Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. A’s – 02/27/11

Spring Training Game One: Cubs (0-0) vs. A’s (0-0)
Game Time – 2:05pm CST
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa

Carlos Zambrano (0-0, -.–/-.–) vs. Trevor Cahill (0-0, -.–/-.–)

Chicago Cubs Baseball is on the Air! It’s the Cactus League opener…the Chicago Cubs versus the Oakland Athletics. The nearly six-month wait is over. The 2011 exhibition season begins today.

Carlos Zambrano will throw the first pitch of the spring for the Cubs. Zambrano is scheduled to start the game then turn it over to Matt Garza. Mike Quade and Mark Riggins are looking to get two innings from Zambrano and Garza and an inning from Carlos Marmol , Marcos Mateo, John Grabow, Justin Berg and Jeff Samardzija, who are also on the pitching schedule for today. Quade said Riggins has the pitchers on a strict pitch count for the first few outings.

Quade posted his first lineup two days ago, as well as his reserves for the afternoon. Quade mentioned Saturday that everyone is healthy entering play today.

Today figures to be an emotional day for Pat Hughes and the Chicago Cubs. Ron Santo will be on everyone’s mind as the Cubs take the field.

Cubs’ Starting Lineup for Sunday, Feb. 27 vs. A’s

Kosuke Fukudome – RF
Starlin Castro – SS
Marlon Byrd – CF
Aramis Ramirez – 3B
Carlos Pena – 1B
Alfonso Soriano – LF
Geovany Soto – C
Blake DeWitt – 2B
Carlos Zambrano – P

Backups for Sunday, Feb. 27 vs. A’s

Tyler Colvin – RF
Darwin Barney – SS
Fernando Perez – CF
Josh Vitters – 3B
Bryan LaHair – 1B
Brett Jackson – LF
Jeff Baker – 2B

The starters are expected to receive two at bats or play a minimum of five innings.

The Cubs go as Carlos Zambrano goes. It would be nice to see Big Z continue to go about his business this spring and build on the way he finished last season. Zambrano posted an 8-0 record over his last 14 games, 11 starts, with a 1.58 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP.

This afternoon will mark the debuts of Carlos Pena, Fernando Perez and Matt Garza in a Cubs’ uniform.

A revamped Oakland A’s team is expected to contend for the AL West crown this season. After Trevor Cahill, Bob Geren is expected to run out Josh Outman, Joey Devine, Tyson Ross, Bobby Cramer, Brad Ziegler and Danny Farquhar.

For new readers of the CCO, a game preview will launch two hours before each regular season game. For the first time, the CCO will publish game previews before each of the Cubs’ Cactus League games. With 32 of the 34 games being broadcast via radio (720 WGN, XM Radio), television (WGN TV, Comcast SportsNet, MLB Network and and Internet (, the CCO will have a place for the Faithful to discuss each game.

Each preview (Talkin’ Cubs Live) features pitcher versus hitter stats, as well as other news, notes and tidbits. Talkin’ is one of the staples of the CCO, which gives the readers a place to discuss the games.

The CCO is in Arizona and will post live updates, via Twitter, from HoHoKam Park today and for the next four games. Make sure to check the right side of the site for updates from the park. A full recap will be posted after the game.

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne
  • Agustin

    Will this count as the first post!?!?!?
    Nice to read that super title!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Thanks for the pre-game posts in ST, Neil. It is very nice of you to provide this good insight for us!

  • John G

    Team Batting average is 1.000
    as of now.

  • Craig Culp

    Nice inning for Z

  • Craig Culp

    Cubs offense get going with Fukudome walk

  • Craig Culp

    Cubs knock out Cahill in first…

  • Daddies3angels2124

    Ball 1…

  • Craig Culp

    Dewitt ruins Big Z AB in first by grounding into double play lol

  • GaryLeeT

    Garza allows another run in the 4th, and his ERA goes down! Albeit spring, an embarrassing debut none the less.

  • Brandon

    So good to hear Cubs baseball!

  • Neil

    Cold day at the park but great to see baseball again. Will have recap and other stuff up later.

  • Rickym20

    So excited Cubs baseball is back!!!
    Not setting my expectations high, but can’t wait for the season to start.

