Spring Training Game Thirty-Eight: Cubs (18-16-2) vs. Yankees (22-10-1)
Game Time – 6:05pm C.T.
Coverage – TV: MLB Network – Radio: XM Channel 176
Location – Yankee Stadium, The Bronx
Ted Lilly (1-1, 5.14/1.57) vs. Chien-Ming Wang (0-2, 3.24/1.26)
Countdown to Opening Day…3 days. After spending the last seven weeks in the warm Arizona sun, the Cubs will be a part of history as they help open the new Yankee Stadium tonight. The new stadium is filled with the modern amenities that The House That Ruth Built did not, including a 38,000 square foot locker room. The price tag…$1.5 billion.
Hal Steinbrenner wanted the Chicago Cubs and Lou Piniella to be a part of the opening festivities. Piniella, Alfonso Soriano and Ted Lilly all donned Yankee pinstripes at one point and the Yankees reportedly would like Piniella to return in some form after his contract in Chicago runs out.
What was a little known fact has become common knowledge in recent days. Alfonso Soriano will leadoff tonight’s game, weather permitting, and will be the first hitter in the new stadium. Soriano was the last Yankee to homer at the old building in a World Series game.
Reports have indicated that if weather delays the game Mitch Atkins could make the start and Ted Lilly will throw a bullpen session in order to get his work in. Ted Lilly needs to make tonight’s start for more than one reason. Lilly is behind in his preparation for the season due to the WBC. He made only two starts for the Cubs in Arizona, one on February 27 and the other last Sunday against the Indians.
Other than serving up meatballs to Mark DeRosa, Lilly put together a good start against the Indians and pitched into the sixth inning.
Lilly allowed four runs on nine hits in seven innings in the desert. ‘The Bulldog‘ struck out 10 in his two starts with two walks…the last two batters he faced last Sunday.
Before the Yankees overspent for CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, Chien-Ming Wang was their staff ace. An injury in Houston last year cut his season short and the Yankees opened their huge checkbook over the winter for Sabathia and Burnett.
Wang has quietly put together a good career and with Burnett under contract for the next several years he will find himself slotted behind Sabathia in the Yankees’ rotation sooner rather than later.
Chien-Ming Wang has allowed 12 runs, six earned, in five Grapefruit League starts. In 16 2/3 innings he surrendered 19 hits, struck out seven and walked only two.
Over/Under on mentioning Ruth’s Called Shot…15 minutes
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball….