Spring Training Game Twenty-Four: Cubs (9-14) vs. Padres (9-10)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN
Location – Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria
Matt Garza (0-2, 10.13/1.88) vs. Aaron Harang (1-1, 8.00/1.44)
It has been a rough week for Q’s crew. After sweeping the split squad games against the Dodgers and Diamondbacks last Sunday, the Cubs have lost four of their last five games. Wins and losses in the spring are not important but the team has struggled in the field, at the plate and on the mound for the better part of a week.
With Opening Day less than two weeks away, it is time for the Cubs to play better ball.
Matt Garza will get the start this afternoon. Kosuke Fukudome is expected to leadoff with Geovany Soto hitting cleanup. Fernando Perez is expected to get the start in centerfield. Matt Garza will make his fourth start, fifth appearance, of the spring this afternoon. Garza is coming off his best start of the spring. Garza completed four innings of work against the Mariners. He allowed one run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts. Garza threw 64 pitches, 35 for strikes and mixed in breaking balls and changeups.
Garza has allowed 12 runs, all earned, on 13 hits with seven walks and eight strikeouts in four games (10 2/3 innings) this spring.
Matt Garza needs to build on his last outing against the Padres this afternoon.
The Cubs will face a very familiar foe this afternoon in Aaron Harang. Today will be the Cubs first look at Harang in a Padres uniform. Harang has had quite a bit of success against the Cubs in recent years … and throughout his career (10-8 in 24 starts with a 4.51 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP). The last time Harang faced the Cubs, he picked up a win after allowing only two runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts and a walk in 6 2/3 innings.
Harang has struggled this spring. In three starts (nine innings), Harang has allowed nine runs, eight earned, on 12 hits with one walk and three strikeouts … he’s also served up three home runs. Harang has reportedly locked up a spot in the Padres rotation.
Bud Black is expected to use Corey Luebke, a candidate for the fifth spot in the Padres’ rotation, after Harang. If all goes as planned for the Friars, the Cubs could face only two pitchers this afternoon.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …