After Carlos Zambrano was pushed back a couple days because he had a bit of a tired arm, he came into Tuesday nights affair against the Houston Astros needing to be the man for the Cubs. He was being called upon to stop the 3 game losing streak, the longest home losing streak of the season and to put the Cubs back into the win column. And with the Milwaukee Brewers playing NL East contenders in Milwaukee, hoping to at least keep Milwaukee 4.5 games back. And in the first inning, Big Z came out firing. He retired the Astros 1-2-3, throwing 95 mph heat and striking out one. But after that, inning, an inning in which the Cubs gave him a 1-run lead, Big Z never pitched like Big Z again. Maybe it was because of arm fatigue. Maybe it was just him not having his stuff. Whatever it was, Zambrano was gone after 5 innings and only 86 pitches. But that wasn't the end of the night for him.
Apparently, Zambrano told pitching Coach Larry Rothschild that something was wrong and when a pitcher tells you something is wrong, you immediately think its the arm. And that's exactly what it is. Zambrano is scheduled to have his arm examined today but nothing will probably be known until Thursday or Friday of this week. Something tells me that this time, its not going to be something as simple as him needing a couple of weeks off. And even then, the Cubs can't afford it.
But if that was the only bit of bad news, well it wouldn't be so bad. But as it goes with the Cubs, there's something else. The Cubs are skipping Rich Harden this week for precautionary measures. To 'keep his arm fresh' is what they would say. The problem with that is, haven't they been doing that with him already? Haven't they been trying to keep his arm fresh by limiting the number of pitches he throws in an outing? Is there something else wrong that the Cubs hope will clear up with an extra week of rest? Something tells me that this might be worse than they are letting on and we can't afford to lose Harden and Zambrano.