Spring Training Game Thirty-Three: Cubs (17-14) vs. Indians (9-16)
Game Time – 3:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: WGN Radio, XM Channel 177
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa
Ted Lilly (1-0, 0.00/1.00) vs. Fausto Carmona (3-0, 1.69/1.13)
Countdown to Opening Day…8 days. Lou Piniella’s crew will host a couple of former teammates today in Kerry Wood and Mark DeRosa. Both players are expected to play and Wood is penciled in to take over for Fausto Carmona when his day is over.
While Mark DeRosa played for teams before the Cubs, it will be a strange sight for the Faithful in attendance to see Kerry Wood on the mound at HoHoKam in a different uniform.
Milton Bradley, Derrek Lee, Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez are expected to be in Piniella’s starting lineup. Ted Lilly will make his first start for the Cubs since February 27 in Surprise against the Rangers. Lilly was very good over a month ago before leaving camp for the World Baseball Classic. Lilly made two starts for Team USA and gave up four runs on five hits (three home runs) with three walks and five strikeouts (5.56 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP).
Ted Lilly threw on one of the backfields at HoHoKam last Tuesday but today will be his first game action in quite some time. Lilly is behind the rest of the staff and will only make two starts before the games count (today and April 3 in New York against Chien-Ming Wang). Results are important but the main objective for Lilly must be to not overthrow and open himself up to an injury.
Lilly allowed a pair of hits, hit a batter and struck out two with issuing a free pass in his two innings of work against the Rangers.
When the Indians dealt CC Sabathia last season, Fausto Carmona became the heir apparent to the title of the ace of the Indians. Cliff Lee won the AL Cy Young, but Carmona’s potential and upside has many mentioning him among the elite in the game.
Carmona was one of the main reasons the Indians came within a win of the World Series in 2007. If he can stay healthy this season Cleveland should be right there once again this year. The Indians are the favorite to win the AL Central.
The three-game series at Wrigley in June should be very interesting if both teams play the way most think they will…and could end up being a preview for some series that will conclude in November this year.
Fausto Carmona has allowed three runs, all earned, on 11 hits in five games (four starts) this spring. In 16 innings he has walked a very high seven batters and struck out six.
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