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Big Z's Unpleasant Adventure
by Derek Smart
Carlos Zambrano had a rough day at the WB"C" yesterday, walking three, striking out two, and giving up three hits - one a homer to Adrian Beltre - and four runs against the Dominican Republic.
I got a chance to look at his outing when I got home, and what you had was a prototypical, super-hyped Z performance. He was overthrowing like crazy, all while using nearly every pitch and every arm slot he could find - I think he even borrowed some from his teammates - and as a result, he had no idea where any ball was going, and never really looked comfortable.
The home run he gave up was on a slider, and while it wasn't a "hit me" pitch, it wasn't a good one, either, meandering to the plate, a little high on a little too much of the dish, showing itself for what it was too early along its path, and rolling at the end rather than breaking.
It wasn't a real hanger, it just wasn't sharp or located well, and unfortunately for Z, when you toss something like that up on the inner half to a hitter like Beltre, you're going to wind up being responsible for a souvenir more often than not.
The outing wasn't something to be concerned about as a Cub fan - beyond the usual worries about Carlos being able to stay calm in this sort of situation - just a bad trip to the hill in March. Schedule permitting, I'll talk about Mr. Lee's day later.