Carlos Zambrano had a hand Saturday in helping fellow starter Carlos Silva improve to 7-0.
Yes, that's right, fellow starter. The Great Bullpen Experiment officially ended Saturday when Zambrano got out of an eighth-inning jam by facing one batter. He got pinch hitter Nick Stavinoha to hit into an inning-ending double play.
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"He got us a big double play," said manager Lou Piniella, "and that will be it for him out of the bullpen."
Zambrano made 13 relief appearances, going 0-1 with a 4.15 ERA in 13 innings.
Piniella said Zambrano will start sometime in the upcoming series at Pittsburgh. That could be either Monday or Wednesday, with Ted Lilly set for Tuesday. It's more likely to be Wednesday, and the odd man out of the rotation is expected to be left-hander Tom Gorzelanny.
Piniella indicated Saturday that the Cubs will announce their new rotation Sunday.
Sick bay: Third baseman Aramis Ramirez was a scratch after a flare-up of his left-thumb injury. The Cubs will try going with a doughnut pad on Ramirez's bum thumb as well as some padding on his bat.
Catcher Geovany Soto was a late lineup scratch because he was feeling "under the weather."
Running attack: The Cubs have been more aggressive on the bases of late, with even Alfonso Soriano getting a stolen base to help set up Saturday's 3-run fourth inning. Manager Lou Piniella likes the approach.
"We can't sit and wait all the time for the longball," he said.