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A Hard Act To Follow: Cubs vs. Diamondbacks Preview, Friday 3/5, 2:05 CT

You realize, of course, what yesterday's big five-homer, 9-3 barrage of the A's represents.

Now fans are going to expect this to happen every day during spring training. Not quite so easy today -- the Diamondbacks are a better team than the Athletics (who might be the worst team in the American League) and the Cubs will be facing a better pitcher than they did on Thursday.

Nevertheless, winning is always better than losing. Lou Piniella often likes to see one minor leaguer do well in spring training and latches on to him -- and the kid makes the roster. He did this with Micah Hoffpauir -- who, granted, was no "kid" when he made the team -- but maybe Tyler Colvin will now catch Lou's attention. In any event, if Colvin continues to hit the way he did yesterday, he will have to get consideration for the 25-man roster.

Meanwhile, Carlos Marmol, who won't pitch until Saturday, is going into this year with much more confidence, knowing the closer role is his. Throwing strikes would also be useful.

Carlos Zambrano makes his first Cactus League start today. Casey Coleman, Jeff Stevens, John Gaub, Marcos Mateo and Justin Berg also are scheduled to pitch. Shameless plug: you can read more about Coleman, whose father and grandfather were major league pitchers, in the Maple Street Press Cubs Annual. The story was written by BCB's Josh77. You should be able to now find the annual in Chicago-area bookstores, newsstands, and places like Walgreens and Target. It's also on sale at the HoHoKam Park gift shop and I believe in certain bookstores in the Phoenix area.

For reference for the next few days, Bruce Miles has all the scheduled pitchers.

Dan Haren will start for Arizona. Adam LaRoche will make his AZ debut. Mark Reynolds is also scheduled to make the trip from Tucson.

There is no radio or TV coverage of today's game, but here's the complete Mediacenter for today. Gameday

SB Nation game preview

First pitch thread will post at 2 pm CST. An overflow thread will post at 3:15 CST.

Discuss amongst yourselves.