Friday, October 5, 2007

Curses, Chicago style

Cub fans must be comforted in knowing Carlos Zambrano is well rested for Game 4. Now, the trick is getting to a Game 4.

If the Cubs don’t beat Arizona Saturday, Zambrano will be well rested for the spring training opener in March.

Such is the downside to manager Lou Piniella’s decision to pull Zambrano after six innings in a 1-1 game Tuesday after his workhorse of an ace threw only 85 pitches. Zambrano averages 109 pitches per start, so you figure he had plenty left in the tank.

Piniella’s reasoning: He wanted Zambrano fresh for Game 4. Sound thinking, maybe, if the Cubs had a big league Tuesday or if they won Wednesday to split the first two with Arizona.

They didn’t.

Carlos Marmol replaced Zambrano and allowed a home run to the first batter he faced for the winning hit in Arizona’s 3-1 victory. The Diamondbacks then pounded the Cubs 8-4 on Wednesday.

Now the Cubs' season is on the line Saturday, and Zambrano has yet to be a factor.
Cub fans expected something absurd would derail their dreams of ending a 99-year World Series championship drought. They just didn’t expect it to happen seven innings into the postseason.

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