Northside For Life

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Cubs off on the right foot.

Well the Cubs win the first game of the season, a 16-6 rout over the Arizona Diamondbacks. I watched most of the game and was pretty impressed with the Cub offense. All you heard in the last few months is how were the Cubs going to put up runs after losing Alou and Sosa. Well it appears the Cubbies have answered that question. Now I don't expect them to light up the scoreboard every day, and it's only one game out of 162, but I feel pretty good about the team's ability to produce some runs.

Big Z, Carlos Zambrano, looked decent altough he was a little wild at times. It didn't help that home plate umpire Dale Scott squeezed him on a few close pitches. I still think Dusty should have just let him work out of that bases-loaded situation. The Cubs were up six, and they didn't seem to have any trouble hitting the ball, especially considering the fact that they went on to score 7 more runs in the game. Then again, Scott's calls were starting to get to Zambrano and he was letting his emotions get the best of him, eventually getting himself thrown out of the game after Dusty went to get him.

What's the deal with Big Z anyway? The last two years we read about how he has matured and is going to do a better job at keeping his cool, only to see him have a meltdown when the slightest thing goes against him. Let's see, last year he flipped out at Jim Edmonds after he homered off him, plunking him on his next at-bat and getting thrown out. Then he threw his hat to the ground in disgust when Todd Walker cut off a throw to the plate. And now he gets thrown out of the game on OPENING DAY. Don't get me wrong, I love Big Z to death. The kid is young, has a great arm, and is only going to get better. He is easily going to become a 20 game winner pretty soon, maybe even this year. But he has to keep his emotions in check. It's ok to be fiery and competitive, but it becomes a problem when your game is undercut by your emotions. And that's what happens to Big Z. The ump doesn't give him a couple of strikes, he loses it. There's an error on the field. He loses it. He throws a bad pitch and it gets knocked out of the park, he becomes a wreck. Z needs to learn to deal with these things and pitch through them because until Woody and Prior show that they can stay consistently healthy he is the staff ace.


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