pittsburgh-piratesThe Cubs have just six games left in the season, and the first three come against the Pirates. It’s a series that means relatively little to the Cubs, but is hugely important to the Pirates.

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. There’s also some fun stuff, because fun stuff is fun.

We’re Going Streaking

The Cubs dropped two of three to the Braves, and are currently holding the fourth worst record in baseball.

The Pirates are tied with the Reds for second place in the NL Central, two games behind the Cardinals. With this series against the Cubs, and then the Cubs playing the Cardinals thereafter, the Cubs will actually play a role in settling the NL Central.

Game Times and Broadcasts

  • Monday, September 23 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Tuesday, September 24 at 7:05 CT on CSN.
  • Wednesday, September 25 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: Jeff Samardzija (8-12, 4.42), Chris Rusin (2-5, 3.52), Jake Arrieta (3-2, 3.94)

Lineup (kind of nuts):

  1. Starlin Castro, SS
  2. Luis Valbuena, 3B/Darwin Barney, 2B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
  4. Nate Schierholtz, RF
  5. Donnie Murphy, 3B/Ryan Sweeney, CF
  6. Junior Lake, LF-CF/Brian Bogusevic, LF
  7. Dioner Navarro, C
  8. Darwin Barney, 2B
  9. Pitcher


Starters: Charlie Morton (7-4, 3.35), Gerrit Cole (9-7, 3.23), Francisco Liriano (16-7, 2.88)


  1. Starling Marte, LF
  2. Neil Walker, 2B
  3. Andrew McCutchen, CF
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
  6. Garrett Jones, RF
  7. Russell Martin, C
  8. Jordy Mercer, SS
  9. Pitcher

Hot or Not and Whom to Watch

Although he’s been better than some think, it has been a cold stretch for Anthony Rizzo. He’s hitting just .220/.301/.329 in his last 22 games.

Junior Lake is cooling considerably, with just a .509 OPS in his last 30 plate appearances. He’s struck out 14 times over that stretch.

Chris Rusin may be coming down/wearing down a little bit. He’s got a 5.49 ERA over his last four starts.

The Cubs get to face Francisco Liriano again after he nearly no-hit them last time out.

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.

This year, the Series She-View will live over at the Message Board. Here’s your She-View for the Pirates series.

Caption the Enemy

A new feature for the Series Preview this year – since folks on the Internet can’t get enough of cracking wise about pictures, I thought it might be a fun addition to the Series Preview. I’ll drop in a picture (hopefully one ripe for captioning), and you’ll drop in your clever captions into the comments. Then, if there are good ones, we can meme-ify them for use down the road.

Since it was just about a week ago, and there’s probably plenty more to say, we’ll just keep the picture the same for this one …

  • http://epicfunhub.com Frank

    I’m too lazy to check myself, so how are the Cubs doing with the race to the bottom?

    • Cubbie Blues

      I’m too lazy to tell you.

      • http://epicfunhub.com Frank

        Cubbie Blues I’m too lazy to care that your too lazy to tell me.

        C. Steadman Thank you for supporting my laziness.

        • Cubbie Blues

          I’m too lazy to keep up this schtick.

    • C. Steadman

      they are 4th…3.5 “back” from the Sox in 3rd and a 1/2 game “ahead” of the twins

  • Stinky Pete

    A loss or wins by four teams with 71 wins, guarantees them the 7th pick at worst.

  • dumbledoresacubsfan

    I honestly hope we get swept this series and then sweep the Cards the next.

    • JR

      Why not just lose the rest of the season?

      • dumbledoresacubsfan

        Because I would rather have the Pirates win the division.

      • Spriggs

        Anything to make a cardinal pennant less likely. Anything.

  • #23

    Too bad we can’t have Barney bat every inning to ensure a good draft pick.

    • Spriggs

      Dale is doing his best.

    • wvcubsfan

      Small sample size and all that yada yada, but he did have a pretty good game yesterday. I’ll take 2 for 3 (hell 1 for 4) everyday all day long from a 2nd baseman.

      I was actually surprised to see no complaints in the EBS thread about him even with that line, but I see everything is back to normal.

    • Blublud

      I wish Barney could bat every inning. That would mean we are scoring a lot of runs.

  • RY

    Thank god only seven more days to go!!!!!!!

  • http://Bleachernation Oliver

    Lets forfit
    And stop the suffering

    • MichiganGoat

      Why play a game
      we should
      only have hotdog gun
      RAGE RAGE against the sea
      down the insanit
      of winning and play

      • DarthHater

        — e. e. cuddings

        • MichiganGoat

          enjambment for

        • DarthHater

          as kool-aid is a breakfastfood
          or truth can live without facts
          or molehills are from mountains made
          —long enough and just so long
          will losing pay the rent of Wrigley
          and genius please the fanbase
          and promise most encourage fame

          • MichiganGoat

            ahhh Darth is enjoying the Truth of Hate.

      • Blublud

        What the hell are you smoking on? I just need to know is it good, and can you past a drug test while on it?

        • MichiganGoat

          I’m free of logic and rational discourse, i’ve embraced the hate… its taste sooo good

        • DarthHater

          It’s a mixture of ecstasy, horny goat weed, belly fire sauce, and a drop of Die hard’s sweat.

          • Blublud

            Ok. But do you eat, drink or smoke it?

            • MichiganGoat

              you live it
              you live it
              you become
              it, you are

          • MichiganGoat


        • wvcubsfan

          If you can
          not determine
          the answer to
          your original question on your own

          You must already be
          of the consuming type yourself

          Did you sign
          agreement to
          allowing illegal acquisition of your bodily

      • frank

        e.e. dylan carlos williams-thomas

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  • True(ly) Blue

    Brett, Please! Please! Do the “She View” your self . Much better gals to “oggle” than the odd gals the BN followers put up.

    • CubChymyst

      You are always more then welcome to post alternative representative to the initial ones on the message board. Wouldn’t be the first time there has been multiple reps for reach team. Also what is wrong with Daryl Hannah from splash?

      • DarthHater

        Yea, come on, Blue. Put some “honey” where your mouth is! 😛

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