Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Diamondbacks – 03/11/13

Spring Training Game Seventeen: Cubs (6-10) vs. Diamondbacks (6-8)

  • Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: None – Radio:
  • 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

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 …

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Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Schierholtz – RF
    Soriano – LF
    Valbuena – 3B
    Castillo – C
    Baez – SS
    Clevenger – 1B
    Samardzija – P

  • Neil

    Garza threw 25 from 45 feet on Monday. Garza will throw again on Wednesday and go from there. Stewart, Vitters and Lillibridge all ran bases today. Cubs are now targeting Thursday for Stewart to make his spring debut.

  • Neil

    Quick 1-2-3 first inning for Samardzija

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  • Theboardrider

    Observation about Shark. I don’t think you can put as much stock into games that don’t count for him. I really see him as being the type of guy that may never look great in practice but when the lights come on he’s aces. I guess some of this is my gut feeling from what I’ve seen and read of him over the years. I believe he is a gamer and you will never be able to see him at his best until it matters.

    Regardless of how great he is in spring training, I could see him coming out in the opener and going 8 innings and striking out double-digits.

    • Neil

      I am right there with you on the runs and hits allowed in the spring. I pay attention to command, basically if pitchers are hitting their spots, and walks. Mixing his pitches and his ability to locate his secondary pitches for strikes are key for him. That is more of what I was referring to. I would rather see a pitcher with a bloated ERA and WHIP in the spring than a high walk total.

      • Theboardrider

        Appreciate your analysis, I’ll watch for this…

        • Neil

          You’re more than welcome, thank you for your comment.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Neil, don’t a lot of pitchers work on secondary stuff in the spring because it doesn’t matter as much? That’s why we don’t really take stock much in spring stats.

        • DWalker

          He made the comment about the minor league outing where he got lit up, that he was working on stuff he never would have tried with major leaguers. So yeah, It sounds like he’s tinkering with things more than trying to be lights out.

        • Neil

          He did say he was working on stuff in the minor league game. Again, I pay attention to walks and command, not the end results. If he is getting hit, but throwing strikes, that is one thing, but I really doubt he was working on stuff when he walked Cahill today after being up 0-2.

          Will have to wait to see what he says, but walks are not good, regardless of when they happen.

    • Neil

      Samardzija walked Cahill after being ahead 0-2, then gave up a 2-run homer to Eaton on a 3-2 pitch

  • Neil

    Samardzija with a two-out walk in the second, that was all.

  • Neil

    Samardzija with a 1-2-3 fourth after a rough third

  • Neil

    Samardzija with a solo homer to left center

  • Neil

    Castillo with a two-run shot in the sixth

  • Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Samardzija said he liked his outing despite the results…can live with it rather than “throwing the ball all over the strike zone”

  • Neil

    From ESPN Chicago: Samardzija: “Today was a big turn for me. The adjustments I need to make are pretty simple I think.”

  • Neil

    Cubs beat D-Backs 7-5 in the Cactus League on
    Monday. Jeff Samardzija: 4R, 4H (2HR), 2BB, 2K in 4.2 IP, at plate 1-2, HR; Rondon: 0R, 1H, 0BB, 1K in 0.2IP; Barney: 1-4, 2B,
    2RBI, R; Castillo: 1-3, HR, 2RBI; Soler: 1-3, RBI