Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Angels – 04/01/12

Spring Training Game Thirty-Three: Cubs (14-16-2) vs. Angels (17-10-2)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: MLB.com/MLB TV – Radio: Cubs.com
Location – Tempe Diablo Stadium, Tempe

Chris Rusin (0-0, 1.93/0.86) vs. Jered Weaver (2-1, 5.84/1.78)

Only three exhibition games left before the Cubs kick off the season Thursday afternoon at Wrigley against the Washington Nationals …

After scoring 11 runs in Thursday’s Cactus League game against the Padres, Dale Sveum’s team has managed a grand total of six runs over the last two games. While wins and losses do not matter for another five days, it would be nice to see a couple of the players that have struggled at the plate this spring finish on a positive note.

The Cubs decided to send Chris Rusin to the hill this afternoon in the second of back-to-back games against Albert Pujols and the Angels and not Randy Wells, as originally scheduled.

Today’s exhibition game all starts with Chris Rusin

Chris Rusin will spend the day with the big league team after beginning Spring Training in camp on a non-roster invite. Rusin was reassigned to minor league camp on March 20.

The southpaw appeared in three Cactus League games prior to being reassigned to minor league camp. Rusin pitched well in limited time. In three relief appearances, Rusin allowed one run on one hit with three walks and two strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.

Dale Sveum’s lineup for the final Sunday in the Cactus League is expected to be: David DeJesus (RF), Darwin Barney (2B), Starlin Castro (SS), Alfonso Soriano (LF), Bryan LaHair (1B), Ian Stewart (3B), Marlon Byrd (CF), Geovany Soto (DH) and Steve Clevenger (C) with Chris Rusin on the mound.

The Cubs offense will have the pleasure of facing one of the best pitchers in the Junior Circuit this afternoon. Jered Weaver is a pre-season favorite to win the AL Cy Young award after another tremendous year for the Angels.

Weaver has struggled a little this spring and is coming off a rough outing against the Royals. Weaver allowed four runs on nine hits with a walk and four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. In four starts in the Cactus League this spring, Weaver has allowed eight runs on 18 hits with four walks and 13 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings.

News and Notes
The Cubs announced Saturday that Jay Jackson and Travis Wood will start the final two Cactus League games against the Diamondbacks (Monday) and Brewers (Tuesday). The Cubs have decided to let Matt Garza, Chris Volstad and Jeff Samardzija make their final spring tune-ups in minor league games … Matt Garza is slated to pitch this afternoon in a minor league game.

Paul Maholm will make one final start in Arizona before making his way to Chicago for the season opener against the Nationals. Maholm will start a minor league game at Fitch Park on Wednesday afternoon. Maholm’s first regular season start should be Tuesday, April 10 at Wrigley against the Brewers.

Kerry Wood’s last appearance this spring will be Monday against the Diamondbacks. Wood threw in back-to-back games (Friday and Saturday) after taking 11 days off from Cactus League action.

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Quote of the Day

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