  • Aaron

    I had a VERY good chuckle over this game. Chirinos hit a pinch hit bomb today, just FYI.

    I’d be interested to see how Garza fared. Obviously, I hate the trade to begin with, but Garza is NOT a bum. He’s a solid #3 starter (clearly not worth the package we gave up, but I digress)….I’m just curious to know if he was throwing all fastballs, or was wild, but a line of:
    2 IP, 5 hits, 5 runs, 5 earned runs, 1 walk, 1 K, and 1 hr allowed (a slam) is NOT good, no matter if it’s spring or regular season. Six baserunners allowed in 2 innings is absolutely pathetic

    I want Garza to do well and prove me wrong, but it appears, at first glance that we got the short end of the stick in this trade.

    Was anyone at the game, and can tell us what Garza looked like in person?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Garza is just a hair better than Wells–so far. If you compare Wells 2009 vs. Garza, you’d say they are pretty even. The big kick vs. Wells is that he doesn’t go 9 IP.

      So I am saying that this Carlos Silva type outing by Garza isn’t all that surprising.He just ain’t Sandy Koufax.

      • Richard Hood

        It is the first outing of spring. It was just that a first outing. A lot of good pitchers do not do good early in spring training. If I got to see the game I would be satisfied on what his issue was but from everything I read it was just a location issue with everything being up and in the zone.
        But for some reason I am more worried about Bergs performance. He has less room for error and is not really needed so the writing might be on the wall. Nice to see you berg please sign here and exit left.

      • Aaron

        But Wells actually has an advantage over Garza in that he’s a mostly groundball pitcher than Garza is.

        Also, it looks like Grabow and Berg are continuing their awful pitching performances from last year. I hope neither of them make the team. I hope Grabow, if he does make the team, starts the season on the DL.

        DeWitt, as I expected, seems awful as well. He not only regressed offensively when he came over to the Cubs, but defensively as well. The decision not to improve that position seems a little dubious at this point, doesn’t it? I know I’ve said this too many times, but I thought the best option for us this season (prior to the big trade), would’ve been to try Castro at 2B and Hak Ju-Lee at SS, and see how they did working together. Would it have been a long-shot to work? Sure, but given the other options we had, I think it was the best possible one of us to at least pursue provided we couldn’t pull off a trade for Dan Uggla (which obviously never happened).

        DeWitt, Barney, and Baker are pathetic options for 2B, especially offensively. I think Barney is great with the glove, but like the other 2, just isn’t a good hitter.

        Having said all of that, there were some encouraging signs today. Soriano going 3-for-3, which is a VERY good development whether or not it’s a regular season or Spring Training game….and Byrd and Castro collecting multiple hits apiece. Also, seeing Vitters, Clevenger, and LaHair getting into the boxscore action with hits is a good sign. I really like all 3 of them, and hope there’s some way they can make their way to Chicago very soon.

      • paulcatanese

        Rip,when does Hi Ho Silva throw? You know, the Silva Bullet.

    • Neil

      Aaron, I am working on the recap. Garza appeared to be throwing fastballs and changeups only, I did not see a breaking ball. He was just missing his spots and when he did he was up … obviously.

    • cubtex

      Cmon Aaron…You being a pitcher should know more than anyone on how a pitcher builds up his arm. He threw 2 innings! All fastball and changeups. The hitters will be teeing off on pitchers in the early spring games. Do you think the A’s are worried about Cahill not making it out of the first? Sound the alarms everyone!!!! Garza is a bust!
      GM’s generally tell their managers not to evaluate players for the first week and half 2 weeks of spring training games.

      • cubtex

        Who’s this guy Colvin who played right field today? 0 for 3 with 2 errors! Cut him now! LOL

        • paulcatanese

          Cudos to Soriono though,I would really like to see him keep it up,maybe Rudy is rubbing off on him a little. He’s going to be with the Cubs so I wish him well.

  • paulcatanese

    I just heard on the news,the Duke died today,84. I’m sure Flatbush is in mourning.He was a good man,great outfielder,another is gone.Not sure I caught the age right.

  • paulcatanese

    Neil,nice update,just got home, everythings coming along great.