Appropriately, the Cubs and Astros – the two worst teams in baseball – square off in their final series of 2012. The Cubs bid the Astros farewell, as they’ll head to the AL West next year.
If you think there’s no reason to go to a game this series, by the way, think again: in the first two games, the Cubs are giving away Cubs hats in the colors of your favorite Big Ten school with a bleacher ticket package thingy. The Michigan hat looks pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.
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 game out West! Hooray! Let’s end the season on that thought. Also, the Cubs will try to avoid 100 losses. It only takes one at this point.
The Astros have actually won five of nine, which has got to be their best stretch since May. They’ll still finish with at least 106 losses.
Game Times and Broadcasts
- Monday, October 1 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
- Tuesday, October 2 at 7:05 CT on CSN+.
- Wednesday, October 3 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.
Starters: Jason Berken (0-2, 5.14), Chris Volstad (3-11, 6.64), Travis Wood (6-13, 4.39)
- David DeJesus, CF
- Darwin Barney, 2B
- Anthony Rizzo, 1B
- Alfonso Soriano, LF
- Starlin Castro, SS
- Luis Valbuena, 3B
- Steve Clevenger/Welington Castillo, C
- Dave Sappelt, RF (Brett Jackson getting some time in center again, too)
Starters: Lucas Harrell (10-11, 3.88), Bud Norris (6-13, 4.82), Edgar Gonzalez (3-1, 4.15)
Lineups (could you tell if I was kidding?):
- Dan Jackson, SS
- Barry Almose, 2B
- Javier Valazquez, C
- Brian Steebs, RF
- Rhubarb Petty, 3B
- Carl Rinner, Sr., CF
- “Sweet” Peppi Montrose, LF
- Julio Franco, 1B
Hot or Not and Whom to Watch
Dave Sappelt has gotten hot again, and has a .300/.382/.500 line in his 69 plate appearances with the big club. He’s pretty much locked in as a back-up outfielder next year, and it isn’t solely because of the stats.
Alfonso Soriano will try to improve on his 32 homers and 108 RBI this year, which is his highest homer total since 2007, his first season with the Cubs. That RBI total is his highest ever. His .263/.322/.503 line is the best he’s put up since a shortened 2008 season (speaking of shortened seasons, the 149 games he’s played this year is already his most as a Cub).
Oh, Chris Volstad. Just when it looked like you were maybe going to kinda-sorta show a little something, you go and put up an 8.74 ERA in five September starts.
Lucas Harrell has been as good as it gets for the Astros these days – he’s got a 3.07 ERA in the second half, which is swell.
Did you know that Jose Altuve is just 22? That’s a nice little player the Astros have down there. (Ba dum ching.)
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.
For the final Series She-View of the season (ever?), let’s end things where it began: with the inimitable Marisa Miller representing the Cubs.
As for the Astros, you know who was born in Houston? The beautiful and talented Beyonce. A nice match-up to close things down. A better match-up than on the field, anyway.