Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Athletics – 03/23/14

Spring Training Game Twenty-Seven: Cubs (11-14) vs. Athletics (ss) (12-9)

  • Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: WGN-TV – Radio: Cubs.com
  • Location – Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Phoenix

Jason Hammel (1-0, 4.50, 1.75) vs. Jesse Chavez (4-0, 1.04, 1.04)

On the last Sunday in the Cactus League, the Cubs will play their final spring game ever at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The A’s are moving out of Phoenix and into a renovated HoHoKam Park and Fitch Park next spring. So the next time the Cubs take on the Athletics in a Spring Training game it will be at a new-look HoHoKam Stadium.

The Cubs no. 3 starter takes the hill today in his next to last start of the spring in the Cactus League. The Cubs will stretch out Jason Hammel to around six innings this afternoon then back him down a little in his last Spring Training start in five days.

Mike Olt will be at third base for the second day in a row. Olt had only one ball hit his way on Saturday and in two games he’s had three balls hit his direction. Olt has yet to make a throw from third.

Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies have the call this afternoon on WGN-TV and Mick Gillispie will call the action on the ‘radio side’ on Cubs.com.

This afternoon all starts with Jason Hammel

Jason Hammel makes his third Cactus League start this afternoon. Hammel is coming off, what he called a disappointing outing against the Rangers. Hammel admitted he cannot walk batters and must execute his pitches. Hammel wiggled his way out of jams early in last Tuesday’s game and the Rangers finally caught up to him of the last two innings of his start. Hammel went five innings in Surprise and allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts (78 pitches, 45 for strikes). In two Cactus League starts, Hammel has allowed four runs on nine hits with five walks and six strikeouts in eight innings.

Rick Renteria is expected to run out the following lineup this afternoon:

  • Emilio Bonifacio – CF
  • Junior Lake – LF
  • Luis Valbuena – 2B
  • Mike Olt – 3B
  • Ryan Kalish – RF
  • Ryan Roberts – 1B
  • George Kottaras – C
  • Darwin Barney – SS
  • Chris Coghlan – DH

Injuries and a good performance this spring have forced Jesse Chavez into a starting spot for the Athletics. Chavez spent the majority of his career in the Pirates’ organization where the general thought was he did not pitch to his potential. After stops in Kansas City (2011) and Toronto (2012), Chavez caught on with the A’s last season and posted a 2-4 record in 35 games with a 3.92 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP.

The veteran right-hander has been lights out this spring. Chavez has allowed two runs on 14 hits with four walks and 14 strikeouts in five games, three starts, in the Cactus League. And both of the runs came via two home runs in 17 1/3 innings.

While the Cubs are taking on the A’s in Phoenix this afternoon, the other half of Oakland’s roster, with Josh Lindblom on the hill, will face the Mariners in Peoria.

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Quote of the Day

"Don’t ever permit the pressure to exceed the pleasure." - Joe Maddon