Since gloating in my LJ apparantly is now a cardinal sin, since even mentioning you don’t like the Cubs gets you raked over the coals … I’m going to gloat here. 🙂 Hahahahahahhahahahahahha!

Cubs drop Game 1 to Diamondbacks

By Paul Sullivan

Tribune staff reporter

1:38 AM CDT, October 4, 2007


<A TARGET=”_blank” href=””><IMG src=”” BORDER=0></A> <a href=”;tk=10059;tk=10075;tk=10077;tk=10080;tk=10085;tk=10086;tk=10098;tk=10101;tk=10102;tk=10103;tk=10106;tk=10114;tk=10115;tk=10121;tk=10128;tk=10260;tk=10321;tk=10337;tk=10419;tk=10490;tk=10508;tk=10567;tk=10696;tk=10743;tk=10758;tk=10797;tk=10830;tk=10867;tk=11027;tk=11165;tk=11268;tk=11284;tk=11294;tk=11381;tk=11467;tk=11620;tk=11638;tk=11750;tk=11753;tk=11763;tk=12303;tk=12319;tk=12340;tk=12375;tk=12400;tk=12525;ptype=ps;slug=cs-071003cubsgamer;rg=r;zc=60660;ref=chicagotribunecom;pos=1;sz=300×250;tile=1;ord=22113060?” target=”_blank”><img src=”;tk=10059;tk=10075;tk=10077;tk=10080;tk=10085;tk=10086;tk=10098;tk=10101;tk=10102;tk=10103;tk=10106;tk=10114;tk=10115;tk=10121;tk=10128;tk=10260;tk=10321;tk=10337;tk=10419;tk=10490;tk=10508;tk=10567;tk=10696;tk=10743;tk=10758;tk=10797;tk=10830;tk=10867;tk=11027;tk=11165;tk=11268;tk=11284;tk=11294;tk=11381;tk=11467;tk=11620;tk=11638;tk=11750;tk=11753;tk=11763;tk=12303;tk=12319;tk=12340;tk=12375;tk=12400;tk=12525;ptype=ps;slug=cs-071003cubsgamer;rg=r;zc=60660;ref=chicagotribunecom;pos=1;dcopt=ist;sz=300×250;tile=1;ord=22113060?” width=”300″ height=”250″ border=”0″ alt=””></a>Carlos Zambrano was dealing, the Arizona Diamondbacks were reeling and the Cubs were seemingly in good position Wednesday night to steal Game 1 of their National League Division Series at Chase Park.

But manager Lou Piniella pulled Zambrano after only six innings and 85 pitches in a tie game and the move backfired on the Cubs in a 3-1 loss to the Diamondbacks.

D’backs third baseman Mark Reynolds hit a home run off reliever Carlos Marmol to lead off the seventh inning that snapped a 1-1 tie and gave Arizona all the runs it would need. The D’backs added another off Marmol on pinch-hitter Conor Jackson’s sacrifice fly and watched the bullpen throw two hitless innings to close it out.

“Hey listen, you guys, this is only the first game,” an exasperated Piniella said. “There’s a lot of baseball to be played in this series. Let’s not gloom-and-doom this thing. Just keep positive, keep playing and go out and win a ballgame [Thursday].”

Piniella said he “trusts my bullpen” and wanted to shorten Zambrano’s outing for a potential Game 4 start on Sunday.

“I took a shot with my bullpen, it didn’t work today,” he said. “We’ve done it all year. I have confidence in them. Period. End of the story.”

But the decision to yank Zambrano will be tough for Piniella to live down if the Cubs don’t get to a Game 4.

Zambrano said he wanted to stay in another inning but ultimately accepted Piniella’s decision.

“He told me that that was enough,” Zambrano said. “I wasn’t surprised. I did my job. Let the bullpen do their job also. … I said, ‘Let me pitch one more inning,’ but he’s the manager.”

Arizona ace Brandon Webb earned the victory, throwing seven innings of one-run, four-hit ball, striking out nine and bailing himself out of jams time and time again.

Leadoff hitter Alfonso Soriano went 0-for-5, and the top five hitters in the Cubs’ lineup were a combined 1-for-20 with eight strikeouts. The Cubs finished 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

“The reason we didn’t win this game was we scored one run on four hits,” Piniella said. “You’re not going to win on the road, you’re not going to win anywhere getting four hits and scoring one run.”

Zambrano allowed one run on four hits over six innings, striking out eight and walking only one. Before the game, Piniella hinted that he would lift Zambrano early.

“You’ll see that today if we have a nice lead, he’ll throw 100-105 pitches and then we’ll go to our bullpen,” he said.

The Cubs didn’t have a nice lead, and though Piniella later amended his statement to give Zambrano between 105-110 pitches, he obviously changed his mind after the sixth, hoping to keep Zambrano fresh.

“Whatever decision he makes is good,” Zambrano said. “Let’s say he brings Marmol in and he does his job, 1-2-3, and we win today. Nobody would talk about that.

“Whatever decision he makes is good. He’s the manager and I accept it.”

The Cubs had plenty of scoring opportunities but couldn’t capitalize. They put a runner on base in each of the first six innings but stranded runners on second in the second, third and fifth innings.

With the Cubs trailing 1-0 after Stephen Drew’s leadoff homer in the fourth, Derrek Lee reached on a single leading off the sixth, and advanced to second on a wild pitch during Aramis Ramirez’s strikeout.

A pair of two-out walks to Mark DeRosa and Geovany Soto loaded the bases for Ryan Theriot, who reached on an infield chopper to third, bringing home Lee with the tying run.

But Webb then struck out Zambrano on three pitches to end the inning, and Theriot’s infield hit would prove to be the last of the night for the Cubs.

Zambrano, who carried a 13-inning scoreless streak into the start, survived a shaky first to throw three innings of shutout ball before Drew’s 432-foot homer snapped the scoreless tie.

After the D’backs went ahead off Marmol in the seventh, Brandon Lyon and Jose Valverde pitched a scoreless inning apiece to close it out.

“This is only the first game of the series,” Piniella said. “Let’s just see how this thing turns out. Let’s not get down.

“Let’s give them credit for playing a good ballgame, and we’ll come out and compete again tomorrow.”