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Split Squad Again: Cubs vs. Royals at Mesa and Cubs vs. Athletics at Phoenix, Saturday 3/20, 3:05 CT

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One of the results of having an odd number of teams (15) in the Cactus League is an increased number of split-squad dates. The Cubs had five of them on the original schedule (the March 7 dates vs. the White Sox and Dodgers were rained out).

Today is the fourth of those five; the last one will be on March 31.

The next time you complain about the Cubs' bullpen, think about what happened to the Diamondbacks yesterday when they lost to the Royals 24-9. KC led 21-0 in the fifth inning and Brian Anderson (yes, the same Brian Anderson who could not hit at all when he was a member of the White Sox) had hit for the cycle in the first four innings. The Royals pounded out 27 hits and drew seven walks, and yes, our old buddy Aaron Heilman was responsible for some of that -- he gave up seven hits and four runs in one inning. Didn't walk anybody, though.

Let's hope the Royals have gotten it all out of their system before this afternoon.

Other notes:

Before you head past the jump for game info, write a caption for the photo. What are Ozzie and Lou saying to each other?

Carlos Zambrano will go for the Cubs in Mesa vs. the Royals. He will face Edgar Osuna; among Royals relievers will be Robinson Tejeda, John Parish and Bryan Bullington. It's also a split-squad game for KC; the other half of their team is playing the Brewers today.

In Phoenix vs. the A's, Tom Gorzelanny gets the start. For those of you curious about how he's doing, Ben Sheets will start for the A's. It's a split-squad extravaganza today; Oakland sends half a team to Goodyear to play the Reds. They're expected to play most of their regulars against the Cubs, though.

Both of today's games are on MLB Audio and radio. The game vs. the Royals will be on WGN. The game vs. the Athletics will be on KTRB (Oakland). Here is the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday for Cubs/Royals Gameday for Cubs/Athletics

SB Nation game preview for Cubs/Royals

SB Nation game preview for Cubs/Athletics

Since both games start at the same time, I'll just post the usual threads: first pitch thread will post at 3 pm CDT, and the overflow thread at 4:15 pm CDT. If you need more, post one in a FanShot.

Discuss amongst yourselves.