Friday, April 14, 2006

Zambrano Loses His Mind

I've made no secret of the fact that I think the Cubs can beat the odds and win the NL Central this year. (And, therefore, win it all, since the baseball playoffs are a crapshoot.) However, if Carlos Zambrano keeps performing as if he has rocks for brains, I might have to back off of that prediction. Today on a glorious afternoon at Wrigley, Zambrano bumbled his way to a bad loss against the Reds. He tried to pick off pitcher Eric Milton while Derrek Lee was playing behind the runner. Result: Balk. Then he was so rattled that he beaned Ryan Freel to put two runners on. This was followed by Zambrano doing his favorite thing, which is getting behind the hitter, and then to him serving up a 3-1 fastball to Felipe Lopez (who is going to get PAID at some point). He also screwed things up later when he got behind Milton 3-1 and allowed a triple. Seconds later, he tried to pick the pitcher off of third base and fired it into the stands (where it appeared to clock an unsuspecting fan). Four runs allowed because of ridiculous decisions. This guy has to be the Cubs ace this year and that means keeping his emotions in check, getting ahead of hitters, and not flying off the cuff with ad lib decisions. Otherwise, I'm taking back that "Cubs win! Cubs win!" prediction.

1 comment:

Jeff Dritz said...

Zambrano's unpredicability is what makes him so much fun to watch. You could visibly see him self-destruct on Thursday, dooming the Cubs (though the game would have been saved if Dusty Baker had just pinch-hit with Michael Barrett, the "best hitter in the National League," according to the drunk abusive father sitting a couple rows back). Zambrano's craziness keeps other people in check. His wins rarely get blown by relievers. Once he's been removed from the game, he sharpens his shivs at the front of the dugout, just to let the relievers know what will happen to them if they blow his lead. This is why the Cubs had to trade LaTroy Hawkins; Zambrano stabbed him in the stomach.