MILWAUKEE — Carlos Zambrano didn't specify whether he was talking about loose coins or whatever, but he did repeat one word Tuesday night.
“Change,” Zambrano said after he and the Cubs fell 2-0 to Zack Greinke and the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Zambrano worked 6⅔ innings and gave up 6 hits and 2 runs in falling to 7-6 for the season.
With the July 31 nonwaiver trading deadline almost here, Zambrano's name has come up in various trade rumors, most of them baseless.
The 30-year-old erstwhile ace of the Cubs pitching staff has a no-trade clause in his expensive contract. While he reiterated his desire to stay, he tossed around “change” more than a politician on the campaign trail or David Bowie in song.
“I do want to stay here; I do want to stay here,” Zambrano said. “But at the same point, I want this team to make some change. If we want to win here, we need to make some changes. If I have to go, I have to go. I still have the Cubs in my heart. If the change has to be me, that's OK.”
Zambrano said the Cubs have not approached him about waiving his no-trade clause. He has $18 million coming next year with a vesting option for 2013.
“No, they haven't (asked), and I don't want to talk about a trade,” he said. “If it comes, it comes; we'll think about it if they say something.”
So what kind of change does Zambrano have in mind?
“Change,” he said. “Change. Change. A lot of change. A lot of change to win. Change.”
Hard to argue with that in a lot of ways.
After the euphoria of sweeping the last-place Houston Astros wore off, the Cubs have dropped the first two games against the Brewers to fall to 42-62.
Greinke (8-4) is a tough pitcher, no doubt, but the Cubs have not scored a run since getting 2 in the first inning of Tuesday night's 3-2 loss.
Zambrano gave up a leadoff homer to Prince Fielder in the second before yielding a sacrifice fly to Yuniesky Betancourt later in the inning.
Cubs manager Mike Quade came out to get Zambrano with two outs in the seventh and a man on second base. Lefty James Russell retired left-handed hitting Nyjer Morgan on a groundout. Zambrano did not look happy about coming out as he asked for one more batter.
“Oh, absolutely,” Quade said. “I don't blame him. I thought with the two guys coming up after Nyjer (Ryan Braun and Fielder) ... a lot of decisions ain't easy, and that was not an easy decision, but I thought we needed to try and stop them right there.”
Zambrano indeed said he wanted to stay in the game.
“Yeah,” he said. “Yes. I think at that point I had confidence I could get Nyjer out. But it's his (Quade's) decision. Nothing I can do about it.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.