Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Brewers – 03/07/09

Spring Training Game Twelve: Cubs (5-6) vs. Brewers (4-3)
Game Time – 2:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: XM Channel 185
Location – Maryvale Baseball Park, Phoenix

Carlos Zambrano (0-0, 0.00/0.50) vs. Jeff Suppan (0-0, 7.20/1.64)

The first Saturday in March…and the last 2:05pm C.T. start time of the spring for the Cubs. With the time change the remainder of the Cubs Cactus League schedule will begin at 3:05pm C.T. starting on on Sunday.

The Cubs and Brewers will square off for the second time this spring today. The Cubs took game one eight days ago and they will face a familiar foe in Jeff Suppan. Lou Piniella will send Carlos Zambrano, who was sharp in his first match-up against the Diamondbacks, and will look to get another positive workout this afternoon.

The Cubs made the first cuts of the spring on Friday…and there are more to come according to the Sun-Times, plus notes from Derrek Lee on Talkin’ Baseball with Bruce Levine and Kosuke in the WBC. Gordon Wittenmyer reported on the extremely long exhibition season Saturday morning. As mentioned on the CCO Thursday, Friday marked the one-month mark before the games that count begin. Lou Piniella touched on the subject of competitiveness in the coming weeks.

The Cubs will being making cuts “in earnest” next week as they trim the Spring Training roster down as the Cactus League schedule moves toward a conclusion. Piniella “talked about getting serious next week” and getting the regulars more at bats in order to prepare them properly for the season.

Derrek Lee on Talkin’ Baseball

The Cubs’ first baseman joined Bruce Levine and Chet Coppock briefly on Saturday morning. Lee said that Milton Bradley definitely gets a bad rap. Lee described Bradley as being a very good guy, humble, quiet and a guy that just goes about his business.

Lee added that he doesn’t see any trouble with Bradley but cautioned him that he would not going to win battles against the fans or the media in Chicago.

Derrek Lee cannot believe how long Spring Training is this year. He mentioned he looked at the schedule on Saturday morning and could not believe there is still a month left. He added players could get ready for the season in two weeks if that is all the time they were given. Lee said Spring Training is too long, especially this year, and Major League Baseball should probably do something about adjusting it.

Bruce Levine asked Lee about the injuries to his neck and back over the past two seasons. Levine casually mentioned all of the treatment Lee received on a daily basis in order to play as well as the double-edged sword a player deals with in relation to injuries and playing.

Lee said he was taught that if you can get on the field you play and make no excuses. He discussed the concerns over his numbers being down but brought up the fact the team won and that’s what the fans should want. Lee said he had a great summer last year because the team won. When he had his ‘big year‘, as Lee labeled it, it was not a good year for him because the team lost.

Lee finished by saying that he hopes his numbers come back and the team wins, but it is a team game and the team winning is more important.

Cubs versus Brewers

Carlos Zambrano, by all accounts, was excellent in his first tune-up of the spring last Monday against the Diamondbacks. Zambrano had good pop on his fastball with very good command. Zambrano did not allow a hit or a run in two innings, walked one and struck out three.

Jeff Suppan on the other hand has struggled in his first two starts of the spring. The Brewers are counting on Suppan to step up and perform in the third spot in their rotation and many doubt how that will work.

With the losses of CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets, Yovani Gallardo figures to be the Brewers number one, followed by Manny Parra. The Brewers signed Braden Looper in the off-season but he is dealing with an injury. With the inconsistency that is Dave Bush, the Brewers need Suppan to pitch to the contract he is being paid.

Suppan has allowed four runs on six hits in five innings this spring. In his first two starts, Suppan has served up two homers, walked two and struck out three.

Kosuke in the WBC

Kosuke Fukudome went 1-for-4 in Team Japan’s second game in the WBC with a run scored. Fukudome is 1-for-4 with four walks in the first two games.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….