Open Thread: Cubs vs. Mariners at Peoria, Monday 3/5, 2:05 CT

The Cubs' first four exhibition games have been, and I'm being charitable here, forgettable at best.

Today carries more significance, as three pitchers who will have to be, if the Cubs are to be any sort of contender in 2007, key contributors to the pitching staff, will all pitch against the Mariners: Mark Prior will start, followed by Ted Lilly, and later on in the festivities, Kerry Wood.

Bruce Miles writes that Prior is ho-humming today's start, not putting any special meaning to it:

Prior also insisted it doesn’t bother him that people have written him off.

"Go out, get my work in and hope it goes well," he said. "For me, everything’s kind of over and done with. I can’t really dwell on it. I know it’s good storylines and fills pages, but what’s done is done and over with, and I’m moving on and just worrying about what’s going to happen tomorrow.

"Everybody’s been kind of writing me off anyway. It seems a lot of you are still at my locker every day. I know if I go out there and pitch and keep pitching every fifth day, there’s no story. It really doesn’t affect me. It doesn’t bother me. I’m just doing everything I can to pitch. Until my body tells me otherwise, I just keep going about my business."

Yesterday's crowd in Mesa -- 12,903 -- was a Ho Ho Kam Park record (they seem to set these every year; how many extra bodies are they squeezing onto that lawn, anyway?) and I'd expect a large contingent of Cubs fans will create an overflow crowd at Peoria Stadium this afternoon.

Today's game can be heard on MLB Audio with the Seattle broadcasting crew.

MLB.com Gameday (link will probably become active about 30 minutes before gametime)

Update [2007-3-5 13:18:59 by Al]: Lineups, courtesy again of Bruce Miles:

Update [2007-3-5 13:49:58 by Al]: Just got another note from Bruce. The lineup's been changed again:

Pie, CF
Pagan, RF
Murton, LF
Ward, DH
Barrett, C
DeRosa, 2B
Cedeno, SS
Kinkade, 1B
Perez, 3B

Prior, P

I like this one better.

Ryan Theriot was supposed to start at 3B and lead off, but he's sick.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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