Cubs going back Monday to Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH - Carlos Zambrano will have to wait at least another couple days before making his return to the starting rotation.
The world will have to wait to hear from Carlos Zambrano.
"Take a day off, guys," he told the media Wednesday night after the Cubs' game was rained out after a delay of more than three hours at PNC Park. "Enjoy the rest of the night. No game."
The Cubs will have to come back to Pittsburgh on Monday at 11:35 a.m. CDT to make the game up. They have an off-day Thursday, but the Pirates had games 20 days in a row (including Wednesday), so the players were not obligated to agree to play.
The Cubs flew to Houston on Wednesday night, and they will have an off-day Thursday before beginning a three-game series Friday at Minute Maid Park against the Astros.
Monday was supposed to be an off-day for the Cubs, but they'll head back to Pittsburgh Sunday night, play Monday and then go to Milwaukee for games next Tuesday-Thursday.
"The field was really, really bad," said Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "The outfield in left field and right was really wet. The warning tracks had a lot of water on them."
More rain was expected for the Pittsburgh area even after the grounds crew removed the tarp and worked on the field.
Piniella was unsure about his pitching plans for the weekend and for next Monday's makeup.
"We'll sit down on the airplane and try to figure this thing out," Piniella said. "But we're caught in a little ways because (Ted) Lilly has had 3 starts against this team (Pittsburgh) and (Randy) Wells just pitched against them. So we're going to see if we can juggle this thing around so we can pitch somebody different here on Monday."
Zambrano will pitch one of the games in Houston. The original rotation for Friday-Sunday for the Cubs was Carlos Silva, Ryan Dempster and Wells.
Piniella ruled out rookie Andrew Cashner for Monday's makeup. Cashner, called up this week, started much of the season in the minor leagues before going to the bullpen.
"Our preference would be to get Zambrano right on the mound pitching," Piniella said. "We could start (Tom) Gorzelanny (Monday) if we had to."
Penmanship: Speaking of Andrew Cashner, Piniella said he would like to keep him in the middle innings for now and leave the back end to Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol.
"Our bullpen is fine," Piniella said. "I've got to get Cashner broken in the right way. I don't want to run him out there with the game on the line immediately. We did that with Marmol when he first came up here three years ago. The difference then was we were scoring more runs so it was much easier to do.
"Now, with the scarcity of runs, every game is tight, and I don't know if we're going to have that luxury or not, but I would like to get him out there a couple times when he can relax and just throw the ball and not have a game on the line. I'm hoping that's what we can do. I think that'll be much better long term for the young man and long term for us."
Gone fishing: The Cubs had a late flight out of Pittsburgh, and they were scheduled for an early wake-up in Houston Thursday.
"We're taking the whole staff out fishing tomorrow in Houston," Lou Piniella said. "Trainers and coaches are going out in the Gulf (of Mexico), 35-40 miles.
"We've got a boat that's going to take us out at 8 in the morning and have time to relax a little bit and get our minds off baseball for a day."