Fergie Jenkins thinks Zambrano got too skinny

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Zambrano yells.jpgAnd here we thought being in the best shape of his life would make a big difference.  Here’s the great Fergie Jenkings on the Cubs’ highly-paid mopup man:

“The guy I thought was going to be a winner was Carlos Zambrano,”
Jenkins said. “But he just can’t get it together.” The reason, Jenkins speculated, was Zambrano’s offseason weight loss.

“Zambrano was always a guy who was pretty big. (Now) his fastball is
like my changeup. He doesn’t have the same movement. I think he took
away a big part of his ability by (dropping 30 pounds).”

Maybe. As I’ve written in the past, Zambrano is one of those guys who always looks kinda tired on the mound. Even when he was racking up innings pitched a couple of years ago, he always looked kinda sweaty and tired and like someone who could stand to lose that weight.

But I’m not going to lay it all on the line arguing with a guy like Fergie Jenkins about pitching, because he’s obviously forgotten more than any of us will ever know about it.  And I’ll offer that having extra weight hasn’t hurt guys like Sabathia and David Wells and any number of other portly pitchers.  A big, um, foundation can kind of help.

But who knows? Zambrano’s problems have always been more in his head than on his waistline, so I’m still hesitant to agree with Jenkins too. Especially considering that, as is obvious in the above photo, it’s not like Zambrano is wasting away or anything. He lost some bloat, but he’s still a big due. Likely bigger than he was when he came up and was throwing fire.

I do know that Zambrano has had an awful lot of free time down in the Cubs’ bullpen lately, having thrown seven innings in the over two weeks since he was relieved of his starting duties.  Maybe he should take Jenkins’ advice to heart and start eating Ho-Hos and hot dogs and stuff down there and see if he can’t regain that winning form.

Umpire admits he blew the call that got Joe Maddon ejected last night

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Last night in the top of the eighth inning of the Dodgers-Cubs game, Curtis Granderson struck out. Or, at the very least, he should’ve. After the game, the umpire who said he didn’t admitted he screwed up.

While trying to squelch a Dodgers comeback, Wade Davis got Granderson into a 2-2 count. Davis threw his pitch, Granderson whiffed on it, it hit the dirt, and Willson Contreras applied the tag for the out. End of the inning, right? Wrong: Granderson argued to home plate umpire Jim Wolf that he made slight contact with the ball, Wolf, after conferring with the other umps agreed, and Granderson lived to see another pitch.

Before he’d see that pitch, Joe Maddon came out to argue the call and got so agitated about it all he was ejected for the second time in this series. He was right to argue:

It all ended up not mattering, of course, because Granderson struck out eventually anyway.

Normally such things end there, but after the game a reporter got to Wolf and Wolf did something umpires don’t often do: he admitted he blew the call:

It’s good that the bad call ended up not affecting anything. But the part of me who likes to stir up crap and watch chaos rule in baseball really kinda wishes that Granderson had hit a series-clinching homer right after that. At least as long as it didn’t result in Cubs fans burning Chicago to the ground.