Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Padres – 03/20/09

Spring Training Game Twenty-Five: Cubs (11-12) vs. Padres (4-12)
Game Time – 3:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLBN – Radio: WGN Radio, XM Channel 179
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa

Rich Harden (0-0, 5.79/1.71) vs. Kevin Correia (0-0, 5.40/1.00)

Updated 1:01pm C.T.Derrek Lee scratched and Rich Harden sent home with the flu. Mitch Atkins to make start against Padres

Happy first day of spring! Talkin’ returns from nearly a weeklong absence with only 14 exhibition games remaining after today… The Cubs will play host to the Padres for the only time this spring and will not see the Friars again until May 12-May 15 at Wrigley Field.

Rich Harden is slated to make his third start of the spring after a disappointing last inning of work his last time out. Larry Rothschild pointed out on XM Radio Wednesday that as long as Harden is healthy at the end of camp he is not worried about how he will pitch when the games actually count. Simply put when Harden has been healthy he has usually dominated on the mound.

Harden was very good in his first start and lights out for the first two innings of his last outing. Harden hit the wall in his third inning of work and gave up three runs in 2/3 of an inning against the Diamondbacks. Harden has allowed three runs on five hits in 4 2/3 innings this spring with four strikeouts and three walks.

Derrek Lee, Milton Bradley and Geovany Soto are expected to be in the starting lineup. Other than Kosuke Fukudome, Lou Piniella could run out a preview of his Opening Day lineup this afternoon.

After missing a couple of days with the flu and welcoming a new child into the World (Milton and his wife added a boy to their family earlier in the week), Milton Bradley is expected back on the field today. Bradley worked out with his teammates on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Cubs should be announcing the winner of the back-up catcher’s job soon. Koyie Hill has been very impressive in Arizona and could have pushed Paul Bako off the team. Soto should be behind the plate today but Bako’s days as a Cub could be coming to an end…for the second time.

Kevin Correia will make his third start in the Cactus League today. The former Giant signed with the Padres over the winter and should be in the Padres rotation when the season begins.

Correia has allowed three runs on four hits (two home runs) with a walk and three strikeouts in five innings.

CCO Community Blog

Just a quick reminder….To all of the readers of the CCO to check the Community Blog section of the site on a regular basis. There was a great recap of the Cubs’ game against Team Japan last week and the last two entries are more than worth reading…and commenting on.

CCO Site Notes

For those new to the CCO, Talkin’ Cubs Live is a regular feature of the site during the season. Not only does it provide the Faithful with a place to discuss the game but we also provide hitter and pitcher stats for both teams as well as any other news and notes that should be passed along.

With the season just around the corner, Talkin’ will become more and more a daily part of the CCO.

Also, stay tuned for an announcement on an addition to the site and a newly formed partnership.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….

Update – According to reports from the Sun-Times, Derrek Lee was scratched from today’s with the lingering quad problem. Lee is listed as day-to-day.

Rich Harden is the latest Cub to be sidelined with the flu. He threw a simulated game then went home on Friday morning.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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