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.
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 MLB.com) and Internet (Cubs.com), 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 …