SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Over the last 20 years, the Cubs have played exhibition games on the weekend before the regular season in such diverse places as Chase Field (2002, 2003, 2010, Yankee Stadium (2009), Minute Maid Park (2013) and even the New Orleans Superdome (1999).
But I can't remember any of those games being played against the same team the Cubs were opening the season against, in the same ballpark. So, you are witnessing a first, and for all we know, a last.
As in the Las Vegas games, I wouldn't expect the regulars to play more than a handful of innings, instead resting up for tomorrow's opener.
There are also three regular-season games today, a first for the Sunday beginning the season.
The Cardinals play the Pirates at PNC Park. That game is on ESPN, starting at noon CT (the same time as this preview posts).
The Blue Jays visit the Rays at Tampa. That game is on ESPN2, starting at 3 p.m. CT.
And, the Sunday night feature game matches last year's World Series participants, the Mets and Royals, at Kansas City. That game will be on ESPN, starting at 7:30 p.m. CT.
Here are today's Cubs/Angels particulars.
Fowler CF, Heyward RF, Bryant 3B, Rizzo 1B, Zobrist 2B, Schwarber LF, Soler DH, Montero C, Russell SS
Good to see Dexter Fowler back in the lineup. This very well could be the same lineup tomorrow (though Kyle Schwarber and Jorge Soler could switch positions between left field and DH).
Giovatella 2B, Nava LF, Calhoun DH, Cron 1B, Soto C, Pennington SS, Cunningham CF, Petit 3B, Robinson RF
Kyle Hendricks starts for the Cubs this afternoon.
Matt Shoemaker gets the call for the Angels.
Today's game is on 670 The Score with Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer. It's also available on MLB.tv via the Angels network Fox Sports West.
Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Please visit our SB Nation Angels site Halos Heaven. If you do go there to interact with Angels fans, please be respectful, abide by their individual site rules and serve as a good representation of Cub fans in general and BCB in particular.
Please note that during spring training, Gameday doesn't usually go pitch-by-pitch as it does during the regular season -- usually, it will update after each at-bat.
For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at five minutes to game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today, that will be 2 p.m. CT and 3:30 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. There will also be a StoryStream on the front page with all the game thread links, as well as the recap after the game is over. The pitcher boxes and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.
Discuss amongst yourselves.