September 20, 2008

Zambrano no-no a no-no this time

If Carlos Zambrano had any dreams of becoming only the second pitcher in ML history to throw back to back no-hitters, the Cardinals gave him a rude awakening yesterday at Wrigley Field. The Cardinals doubled the Cubs score, pounded the North-siders 12-6.

The Chicago Cubs' ace was rattled bigtime by a first-inning grand slam by Adam Kennedy, a Cardinal who just the other day, stated he didn't want to be a Cardinal any more, or least, made noises that he wanted to be trades.

Zambrano was not in control of his emotions before Kennedy came to the plate (big surprise), but by the time Kennedy was through depositing his opposite field gopher granny into the basket, Zambrano unraveled all the more. The Cubs' hurler might have been upset by what appeared to be a home plate umpire with not only a small strike zone, but at times, no strike zone at all. Additionally, Zambrano's grandmother had just passed away and he had returned barely in time to get prepared to pitch.

Whatever the reason for Zambrano's implosion, he lasted only 1.2 innings, putting Cubs' manager Lou Piniella in a quandary. He would divvy up the game between five more relievers, no more than a couple of innings for two of them, but leaving the Cubs in a restricted position for today's game as far as bullpen help.

On the day that saw 18 Cardinals' hits and 12 runs, Ryan Ludwick added a two-run dinger to the home run list. Doubling were Skip Schumaker, Jason LaRue, Aaron Miles, and Kennedy, who tallied five RBIs on the day.

Cards' starter Adam Wainwright earned the victory, his first against the Cubs, his record improving to 10-3.
The Cardinals play the Cubs again today, at 2:55 p.m. CT, the game nationally televised.

On several of the United Cardinals Bloggers blogsites, a live blogging event will take place with the Cards/Cubs game as a backdrop. Regular viewers of the Cardinals Community LIVEblog and/or LIVEcast presentations can participate as always, and should consider the live blog an all-access event. 4thebirds... encourages viewers to take advantage of the UCB members (and many special guests) presence on the live blog and ask questions and/or add their own comments.
Pujols/Lopez photo by SD Dirk
Marshall photo by Barbara Moore