Filed:June 5, 2009
He pitches. He hits. He steals bases. Rescues kittens on the side. Doubles as a Golden Glove champion. And can fix a five-course meal in under an hour.
Many of those talents were on display Friday, and Carlos Zambrano rolled off the disabled list, and into his 100th career win, beating the Reds 2-1.
Make no mistake; after a week layoff from his six-game suspension and subsequent pushed start, Zambrano was less than crisp.
There was a lot of overthrowing, and he appeared to be just a little extra amped up going up against the NL's other resident pitching slugger, Micah Owings. Zambrano would walk five in six-and-two-thirds innings of work, but struck out seven.
The 109 pitches thrown probably gives some indication about the trouble he had finding his spot, but Carlos did what good pitchers do; made the pitches he had to, and kept his club in the game.
Of course, he went a little above and beyond when in the fifth inning, he took a Micah Owings offering into the greater part of Great American for a solo home run, which proved to be the difference in the ballgame.
The Cubs bullpen gutted out their effort as well, allowing threats in both the eighth and ninth innings. But one thing you can count on with a Dusty Baker team is that they won't walk, and that unwillingness proved to be the difference as they chose to swing for the fences, rather than take advantage of the wildness of Carlos Marmol and Kevin Gregg.
With two on, and a man on third, Chris Dickerson would pop up to end the ballgame. Ahh, Dusty.
So, after a night like this, what does Zambrano do to cap it off? Evidently, retire.
Well, not immediately, but he's announced that he'll be quitting baseball after the expiration of his contract.
"After this contract, I'm done. I'm serious. I don't want to play. I want to help this team, I want to do everything possible to win with this team, but after five years or four years, or whatever I have left on my contract, I just don't want to play."
Hmm. He sounds serious. Personally though, I've stopped listening to ultra-competitive athletes when they make retirements statements. They just never seem to hold true.