Thursday, September 25, 2008
Cubbie Chaser: Head Cases Need Not Apply
You know who I'm not too impressed with right now? Carlos Zambrano...and the Mets, but that's a rant for another fan.
Guy gave up 5 runs in 4 2/3 innings Wednesday night -- one via a bases-loaded walk (his third walk in a row) -- and looked like a crazed lunatic out there, yelling at himself (and we can assume the home plate umpire) after every pitch out of the strike zone. You just KNEW he was going to give up that grand slam to Carlos Delgado because his body language screamed, "I HAVE LOST MY FOCUS AND HAVE NO SHOT OF GETTING IT BACK."
If you recall, Zambrano gave up 8 runs in 2 innings during his previous start against the Cardinals.
This is supposed to be a staff ace tuning up for the most important postseason of his career -- and of all Cub fans born after 1908's lives?
That no-hitter Z tossed on Sept. 14 seems like it happened last season, for Pete's sake. And the past two weeks typify my relationship with Z as a fan...a love-hate emotional roller coaster. He excites me and frustrates me like no other player. Of course, I want him to succeed, but I also want him to get his head out of his ass.
Lou Piniella's not doing cartwheels over Z's recent performance, either. It seems almost certain he's going to name Ryan Dempster the starter for next week's NLDS opener. Which he definitely should (if you read this blog, you know how I feel about The Amazing Dempster).
Here's Lou, on Z, in Thursday's Chicago Tribune: "...You know, I wish he would quit fighting himself out there. Just relax and pitch and have some fun. He gets angry when he doesn't do what he expects to do, and it detracts from his ability. I've tried to tell him that so many times, and he understands when I tell him. He forgets when he pitches."
Well, for God's sake, Lou, if you have to tape a sign to his locker or tie him down and tattoo it to the inside of his wrist -- whatever -- you've got to get through to this guy. He's too old and has been in baseball too long to be such a freakin' head case.