3/15 Cubs vs. White Sox

The Cubs and White Sox square off on Friday at Glendale in a split squad game for the Cubs. Scott Feldman will start while the other half of the team faces Team Japan in an exhibition game at HoHoKam Stadium. This is the last meeting between the intracity rivals until a four-game home and road series May 27-30. This will be different than the six-game Interleague series the two teams have played in the past.

“I like it,” said Brent Lillibridge, a non-roster invitee for the Cubs, who has played for the White Sox in these games in the past. “Especially last year, after doing it for four years with the White Sox, it was a great experience and a lot of fun, but last year, I think the fans got stagnant a little bit and there wasn’t the intensity right away.

“I don’t know exactly why they changed it to four — I think because there’s so much Interleague play happening,” he said. “I think this will work good. A smaller series, even though it’s a four-game series — although it’s hard to win a four-game series — the less games will make it more fun for the fans who look forward to it. Also, away or home, you’re still at home. Two, you get to play in your own city and your fans for that time, it’s exciting and I like how it’s going. In the end, obviously, the most important thing for Chicago is they want to see that seven-game series and the World Series.

“[Intracity series] are always a great thing. Basically every city that has two teams loves that. It’s a great time of trash talking and all the stuff. Fans love it. I like that there are a few less games so it’s not dragged out process. We’ll just get them out of the way, have fun playing them and move on to playing our division.”

Do the players see them as exhibition games? Lillibridge says no.

“There’s a better vibe, more excitement, there’s more of a playoff feel to it because the fans are so rowdy,” he said. “We enjoy seeing the fans get at each other verbally and chanting, ‘Go White Sox’ and during the seventh inning stretch, screaming out. That’s the fun stuff about it. That’s why it’s been a fun part of the season every year. I think the four games is a good medium for going forward.”

Friday’s lineup at Glendale:

Valbuena 3B
Barney 2B
Castro SS
Schierholtz RF
Hairston DH
Navarro C
Bogusevic LF
McDonald CF
Nelson 1B

– Carrie Muskat

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