Justin Germano (0-1, 3.00), Ryan Demspter(?) (5-5, 2.25), Travis Wood (4-6, 4.98)

Lineup:

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

Pirates

Starters: Erik Bedard (5-11, 4.32), A.J. Burnett (12-3, 3.52), Jeff Karstens (3-2, 3.88),

Lineups:

  1. Alex Pressley, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Garrett Jones, RF
  5. Casey McGehee, 1B
  6. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  7. Rod Barajas, C
  8. Clint Barmes, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

I hate to even write it, but Bryan LaHair has just been abysmal, not only lately, but for a very long time. He’s 0 for his last 15, and he’s hitting just .218/.287/.331 since the start of June.

LaHair isn’t the only one in an 0-fer slump – Jeff Baker hasn’t had a hit in his last 10 at bats, and Steve Clevenger hasn’t had one in his last 12.

Anthony Rizzo’s line through 111 plate appearances: .333/.369/.571. That’s crazy good, but, remember, there are often slumps that follow these opening hot stretches (see, e.g., Bryan LaHair). It’s all about adjusting.

I’ll be very interested to see who starts tonight (barring a trade, it will be Justin Germano) and on Tuesday for the Cubs.

Erik Bedard was quite good against the Cubs last time, despite taking the loss. Seriously, by the way, AJ Burnett has 12 wins? He’s been solid, but that, together with the Bedard thing, underscore how silly the W/L stat remains.

Rod Barajas was in an 0-18 slump before finally getting a hit over the weekend.

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.

Bar Refaeli continues another hot streak for the Cubs, who just took two of three from the Cardinals. And, she’s just so pretty, you know?

As for the Pirates, how about a random sexy pirate? Hearing no complaints, I proceed.

versus

  • cjdubbya

    Man, you weren’t kidding when you said it would be all Pirates and Cardinals for a couple weeks…

  • willis

    This is kind of a weird series preview. Only can write up what we all know, but has to be odd hoping/knowing/predicting a flurry of activity in the next 24 hours which could turn the roster on its head. I can’t imagine Demp will still be here by tomorrow. If he’s not, who gets the nod?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Indeed. Casey Coleman’s next start lines up with Dempster’s, I believe.

  • Brady

    Come on Cubs! Lets close the gap on the Brewers and end the season over them. Would be amazing!!! Only a couple games back at the moment!

  • Wester

    man…the random sexy pirate is hotter than our girl. Hopefully that means she’ll destract the pirates enough to lose the series.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well that’s just not true at all.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Is this better?
      [img]http://www.theboxset.com/images/reviewcaptures/407capture_goonies04.jpg[/img]

    • Heybails91

      I definitely prefer Bar Rafaeli, personally.

    • Frank

      I love Bar Rafaeli, but I don’t think I’d complain if the Pirates changed their logo to the random sexy pirate girl either.

  • https://twitter.com/cubsfantroy @cubsfantroy

    I just sat and wondered last night where the Cubs would be and what position they would be in now if they started out the year strong like they have been since the end of June. Would they be buyers or still be sellers?

  • http://www.backingthepack.com Rynomite

    Ahoy thar matees!

  • Beer Baron

    On the topic of Pirates…I was on vacation in Wrightsville Beach last week and went on this boat trip that featured a pirate on board (for the kids). The pirate was pretty good and stayed in character no matter what the kids did (lots of ayes, nays, and arghs!). Even in down times when the kids were off on their ‘treasure hunt’ he was talking to the grown-ups and kept it up the whole time. That is until I mentioned that I’m from Chicago and he all of a sudden dropped the pirate schtick and asked, “what the heck is going on with Dempster?”. And of course my response was simply “Arrrrrrrrrrrrgh!”.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      When we were at the beach two weeks ago, that was Wrightsville Beach. Great spot.

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