Spring Training Game Twenty-Two: Cubs (9-12) vs. A’s (7-12-2)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com Webcast
Location – Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix
Ryan Dempster (1-0, 1.50/0.75) vs. Gio Gonzalez (1-0, 0.96/0.75)
Happy St. Patrick’s Day from all of the Irishmen at the CCO …
After a much-needed day off, Q’s crew gets back to work this afternoon. The Cubs full squad makes the short drive to Phoenix to face the A’s for the second time this week … a split squad of the Cubs roster pounded an A’s split squad Tuesday 8-1.
Ryan Dempster will make his fourth start this afternoon. Dempster has thrown the ball extremely well in Arizona. Ryan Dempster and company open two weeks from tomorrow at Wrigley Field against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
John Grabow is expected to make an appearance this afternoon. Grabow has not thrown in a game since the Cactus League opener back on February 27. Grabow has been dealing with a sore left shoulder and the Cubs have been cautious with him. Grabow needs a good outing, if he makes it into the game. The A’s torched Grabow in the opener … two runs on three hits in an inning of work. Ryan Dempster came into camp prepared and he’s proved as much with his performance on the field. Dempster’s command has been very good, plus he’s thrown strikes and stayed ahead of a majority of the hitters he faced.
Dempster has walked only two batters in 12 innings (three starts) while striking out 12. Dempster must maintain a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio in order to be successful during the season. Today will be Dempster’s fourth start of the spring, his spring line: two runs on seven hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.
The A’s extremely talented southpaw has been very good so far this spring. Gio Gonzalez has allowed one run (a solo homer) in 9 1/3 spring innings. Gonzalez has surrendered only four hits in three starts while striking out 13 and issuing just three free passes.
The Cubs spring offense has been inconsistent at best … and they figure to have more fun this afternoon against Gio Gonzalez and the A’s staff.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …