Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Reds – 03/27/12

Spring Training Game Twenty-Eight: Cubs (12-14-1) vs. Reds (10-15)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com
Location – Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear

Matt Garza (2-2, 5.84/1.38) vs. Mat Latos (2-0, 1.93/0.93)

The long grind of the Cactus League is coming to an end for the Chicago Cubs. Including today, the Cubs have only eight Spring Training games left on the schedule and they depart for Chicago one week from today.

With the release of Trever Miller and the addition of Shawn Camp, the Cubs still have 40 players on their Spring Training roster. More cuts should be announced soon and Dale Sveum is expected to officially name Jeff Samardzija and Chris Volstad to his Opening Day rotation Wednesday. Samardzija and Volstad are expected to be slotted in behind Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza and in front of Paul Maholm.

The Cubs were just in Goodyear on Sunday to face the Indians and will make the return trip to face their division rivals for the second, and last, time this spring.

Today’s exhibition game all starts with Matt Garza …

After a rough second start of the spring against the Dodgers, Matt Garza has put together two solid outings and is coming off a five-inning shutout performance against the Rangers. Garza surrendered just two hits and struck out three to go along with three walks. With the exception of the start against Los Angeles, Garza has pitched much better this spring than a year ago.

Garza makes his fifth Cactus League start this afternoon … over the first four, Garza has allowed eight runs on 11 hits with six walks, hit two batters and struck out eight in 12 1/3 innings.

If all goes as planned, Matt Garza should pitch into and through the sixth inning this afternoon.

The Reds pulled off one of the biggest trades of the off-season when they acquired Mat Latos … and that trade had a ripple effect that opened up an option for the Cubs. Latos has been as advertised for the Reds this spring and makes his fifth Cactus League start this afternoon.

Latos has allowed just three runs on 12 hits with one walks and nine strikeouts in 14 innings and like Matt Garza, Latos is coming off a good outing against the Rangers. Latos held Texas (on the same day as Garza) to a run on four hits with no walks and three strikeouts in five innings.

This afternoon should be the first of several Matt vs. Mat matchups of the year.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

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