But today’s loss was a blown Carlos Zambrano start – those tend not to end well, and today was no exception.
“The problem wasn’t Pujols,” Zambrano said after the game. “The problem was the [Ryan Theriot at bat]. We should know better than this.”
“We played like a Triple-A team. This is embarrassing, embarrassing for the team, for the owners, for the fans. Embarrassing. That’s the word for this team. We should know better than this, we should know better than we did on the field. We should know that Ryan Theriot is not a good fastball hitter. We should know that as a team. We should play better here. We stink. That’s all I’ve got to say.”
This is from a guy who’s been nothing short of a model teammate and player for almost a year now, and one for whom you know it’s harder than most to keep his mouth shut.
But this isn’t just a case of “Z being Z,” blowing up in an inappropriate way or in an inappropriate amount.
This is Zambrano calling a spade a spade. The 2011 Chicago Cubs are not good at baseball, which is, unfortunately, the sport they’re charged with playing.
Injuries haven’t helped, but – with the 20/20 goggles on – this was a flawed team from the outset. A pitching staff full of threes, a middle reliever crew of rookies and has-beens, a closer who’s good at everything but converting saves, a lineup of aging and declining bats, and a coaching staff of rookies.
If you were looking for the moment that the 2011 Cubs jumped the shark, this is it. There’s no doubting that they’ll be sellers at this point.