SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- The Cubs play the first of two tune-up games against the Diamondbacks this evening; by the time they leave for Pittsburgh late Saturday, they will have seen the D'backs three times this week. They'll be pretty familiar with them by the time April ends, as Arizona visits Wrigley Field for four games starting April 21, including being the visitor for the official 100th anniversary game April 23.
I checked through the D'backs ticket-sale page earlier today. The Cubs drew over 15,000 fans to Cubs Park in Mesa six times this spring. It would not surprise me if the attendance at both the Chase Field games was under 15,000 -- there are thousands of seats still available for tonight and tomorrow.
Bonifacio SS, Lake LF, Rizzo 1B, Olt 3B, Schierholtz RF, Sweeney CF, Baker C, Barney 2B, Jackson P
Hm. Starlin Castro had said the other day he expected to play in one of these Chase Field games. Not tonight, though, although one report says he'll start tomorrow. Otherwise, and apart from Welington Castillo, these are probably the Opening Day starters.
Parra RF, Hill 2B, Goldschmidt 1B, Prado 3B, Montero C, Trumbo LF, Gregorius SS, Pollock CF, Cahill P
Same lineup we saw Wednesday at Talking Stick, except with Gregorius and Pollock switching batting-order slots.
Trevor Cahill gets the call for Arizona.
Today's game is on cubs.com with Mick Gillispie. It will be televised live on CSN Chicago Plus (check your cable system listings) with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies, and you can also watch online if you have a MLB.TV subscription (outside the Chicago and Phoenix areas -- no TV available in the Phoenix area).
For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today's game, that will be 8:30 p.m. CT and 11 p.m. CT. These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. They will also appear in this StoryStream™. The pitcher box and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.
Discuss amongst yourselves.