3/17 Who’ll pitch Opening Day?

Expect Dale Sveum to name his Opening Day starter next week.

“I don’t have an explanation of why but it’s the way we want to do it,” the Cubs manager said Saturday.

The decision appears to be between Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza. Both have made three starts. Dempster, who was the Cubs’ Opening Day starter last year, has given up four runs on 12 hits and three walks over 8 2/3 innings, striking out five. Garza has served up eight runs on nine hits and three walks over 7 1/3 innings and struck out five.

“It’d be nice to see them one more time, that’s what we want to do,” Sveum said.

The Cubs open the season April 5 against the Nationals, and with the built in off day on April 6, whoever gets the start will face Washington and also the Brewers.

Garza mentioned Friday he was eager to get the season started.

“Yeah, it’s that kind of time,” Sveum said. “You know the players are ready to play, the legs are ready. The innings are something we have to get going but the players are ready to go. I think some guys need more at-bats to get more comfortable. It’s that time of spring where position players especially are like, ‘OK, I’ve had enough. It’s time to start playing.'”

— Carrie Muskat

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