Today is one of the most glorious days of the year. Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Tour in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship!
Actually, more importantly, today is also the first game of spring training. This is the first "Play ball" since Game 5 of the NLCS, a long four months ago. When Woods was busy winning the U.S. Open on a torn ACL and broken leg, the Dodgers were at their lowest point of the season. They just got swept by Detroit and were a season-worst seven games under .500, 5½ games behind the Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers and Cubs lock horns again today at HoHoKam Park, one of the greatest park names in all of baseball. Here is what we know about today's game:
- The game is not televised, but can be heard on KABC 790 AM
- Both teams will use the designated hitter
- Per Tony Jackson of the Daily News, niether Russell Martin, Rafael Furcal, nor Orlando Hudson will make the bus trip to Mesa, AZ -- the trip is about 33 miles, in case you were wondering.
Per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Pierre, Casey Blake, and James Loney are on the "traveling roster"
- Also from Gurnick, Claudio Vargas will be the starting pitcher, and will be followed by fellow 5th starter candidates Eric Milton and Ramon Troncoso.
- For the Cubs, per Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, regular starters Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto, Mike Fontenot, and Ryan Theriot will all play today
- Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports the Cubs will use pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Mitch Atkins to split the first four innings
UPDATE: Per Diamond Leung, here are the starting lineups:
|Pierre LF||Soriano LF|
|Ausmus C||Theriot SS|
|Ethier RF||Lee 1B|
|Loney 1B||Hoffpauir DH|
|Blake 3B||Soto C|
|Kemp CF||Fontenot 2B|
|DeWitt 2B||Johnson CF|
|Young DH||Robnett RF|
|Abreu SS||Scales 3B|
|Vargas P||Samadzija P|
"Let's go. Batter up. We're taking the afternoon off! It's a beautiful day for a ball game..."