Even without last Sunday's rainout, the Cubs and White Sox will meet four times this spring -- more than usual these days with 15 teams in the Cactus League. Two of them will occur tonight and tomorrow afternoon in Las Vegas. The preview for that game is after the jump.
Maybe you should go there now. The Brewers jumped all over Jeff Samardzija in the first inning, with ex-Cub Jim Edmonds and Gregg Zaun slamming him for back-to-back homers, and Milwaukee coasted to a 12-3 win before the largest crowd of the spring (7,968) at Maryvale Ballpark (no surprise; the Brewers generally draw best when the Cubs are the visitors).
This doesn't help Shark's bid for the starting rotation. Frankly, I've always thought he was better suited for the bullpen anyway. Strangely enough, in that first inning, he retired the Brewers' two best hitters -- Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder -- before giving up the back-to-back jacks to Edmonds and Zaun. Maybe he was working on something -- pitchers often do that in spring games -- or maybe he's just not going to make it this year. It's worrisome. Let's hope Tom Gorzelanny does better tonight. Also worrisome: Derrek Lee, who was supposed to play today, was held out one more day due to a sore foot after fouling a ball off it a couple of days ago. D-Lee is expected back tomorrow.
Many of the Brewer regulars had departed by mid-game; that left time for Jody Gerut to hit a two-run bomb off Marcos Mateo. Lefty James Russell, making a strong bid for the bullpen, looked pretty good against the Milwaukee subs; Russell has not allowed an earned run so far this spring.
Tyler Colvin, also making a strong case for himself, singled, tripled, scored a run and drove in another. He's making it real tough for management to send him to Iowa.
I really enjoyed listening to Bob Uecker call the game today via MLB Audio. Uecker, who turned 75 in January, still sounds like he's at the top of his game and enjoying baseball. He's one of the best in the business.
Interestingly, while Alan Trammell will manage the Cubs tonight and tomorrow in Las Vegas while Lou Piniella stays in Arizona, Ozzie Guillen will come to Vegas to lead the White Sox. Carlos Torres, who threw seven shutout innings against the Cubs at Wrigley Field last September 3, will start for the Sox against Cubs lefty Tom Gorzelanny.
Tonight's game is on CSN Chicago (with Len & Bob), so you should be able to see it if you have MLB.TV. It's also on the White Sox flagship radio station, WSCR. Here's the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today, although this is the only night game for tonight, and as you'll see if you go to the link, all of the Florida games were rained out today.
First pitch thread will post at 9 pm CST. An overflow thread will post at 10:15 CST. Recap will be posted tomorrow morning.
Discuss amongst yourselves.