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Monday, September 03, 2007

Zambrano Stomped: Dodgers 11, Cubs 3

Carlos Zambrano got clobbered in his outing against the Dodgers today, in a game where the Dodgers weren't getting any breaks in the early going, including a 0-1 count fastball off Esteban Loaiza that Alfonso Soriano knocked into the left-center bleachers. The most egregious example was a called strike three against Andre Ethier that was clearly a foul ball but home plate umpire Ed Hickox ruled it a strikeout even after consultation with third base umpire Ed Rapuano.

No matter. Zambrano blew up in the fifth, perhaps sparked by a bad catch on a pickoff toss to Derrek Lee. Z exited the game leaving a pair on base, with Will Ohman to contend with James Loney. Loney doubled both of them in, and things just went downhill from there for the Cubs, who were never really in it. The game represented a tie for Zambrano's worst career outing, the other being a June 22, 2005 9-4 blowout in which he also surrendered eight earned runs but only lasted an inning and two-thirds.

The best possible news for the Dodgers: Loney (3) and LaRoche (2) were responsible for almost half the team's RBIs. According to reports I heard after the game, LaRoche was also responsible for some sparkling defensive play, including two 5-4-3 double plays. This team might be worth watching, if only they could get over Ned Colletti's insistence on signing too many damn vetruhns.

Update: BCB reminds us that another possible precipitating event for Z's implosion was his out-at-the-plate, running through a stop sign at third on Alfonso Soriano's double. Al thinks that kind of thing tends to unhinge him.

Update 2: David Pinto explains why he loves Vin Scully:

With the Dodgers up 11-2 at Wrigley field, Vin Scully describes the fans:
The crowd is sullen if not mutinous.

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