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updated: 6/5/2011 8:47 PM

Zambrano's word for Cubs: Embarassed

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  • Carlos Zambrano wasn't happy Sunday after losing a second straight chance for a win because of a blown save.

      Carlos Zambrano wasn't happy Sunday after losing a second straight chance for a win because of a blown save.
    Associated Press

 
 

If Cubs manager Mike Quade couldn't sleep after Saturday's loss in St. Louis, you have to wonder what Sunday night was like.

Two days. Two losses. Two times Albert Pujols beating the Cubs with a walk-off homer in extra innings. Maybe the Cubs ought to sign Pujols just to get him to stop tormenting them.

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On Saturday, Pujols took Jeff Samardzija deep with two outs in the bottom of the 12th when Quade should have walked Pujols.

On Sunday, Pujols gave the Cardinals a 3-2 victory with a leadoff homer in the 10th off veteran pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, who had held Pujols to 0-for-12 coming into that at-bat.

The Cardinals swept the Cubs, who now have lost six straight and have a real shot at going 0-for-this-road-trip, which continues Monday in Cincinnati before the Cubs head to Philadelphia for four.

There's more.

Starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who was deprived of yet another win when closer Carlos Marmol blew his second save within a week, went off on the team after the game.

Marmol gave up a game-tying double to ex-Cub Ryan Theriot in the ninth inning.

"The problem wasn't Pujols," Zambrano told reporters. "The problem was the (Theriot) at-bat. We should know better than this. We play like a Triple-A team.

"This is embarrassing, embarrassing for the team and the owners. Embarrassing for the fans. Embarrassed -- that's the word for this team.

"We should know better than this. We should know better than what 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."

Zambrano is right -- partially. He's right in saying the Cubs should be embarrassed. He's wrong in saying the Cubs are playing like a Triple-A team. It's more like the Cubs are playing like a first-year expansion team, as they're on a pace to finish this season 65-97.

In the aftermath of Saturday's crusher, Quade was asked if he slept that night.

"No sleep," he told reporters in his office before Sunday's game. "First time in a long time. You put things to bed, so to speak, no pun intended. I spent a lot of time here thinking about everything. It never went away too good. But it's a new day."

It was a new day with the same result. Pujols launched a 2-1 pitch from Lopez over the wall in left-center to win it.

Marmol suffered his second blown save within a week's time -- both in games started by Zambrano -- when he got ahead of Theriot 0-2 with two outs in the ninth before allowing a game-tying double.

"He got ahead with his fastball," Quade told reporters. "Z critiquing Marmol's approach? Right now, I could care less. Those are the things you go back and look at tomorrow. Marmol throws a slider. Everybody is always (ticked) when he gets beat with his fastball, it seems like.

"I'm just (ticked) when we get beat. Z pitched good. That's all I know."

Zambrano certainly deserves better, and he's one of the few players worth watching on the Cubs. He turned in his third straight quality start and got his ERA under 4 at 3.98.

He worked 7 innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 run. Instead of his record holding at 5-2, Zambrano easily could be 7-2 and gaining all-star consideration.

Now, he's left looking like the bad guy again because he told the truth about a bad team.

bmiles@dailyherald.com

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