Spring Training Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (13-8-2) vs. A’s (ss) (9-11-2)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV, MLB Network – Radio: 720 WGN
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa
Carlos Zambrano (1-1, 3.86/1.29) vs. Dallas Braden (0-1, 3.24/1.20)
Lou Piniella’s crew enters the homestretch of Spring Training this afternoon with their fourth match-up against the A’s. The Cubs have played Oakland three times already in the Cactus League (2-1) … today could be for “bragging rights” between good friends Jim Hendry and Billy Beane.
The Cubs will begin preparing for the season with the final stretch of games. The Cubs will not use a designated hitter for the remaining home games. After the latest round of roster cuts, the Cubs will begin focusing on Opening Day in Atlanta on April 5.
Derrek Lee is expected back in the starting lineup after suffering a ‘freak injury’ on Wednesday at Surprise Stadium. A chair collapsed on Lee while he was eating. Lee received treatment on Thursday and should be at first base this afternoon.
Aramis Ramirez is expected to see his first action at third base this afternoon since March 13.
While the Cubs are busy with the Oakland A’s at HoHoKam Park, Ted Lilly is slated to make his first start of the spring this afternoon at Fitch Park … Carlos Zambrano tossed five innings of shutout ball in his last outing. Big Z will make his fifth start of the spring this afternoon. Zambrano should make only one more start in the Cactus League … before his Opening Day assignment on April 5 against Derek Lowe.
Zambrano has allowed six runs, all earned, on 14 hits with three walk and six strikeouts in 14 spring innings … Big Z has also hit a batter.
For the Cubs to prove the experts, and most predictions, wrong they will need a big season from Carlos Zambrano.
Dallas Braden will make his fourth start of the spring this afternoon. Braden has allowed three runs, all earned, on seven hits in 8 1/3 innings of work with three walks and five strikeouts.
The other half of the Oakland A’s will take on the Rangers in Surprise … the A’s better double-check those folding chairs.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …