Spring Training Game Seventeen: Cubs (6-10) vs. Diamondbacks (6-8)
- Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com
- Location – Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale
Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 3.60/1.40) vs. Trevor Cahill (0-1, 5.79/2.36)
The Cubs snapped their five-game spring losing streak on Sunday and will get back to work this afternoon against the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale. The Cubs long stay in Arizona is not even at the halfway point. After today’s exhibition game and Tuesday’s off day, the Cubs still have 21 games remaining on the Cactus League schedule.
Today begins a long week of games for the Cubs. Even with tomorrow’s day off, the Cubs play nine games over the next six days that includes three split squad days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday), and a practice game against the two-time defending WBC Champions, Team Japan, on Friday afternoon at HoHoKam Park.
The Cubs have dealt with quite a few injuries already this spring, but Dale Sveum is expected to get a few of the players back this week. Brett Jackson returned to action on Sunday and both Starlin Castro and Brent Lillibridge are expected back in the lineup for Wednesday’s game against the Rockies. Scott Baker could make his spring debut in the next week depending on how his start on Tuesday in a minor league game goes.
The Cubs lost 6-2 to Arizona back on March 1, a game also started by Jeff Samardzija. The Cubs pen could not get out of the sixth inning while the offense could not string any hits together against Patrick Corbin. Today is the final match-up of the spring with the Diamondbacks, the next time the two teams square off will be at the end of May (May 31-June 2) at Wrigley Field.
Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie will call the action once again on Cubs.com.
This afternoon all begins with Jeff Samardzija …
The Cubs’ Opening Day starter has been inconsistent at best this spring. Jeff Samardzija has given up two runs on four hits over two starts (five innings) in the Cactus League with three walks and three strikeouts. Samardzija struggled with his command in his first outing, reportedly not liking the way he threw his slider. Samardzija did not face the Rangers’ big league team last Wednesday as the Cubs opted for him to pitch in a minor league game.
Samardzija was reportedly working on things he would not have in a regular Cactus League game and gave up five runs on six hits over four innings that included a three-run homer. Samardzija threw 66 pitches in what was his third spring start.
Walks have always hurt Samardzija, like most pitchers, and it would be nice to see a zero in that column after today’s outing.
Trevor Cahill has struggled in two Cactus League starts and faces the Cubs for the second time. Cahill matched up against Samardzija when the Cubs faced the D-Backs at HoHoKam Park back on March 1. The Cubs hit Cahill pretty hard in the first inning before the bats went silent.
In two Cactus League starts, Cahill has allowed three runs on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings.
David Holmberg and Josh Collmenter are also in the D-Backs pitching rotation for Monday.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …