Derek Lee hits a run in. Micah hits a home run and a funky infield single makes it 4 – 0 going into the top of the ninth for the Cubs. But, it’s amazing how little time it takes to take a way a win from a pitcher who’s pitched two really good games, only to have the bull pen F*CK it up in the final inning or so.
Yeah, Kevin Gregg. You are a waste of talent that we traded away for because of Kerry Wood wasn’t resigned. They have to sit your *** because of your knee. They didn’t sign WOODY because they didn’t want a long deal. (Bet you’re re-thinking that decision—as I am by the way–Mr. Hendry.)
Lou didn’t managed this game for ****. The minute Gregg gave up the home run, you should have had someone tossing in the bullpen. That way if he gave up another hit or a home run you could have yanked Gregg’s butt and throw him into the dugout. And after that third hit, I definitely would have yanked him by the shirt collar.
Heilman came out and did what he had to do to keep it from going completely out of control. And if it wasn’t for a bad throw…
Well.. just be thankful that’s still only a 1/2 game and not a game like it could have been.
I seriously hope either WGN or CSN will replay the game because I so want to see this game and record to save for all prosperity. Seriously folks, from the highlights I saw on ESPN, Zambrano looked awesome and looked like his old self.
According to what was said on the radio this morning, Larrry Rothschild spoke with Big Z about his pitching mechanics and apparently, Z had been throwing with his shoulder, instead of using his legs as his power source. What a change in mechanics makes, because Z just confused the Astros at the plate.
I will give the ‘Stros the benefit of the doubt. It was probably a task to get out of Houston in order to travel to Miller Park in time for the game on Sunday. And my heart goes out to them and their friends in the Houston area as the region continues to recover from Hurricane Ike.
In the post-game interview, Cubs manager, Lou Piniella couldn’t have been happier. They were going to lo limit Zambrano to a 100-pitch count. But there was no way Piniella was going to yank his ace.
Zambrano and the Cubs never let up. Alfonso Soriano connected for his 28th home run of the season in the first. The Cubs scored four more runs in the third. After that, it was the Zambrano show with the 22,000 plus crowed chanting “Let’s Go Z!”
About the only thing that frustrated the Cubs ace was his at-bat in the seventh ininning. In most situation, the pitcher would break his bat across his team.
“I was feeling too good to do that,” Zambrano said with a smirk. “I saw Lou’s face. I said, ‘No, not today.'”
As the game progressed, it became more apparent that something special was happening.
“I was watching the scoreboard every inning,” Zambrano said. “In the ninth inning, when I came out the crowd was all crazy and that helped me a little bit. Thank God, it was the eight, nine and the leadoff hitter [in the ninth] and I was able to dominate those three guys.”
The team just hoped Zambrano would give them a solid outting.
“I didn’t expect it,” Chicago’s Derrek Lee said. “I expected him to try to give us five or six innings and get out of there. But, wow. He obviously was feeling good, throwing the ball like that. That’s a huge lift for us.”
Zambrano threw 110 pitches, striking out 10 and walking one.
With the win on Sunday, the Cubs increased their lead over the Brewers to seven-and-a-half games after the Brewers were swept by the Philadelphia Phillies. The Cubs magic number is now seven. The Brewers and the Phillies are tied for the wild card with Houston two games in back.
What’s more unique about this no-hitter, is that it was played a neutral location. Hurricane Ike had already played havoc with the games on Friday and Saturday, but it became apparent on Saturday that there was no way the games could be played in Houston on Sunday. Houston Astros General Manager Drayton McLane was adament about being able to play one day after a major hurricane ravaged the Houston area.
This was the first no-hitter played a neutral site.
Miller Park is considered Wrigley North and that may have helped Zambrano along the way. Though, anyone who was there got to see history made.It’s not everyday a no-hitter gets tossed.
The Cubs play the second game today at Miller Park at 2:05 p.m. (Eastern). Jason Marquis (10-8) takes the mound for the Cubs. Brian Moehler (11-6) goes to the mound for the Astros. The game can be seen on CSN. The final game (if necessary) will be played at the end of the season at Minute Maid Park.
Quotes from MLB.COM
Lou Piniella announced after the second game on Wednesday that he’ll go with Sean Marshall on Sunday as the start for Sunday’s game against the Florida Marlins. Jeff Samardzija was rumored to be vying for the job.
Marshall has started three games for the Cubs this season and is their long man in the bullpen. The longest out for Samardzija was 2 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 3.
The Cubs took both games of the day-night double header on Wednesday. The Cubs won 10-2 in the first game and 8-0 in the second game. The Cubs improved to 28-30 on the road and remain 3 1/2 games atop of the Central Division over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Cubs go for the series sweep against the Atlanta Braves Thursday at 7pm Eastern. The Cubs send Ted Lilly who looks to get his 12 win of the season to the mound against veteran Tom Glavine.