The Cubs suspended right-hander Carlos Zambrano indefinitely on Friday after he went on a tirade in the dugout, and then stripped him of his rotation spot on Saturday. Now he’s getting the silent treatment.
According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com, the Cubs have not spoken with Zambrano since he was handed the team-imposed indefinite suspension on Friday evening.
“I think until something gets rectified, I think probably the less
conversation the better,” Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Sunday.
“He’ll have some issues to deal with [regarding] his teammates,” added GM Jim Hendry.
So it sounds like the club is waiting for an apology from Zambrano, and will continue to play with a 24-man roster until Big Z himself cleans up the mess. We’ll have to see how that goes, and whether the Cubs can head into a busy upcoming week one man short. Big Z has posted a 5.66 ERA and a 1.69 WHIP in 22 outings (nine starts) this season. He has a 4.15 ERA as a reliever and a 6.12 ERA as a starter.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.