Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Dodgers – 03/11/12

Spring Training Game Eight: Cubs (4-3) vs. Dodgers (4-1-2)
Game Time – 2:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: Cubs.com
Location – Camelback Ranch, Glendale

Matt Garza (1-0, 9.00/1.50) vs. Ted Lilly (0-1, 22.50/3.50)

The Cubs begin their second week of Cactus League games this afternoon with their second trip to Glendale since Friday. Dale Sveum said Saturday that he considered the first week of the exhibition season a success. The Cubs have shown steady improvement, especially on the bases, in the field, and on the mound.

After a rough start to the practice games, the pitching staff as a whole has been pretty good in three of the last four games. While the relievers have had mixed results, the starters have been solid, even in Thursday’s loss to the Mariners. Over the first seven games of Cactus League action, the Cubs’ starters own a 2.08 ERA (17 1/3 innings) and have walked only four batters (two each for Travis Wood and Ryan Dempster).

Can Matt Garza pick up where Jeff Samardzija, Chris Volstad, Travis Wood, Randy Wells and Ryan Dempster left off?

Today’s exhibition game all starts with Matt Garza

Matt Garza had a good first outing against the Rockies last Tuesday at HoHoKam Park. Garza picked up the spring win after allowing two runs on three hits in two innings of work. Garza did not walk a batter and struck out one. Garza did hit a batter, which led to the Rockies’ first run.

Garza’s command was excellent last Tuesday after he got on the same page with Welington Castillo. Garza should go at least three innings this afternoon.

Ted Lilly had a bad outing against the Giants last Tuesday. ‘The Bulldog‘ gave up five runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout in two innings. Lilly had rough springs during his years with the Cubs and the veteran southpaw should be on the top of his game this afternoon.

News and Notes

After completing three innings Saturday against the Brewers, Ryan Dempster finished getting his work in down in the Cubs’ pen.

The Cubs made their second round of spring roster cuts Saturday morning. After assigning four players to minor league camp Friday (Jae-Hoon Ha, Jonathan Mota, Trey McNutt and Marco Carrillo), the Cubs sent Micah Gibbs and Dae-Eun Rhee down the street to Fitch Park on Saturday. The Cubs’ Spring Training roster officially sits at 57 players … 39 on the big league roster and 18 non-roster invitees.

Dale Sveum told the media Saturday that David DeJesus will begin the season as the Cubs’ leadoff man. Alfonso Soriano will hit in a run-producing spot in the lineup (three, four or five).

Ryan Dempster said his first pitch to Aramis Ramirez was unintentional.

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Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein