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Cubs vs. Mariners at Mesa preview, Wednesday 3/3, 2:05 CT

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The Cubs go for three spring wins in a row.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It’s just two games into the spring, but so far the Cubs have displayed good pitching and solid defense.

Those can be the hallmarks of a championship team.

This 2016 article notes that year’s Cubs, by one measure, were among the greatest defensive teams in MLB history. Though the 2016 Cubs scored 808 runs, that was fewer than the 855 scored by the 2008 Cubs. Where the 2016 Cubs really dominated the league was in runs allowed. Their 556 runs allowed was the fewest in the NL by 56, and the fewest by any Cubs team in a full 162-game season since that season length began in 1962.

Point: If the Cubs play that kind of defense this year, they will win a lot of games.

GAME NOTE: Today’s game will go nine innings.

Here are today’s particulars.

Cubs lineup:

Rizzo 1B, Contreras C, Bryant 3B, Pederson LF, Baez SS, Heyward RF, Maybin CF, Bote 2B, Martini DH

Quite a few regulars in the lineup for national TV.

Mariners lineup:

Moore 2B, Lewis CF, France 3B, Marmolejos 1B, Raleigh C, Kelenic DH, Fraley RF, Trammell LF, Walton SS

Zach Davies will start for the Cubs this afternoon. Other Cubs pitchers today: Jason Adam, Andrew Chafin, Juan Gamez, Tommy Nance, James Norwood, Kohl Stewart, Jerry Vasto and Brandon Workman.

Ljay Newsome will start for the Mariners. Other Mariners pitchers today: JT Chargois, Nick Duron, Aaron Fletcher, Vinny Nittoli and Jimmy Yacabonis.

Today’s game is on ESPN, full national broadcast, no blackouts. ESPN announcers: Jason Benetti and Jessica Mendoza.

MLB.com Gameday

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.

Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

Please visit our SB Nation Mariners site Lookout Landing. If you do go there to interact with Mariners 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.

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 photos and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.

Discuss amongst yourselves.