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This Losing Streak Will End. Sometime. Cubs vs. Brewers Preview, Wednesday 8/4, 1:20 CT

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The current losing streak of seven is the Cubs' longest since they lost eight in a row from May 17-25, 2009. The 2009 Cubs managed to finish last year over .500; barring some kind of miracle winning streak, the 2010 Cubs won't. This Sun-Times story says the Cubs have lost nine in a row under Lou:

Despite the efforts of [Thomas] Diamond and [Kosuke] Fukudome, the Cubs lost for the seventh straight time -- two short of their longest losing streak under Lou Piniella.

That is not correct. That eight-game streak last year is the longest under Lou. The last time the Cubs lost nine in a row was from May 8-18, 2002.

This Paul Sullivan article suggests more callups from Iowa are coming. But look at some of the names:

The first position player expected to be called up is Triple-A shortstop Darwin Barney, who entered Tuesday's game hitting .297 with 23 doubles. With fellow rookie Starlin Castro at short, the right-handed hitting Barney would platoon at second with left-handed hitting Blake DeWitt, who was acquired in the Lilly-Theriot deal.

Barney, a fourth-round pick out of Oregon State in the 2007 draft, performed well in spring training and has been the starting shortstop at Iowa the last two seasons.

Among those from Iowa who will get consideration are first baseman Micah Hoffpauir, catcher Welington Castillo and outfielders Brad Snyder and Bryan LaHair.

Really? Hoffpauir, Snyder and LaHair? Not a single one of those players is part of the Cubs' future. Hoffpauir will be 31 next March -- he'd be the 10th-OLDEST player on the current 25-man roster. Snyder is 28 and LaHair will be 28 in November -- really, what's the point? If any of these three gets a callup before September, it's a complete waste of a roster spot; none of them are prospects and none of them should have any role on future Cubs teams. Now, Barney and Castillo are a different story, because both of them should compete for bench roles in 2011, so why not see what they can do now?

The one thing this does imply is that the Cubs expect several current players to be claimed on waivers, and if that happens, they would likely simply let the claiming team have the player (Mike Fontenot and Xavier Nady are the most likely candidates here).

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Manny Parra
Manny Parra
Brewers
8-8 W-L 3-8
3.92 ERA 5.42
139 SO 85
59 BB 41
20 HR 13
vs. Mil -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Ryan Dempster 8-8 23 22 1 0 0 0 144.2 133 70 63 20 59 139 3.92 1.33


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2010 - Manny Parra 3-8 29 12 0 0 0 0 86.1 104 57 52 13 41 85 5.42 1.68

Manny Parra has been in and out of the Brewers' rotation for the last couple of years; he hasn't started against the Cubs since July 30, 2008 in Milwaukee. That was the third game of that four-game series sweep that was one of the highlights of that season. Seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it? Anyway, no current Cub has more than five career AB vs. Parra -- Alfonso Soriano, who is 3-for-5.

Ryan Dempster, on the other hand, faces Milwaukee a lot -- three times already this year, 19.1 innings pitched with a 3.72 ERA, two wins and a no-decision. Current Brewers are hitting .265 (54-for-204) against him with nine HR. Prince Fielder has hit him well (.300, 2 HR) but then, Fielder hits everyone well.

Today's game is on CSN Chicago and FSN Wisconsin. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Brewers site Brew Crew Ball. As always, be careful over there.

Tonight's first pitch thread will be up at 1:15 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2:15 pm, 3:15 pm and 4 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.