Big Cra-Z: Carlos Zambrano Goes Loco in Cubs' Win

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IMay 27, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 27: Starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano #38 of the Chicago Cubs throws his glove into the dugout after being thrown out of a game in the 7th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates as pitching coach Larry Rothschild watches on May 27, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Pirates 5-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Did the Cubs call up Sacha Baron Cohen to start their game against the Pirates on Wednesday afternoon, or was that Carlos Zambrano going nuclear in the top of the seventh inning?

Even the well-mannered Milton Bradley was impressed, being quoted after the game referring to the tirade as "Bradley-like."

Talk about tact!

It all happened in the top of the seventh inning, an inning Zambrano started despite having thrown 107 pitches through six innings.

Nyjer Morgan, also known as Juan Pierre Jr., attempted to score from third on a wild pitch and was called safe. Zambrano felt he had tagged Morgan in time.

Then the "Fourth of July" erupted behind the plate.

Zambrano got into the face of Mark Carlson, the home plate umpire, immediately losing his cool. It appeared Carlson stepped into contact with Zambrano, and ejected the Cubs' starter on the spot.

Zambrano's reaction? Throwing out Carlson!

That's right, Zambrano motioned that he was ejecting the home plate umpire from the game. He would also throw the baseball into the bleachers from just behind the plate, threw a nice slider with his glove (pictured above), and then took a baseball bat to the new Gatorade machine in the dugout.

Cubs' manager Lou Piniella was in awe of the two-year old fit that Zambrano threw, jesting about it in the post game press conference.

Piniella was also likely trying to help diffuse the likely suspension of his ace starter, having just come off the disabled list. After all, the team's bullpen is a wreck and Rich Harden is also on the DL right now.

Thankfully for Cubs' fans, the team rallied better than the Gatorade machine and ended up with a 5-2 victory.

Reed Johnson hit a solo home run to break the Morgan-produced tie and then newly-called up Jake Fox and Andres Blanco had RBI doubles to cap a three-run eighth inning.

But the volcanic Zambrano was the story, and will likely be the highlight reel for the rest of the season for his tirade.

This was the second time in three days that the Cubs have had a starting pitcher ejected from a game. This time, however, at least the pitcher was part of the game when he was ejected.

On Monday night, during Ryan Dempster's mediocre start, Ted Lilly was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire. Lilly would eventually jump the dugout fence and get into the umpire's face.

Of course, earlier this season, Bradley was ejected and subsequently suspended for contact with an umpire during the opening series of the season at Wrigley.

Where did all the mild-mannered, "lovable losers" go from Chicago's North Side?


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