Some sad news to report, as Chicago Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano, fresh off his best start of the season against the Nationals last night, is head to Venezuela to be with his family. Zambrano’s 11-year-old nephew is in the hospital with a life-threatening disease.

“I have a nephew that’s in bad condition,” he said. “He had a (bacterial) infection and is in a hospital in Venezuela.”

Zambrano will rejoin the team in Cincinnati this weekend, and make his next start on Monday against Pittsburgh at Wrigley Field.

Despite pitching with a heavy heart, Zambrano managed to strike out eight while allowing one run and five hits against the Nationals. He said it was hard to put the situation out of his mind, and kept telling himself “Don’t give up” in the first inning.

“But at the same time, I talked to my brother,” he said. “And he told me ‘Don’t worry about what happened there, just worry about what’s going on here and dedicate the game to his son.’ In the first inning I was thinking about him, throwing all the pitches saying ‘This is for my nephew.’ Chicago Breaking Sports.

The thoughts and prayers of the Cubs world no doubt go out to Zambrano’s nephew, Zambrano, and his family.