A League of Her Own

Cubs Sunday Headlines & Game Thread: Cubs @ Cards, 1:15 PM CDT

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano points skyward following the end of the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on August 14, 2010. UPI/Bill Greenblatt Photo via Newscom
It was a hot day in St. Louis. Carlos Zambrano took the mound and gave up a first-inning run. All of Cubdom was ready for a spectacular implosion. But cool, calm collected Carlos showed up at Busch Stadium yesterday, and the Cubs won a one-run game.

Zambrano was sharp, as he used three or four different pitches and kept his walks total down to two after walking seven his last time out.

"Every time I go to the mound, I expect to win," said Zambrano, who is 4-6 with a 5.27 ERA. "Unfortunately, sometimes it doesn't happen, but today I got blessed by God. Thank God everything was working today against a tough lineup."

Zambrano gave up a two-out run in the sixth, when Mateo finished the inning. After undergoing anger-management treatment, Zambrano was the picture of calm and cool on a hot day in a tense game.


It wasn't enough just to win the game though, Carlos went ahead and dispensed wisdom on not being angry.

''It has to be; it has to be,'' he said. ''We learn from things that happen in our life. Obviously, we also learn from things that happen in baseball. I've learned the lesson. Now I just have to be in control of what I can do. Whatever [teammates] can do, I understand, and I'm OK with that. They try their best and try as hard as I do, and they're human, too.''

And a bit more on what he can and can't control:

"Today I was calmer and just went out there and had fun," Zambrano said. "Just throw the ball, and whatever happens. I have the control to dominate the ball before I release it. After I release it, I don't have the control of what they do."

As for the bullpen, Carlos Marmol got his first save in 19 days.

But there was a Carlos Marmol sighting at the end of the Cubs' game Saturday -- a rarity not lost on the Cubs' closer.

''Been awhile, about a month,'' said Marmol, who ended his longest save-opportunity drought of the season by earning a five-out save in the Cubs' 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

It had been 19 days since his last one as the Cubs went 16 games without a ninth-inning save chance, winning only two games in that span.

I love watching Marmol pitch. Pretty soon, those of us who love watching Jeff Samardzija pitch will have our dream come true.

Samardzija is 9-2 at Iowa with a 3.27 earned-run average since being sent down in April. He's expected to return by the time rosters expand in September.

"When he comes up, he'll get a couple starts," general manager Jim Hendry said. "He's close to being ... prepared to come up and succeed. He needed better command of his fastball, and he also needed to soften his other game a little bit.

"Maybe there were times when he was throwing the splitter and trying slider too hard, so all of a sudden, everything was hard, hard, hard. He's learned to soften his game up, his command is better and he's 9-2 and had very few bad days."


Alas, Spellcheck won't be pitching today, but de facto ace Ryan Dempster (10-8, 3.66) will. He'll oppose Kyle Lohse (1-4, 5.89). The rubber match of the series starts at 1:15 and can be seen on WGN and heard on WGN radio.

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27 Comments

secdelahc said:

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Carlos Zambrano- Zen master?

sloan peterson said:

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So Z can now write a book called,"Windup,Pitch, Release"? More importantly who will play Z in the movie?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Rob Dibble has apologized. It looks like both his mom and wife put the beat-down on him: http://www.masnsports.com/rob_dibble/2010/08/the-greatness-of-baseball.html

JulieDiCaro said:

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I should add that MASN's PR guy emailed me this link, so the powers that be must have told him to shut the hell up. Not to mention his mom and wife.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I did not realize we're 6.5 games behind Milwaukee. This saddens me.

Cubs Fan Report said:

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Zambrano almost looked like his old self on the mound yesterday and even showed some signs of maturity. Hopefully Dempster can continue to ride the wave and recover from an early Pujols homer.

Teebob2000 said:

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Anyone here who doesn't think Blake Dewitt sucks at baseball??

Edelweiss said:

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How does he compare to Theriot?

Teebob2000 said:

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Theriot's 10 lbs lighter, bats righty and also sucks at baseball; roughly the same amount as Dewitt.

Edelweiss said:

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On the plus side, he is 2 inches taller than Theriot, and he sucks for less money.

gravedigger said:

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Twins hav ea no-hitter into the 8th. Rookie pitcher pulled after 7.

gravedigger said:

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Nevermind.

gravedigger said:

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Who is that playing first?

gravedigger said:

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Marlon Byrd is pretty damn good at baseball.

gravedigger said:

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I don't know anybody in the Cubs bullpen

Edelweiss said:

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You sound lonesome.

Teebob2000 said:

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God in heaven, we better not lose this freaking game.

gravedigger said:

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They tried, but failed.

Teebob2000 said:

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Of course, they fail at everything this season.

gravedigger said:

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I mean...

Wait. I'm confused.

Edelweiss said:

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At least Julie can rejoice, now that her favorite target, Mikey, is gone. By the way, when the Padres were in town, they got him and Eckstein to stand next to each other. Eckstein is about two inches taller.

Edelweiss said:

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I just heard from my "source", that during end of June and the entire month of July, several players were told to do all they could to make Theriot look good. Infielders were told not to dive for balls, because it might make Theriot look lazy by comparison. That is why Zambrano got so mad at his team-mates, and why he was given so harsh a treatment by Lou. The players were told not to steal bases because it is Theriot's specialty. Infielders who hustled were not given playing time to drive Lou's point home. Now that Theriot is gone, Fukudome is now getting showcased. (But they wouldn't DARE to tell Byrd not to hustle). The Cubs have not been trying to win since June, but once the team rosters are set(Sept 1), they may try again.

FrankS said:

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OMG, pass the tinfoil.

gravedigger said:

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I miss the old LOHO feature where we could post the "Post of the Day." I'd be posting this one right now.

FrankS said:

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The statements would have more credence if the claim was that the Cubs were tanking to cause financial hardships for the rooftops, thereby depressing the prices of the buildings outside Wrigley so that Ricketts could buy them on the cheap. And even that sounds ridiculous.

If the Cubs were that intent on getting rid of Theriot, why not just DFA him? He doesn't make that much money. It doesn't make any sense to risk losing games to maybe save $1,000,000 or so in salary because its going to cost them more when it comes to revenues next year. This year's poor performance will affect the money the Cubs earn via television and radio because the ratings are down thereby affecting the price of ads in the broadcasts. It will also probably have an effect on the prices the Cubs can charge for signage at the ballpark. More than likely ticket sales will suffer next year. Already there is a public outcry that ticket prices should be rolled back which affect revenues as well.

Edelweiss said:

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Theriot must have a really good agent. Also, it is hard to tell what was really behind the statements. All we know is what the players were told.

FrankS said:

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All we know is what you posted, but we don't know that any of what you wrote is true.

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