What Happens In Vegas BETTER Stay In Vegas, and Open Thread: Cubs vs. Mariners, Saturday 3/29, 2:05 CT

All you need to know about last night's 10-2 Cubs loss to the Mariners is contained in this note from the above link:

Raul Ibanez added a line-drive, two-run shot barely missing an inflated cow atop the right-field fence.

That's not all that happened last night, of course (Seattle hitters pounded five other HR off Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis, and in less baseball-related news, Kosuke Fukudome was photographed next to a Las Vegas showgirl, looking extremely uncomfortable), but that note made me laugh, as did the HR itself when I saw it, which was just about the last thing I saw before going to sleep to get up for work this morning. Good thing, too.

Let's hope that what Marquis and Lilly did DOES "stay in Vegas", as the saying goes, because that's not a good sign if it doesn't. The only other Cub who pitched last night, Kevin Hart, threw a quiet scoreless inning. The linked article also says:

Manager Lou Piniella expects to use all of his bullpen over the two days in Las Vegas.

Matt Murton may be traded before tomorrow. Or not:

The Cubs don't want to rush the process, in part to make sure they get the best deal possible but also because an injury in one of the two exhibition games in Las Vegas could create a need for Murton on the roster.

Gordon Wittenmyer writes that Lou says both Sean Marshall and Carmen Pignatiello will pitch today, and I would also expect Kerry Wood to throw an inning. Meanwhile, remember Michael Wuertz? Quietly, he's had the best spring on the staff, throwing nine innings, allowing five hits and no runs, with no walks and 13 strikeouts. Lou, for his part, spent some down time "using some of the casino services:

Were the services kind to him? "The casino services were cooperative," replied Piniella, who likes to play the ponies at the sports book.

Ryan Dempster starts today against Seattle's Jarrod Washburn. The Cubs will be the "away" team today and bat first. As last night, there's radio in Chicago (WGN) and Seattle (KOMO), TV on WGN-TV and also MLB Audio and MLB.TV via MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday (2007 version)

MLB.com Gameday (2008 version)

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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