Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Scary sight at Wrigley

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Whether it was a bona fide Cub Occurrence or just that chronic issue of cramps, Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano was forced to leave the Cubs opener today in the top of the seveth after picking off Bill Hall at second base.

Zambrano, who has dueled Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets to a scoreless tie so far, favored his pitching hand after making the huge play for the second out of the inning. After manager Lou Piniella and trainer Mark O'Neal looked over Zambrano, Big Z left the game.

Last year's setup ace, Carlos Marmol, took over with a 0-2 count on Corey Hart and threw one pitch -- a called strike -- to finish the half inning.

No immediate word from the Cubs on Z's injury.

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14 Comments

Way to go, Carlos. What, was gatorade too much to drink today. Hey idiot, it's cold, but you can STILL DEHYDRATE.

Carlos pitched like the ace that he is. Fukudome was unbelievable. This loss goes on the 1-4 hitters. Theriot, Soriano, Lee and Ramirez were as bad today as they were in the playoffs against Arizona. They need to contribute.

Hey Al, the 1-4 batters produced just one hit between them, so your criticism is warranted. But don't let the 6-9 hitters off the hook either. Pie struck out on a curveball way out of the zone with runners at the corners and two outs his first time up, and then struck out looking his second time up, followed by a groundout later on. Soto was great last year, but only had 54 AB's, and isn't likely to see much to hit with Pie behind him. Pie isn't going to see anything to hit in front of the pitcher, especially being the free swinger he is. This lineup is poorly constructed. Soriano batting second is also a problem, as he doesn't have the ability to make contact, bunt to move runners over, or get on base often enough in front of the 3-5 hitters.

I would love to see a manager go old school and let a guy pitch more than one inning. More to the point if a guy is looking good, leave him in to face a few more batters. Now I didn't get to see the game due to work. But from what I have seen, read and heard sounds like Marmol could have faced a few more guys. How many times have you seen a guy come in and shut it down for an inning only to have the next guy come in and load the bases or something to that effect? Let your relief pitchers pitch. Doesn't seem that hard to me. I'm not sayin do it everyday but if your throwin good, let him throw. Just a thought.

Rick, I agree 100%, I am not an Aramis Ramirez fan, and will never be one, I have had enough of his hitting .098, in the months of April, and May, and as if that`s not enough, he had the balls to stand and watch as Soto chased a pop foul behind the plate that the wind was going to eventually blow right toward Ramirez, which he could have easily caught, and would have been an important putout, but he instead does NOTHING, except watch as his team loses another Opening Day game. I hope the rest of you Cub fans start taking notice, and will voice your opinion about this guy, I was ready to get rid of him 3 years ago, and if Soriano wants to emulate Ramirez, then he can go as well. I would much rather have the two studs that the Brewers have in Braun, and Hart.

Wow bobby, Aramis Ramirez is a hell of a good player. How could you want braun and hart? Geez braun puts up one good year, and you want to throw one of our best players under the bus? come on, and than to say soriano can go too? get out of here, go be a brewers fan than and try to catch the CUBBIES this year!! GO CUBS!

So Wood gives up three runs in the ninth, the Cubs don't score if Fukodome isn't in the lineup and Al's giving Zambrano thumbs down because he cramped? Give me a break.

Janko

There's a reason the 6-9 guys hit at 6-9. If they didn't chase pitches and get outsmarted at the plate, they would bat in the top 4. The poor offensive performance belongs solely to the 1-4 guys. Derrek gets a little bit of a pass, but he just doesn't look right to me, and not just because he's typically a slow starter. And did Aramis even put wood on a ball Monday?

The whole line up is wrong. Theriot is not a lead off man. At best 8th. Soriano isn't a no. 2 hitter as well, best suited in the 5,6 or 7th hole. Get Roberts and put FUKU second. Soto clean up and have Ramirez protect him. In the long run he will pan out. Were was the speed we were to see ? They stole bases and we didn't even try. Marmol will be the closer by June.

We don't have Roberts, so you can't count on him. He's not a base stealer but he has a high OBP, so I would put DeRosa 1st. Then I would have Lee, Fukudome, Ramirez, Soriano, Soto, Pie and Theriot. You have your highest OBP guys at the top, followed by power, followed by speed so maybe you can steal some runs at the bottom of the lineup. And you have a more patient hitter in front of the pitcher.

This is a response to Dan and letting Marmol pitch another inning. I am not sure if you are referring to the game or just in general...but the game, Marmol was to lead-off batting the next inning, hence he was taken out of the game.

Just a heads up, the name under the comments is who posted them. I think you were taking to Kevin. I (Bobby) like Ramirez and think (hope)Soriano will have a big year. I AM A CUB FAN. Unless Zell sells Wrigley's name. Then i'm done with baseball but thats another topic. I just want to see relief pitchers pitch a little longer, thats all. SOX SUCK, GO CUBS!!!!!!!

Bobby, it doesn't matter what Zell does. Everyone will still call the park Wrigley. If someone buys naming rights, it will be a worse investment than Soriano.

Rick, I know its just a name but somethings you just don't mess. We as fans need to take stands from time to time. I mean if the name goes its just a matter of time before someone say we need a new stadium or we're going to move the team. Now I know people are going to say " that will never happen". But weren't the Bears talking about going to Gary In. a while back and I bet 5, 10 years ago Yankee fans never thought 2008 would be the last year in their stadium. All I'm sayin is, I like my Cubs playin in Wrigley Field.

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