In keeping with today's Brewers theme, the Cubs and Brew Crew meet for the third and final time this spring today at Maryvale. The teams split the other two meetings; after today, they'll next meet up for the first of 17 regular-season contests on Friday, April 10 in Milwaukee, the Brewers' home opener. In keeping with the idea that the regular season schedule has to make as little sense as possible, the two teams won't meet at Wrigley Field until Thursday, July 2.
Today, Jeff Samardzija, who is still described in this recap of yesterday's game as a "candidate for the fifth starter spot", will get the start against the Brewers' Dave Bush. The Brewers' Ryan Braun, who is off playing for Team USA in the WBC, left last night's game with a minor oblique strain. Braun says it's nothing, but Milwaukee can ill afford to lose him.
The article points out what you may have seen, that Atlanta catcher Brian McCann played the 9th inning in left field. What none of us knew at the time was this:
Manager Davey Johnson said he considered using pitcher Ted Lilly in left field.
"With the injuries we were looking at, I figured I could probably run Lilly out there for defense," Johnson said. "But I wouldn't run him out there to hit. So the healthiest probably was McCann. I said, 'Can you play left field?' He said, 'Boy, I'd love to.' "
Now that would have been fun to watch.
Today's game is on WGN radio and at the MLB.com Mediacenter.
There are also two WBC games tonight:
MLB.com Gameday for Venezuela vs. Puerto Rico. Time: 7 pm CDT. TV: ESPN. (Winner qualifies for semifinals.) I'm rooting for Venezuela so that Geovany Soto can come back to Cubs camp.
MLB.com Gameday for Cuba vs. Mexico. Time: 10 pm CDT. TV: ESPN2. (Loser is eliminated)
Discuss amongst yourselves.