Spring Training Game Thirty-Four: Cubs (16-16) vs. Reds (9-18)
- Game Time – 9:05pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: None – Radio: Cubs.com
- Location – HoHoKam Park, Mesa
Jeff Samardzija (2-0, 3.93/1.26) vs. Johnny Cueto (1-1, 7.02/1.56)
Countdown to Opening Day in Pittsburgh: 6 Days
The Cubs and Reds square off for the second time this spring tonight. The first Cactus League contest between the division rivals was cut short after just an inning and a half due to rain on March 8. The two teams face one another for the first time in the regular season in April (April 22 – April 24 in Cincinnati).
While many are picking the Reds to win the central and the Cubs to finish last in the division, both teams are gearing up for Opening Day tonight. Jeff Samardzija and Johnny Cueto have the honor of taking the ball on the first game of the season … Samardzija in Pittsburgh and Cueto in Cincinnati against the Angels.
Dale Sveum is expected to run out most of his Opening Day lineup tonight … David DeJesus (CF), Starlin Castro (SS), Anthony Rizzo (1B), Nate Schierholtz (RF), Welington Castillo (C), Luis Valbuena (3B) and Darwin Barney (2B).
Len Kasper and Mick Gillispie will call tonight’s action on Cubs.com.
In the battle of Opening Day starters, tonight it all begins with Jeff Samardzija …
Jeff Samardzija makes his last tune-up tonight before Opening Day in Pittsburgh. Samardzija is coming off a shaky outing last Thursday night against the Mariners. Samardzija was not as sharp as he was in his previous outing against the Rangers. Samardzija allowed four runs, three earned, on nine hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. Samardzija struck out the side in the fifth, and was very impressive at the plate. Samardzija went 2-for-2 with a home run, two RBI and a sac bunt.
Tonight is Samardzija’s sixth start in the Cactus League. Samardzija also pitched four innings in a minor league game against the Rangers. Samardzija has allowed 10 runs, nine earned, on 20 hits with six walks and 15 strikeouts over 20 2/3 innings.
Johnny Cueto, like Samardzija, is making his sixth Cactus League start tonight. Cueto has been very hittable this spring. In 16 2/3 innings, Cueto has allowed 15 runs, 13 earned, on 19 hits with seven walks and 13 strikeouts.
Jay Bruce is expected back in the Reds’ starting lineup. Alfredo Simon and Clay Hensley are also on Dusty Baker’s pitching roster.
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …