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News » Chicago Cubs Inside Pitch 2008-04-23


Chicago Cubs Inside Pitch 2008-04-23


Chicago Cubs Inside Pitch 2008-04-23

Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano appears to be maturing as a pitcher. The 26-year-old right-hander improved to 3-1 with a 2.67 ERA Monday in the Cubs' 7-1 victory over the Mets.

Zambrano, who throws hard -- capable of reaching the mid- to upper-90s -- but said he's relying more on his sinker to get batters out. That was evident Monday, as he struck out only four and got 14 outs on the ground. Making things even tougher on opposing hitters is that Zambrano throws a hard, "heavy" sinker.

He was able to last seven innings as he threw 101 pitches. That was important because the Cubs' bullpen has been taxed.

Zambrano said his influence for the new approach was pitcher Greg Maddux, who returned to the Cubs in 2004 and pitched for them into the 2006 season.

"Anytime I want to throw 95, 96, I can throw it," he said. "It's not how hard you throw in the big leagues. It's how you locate your pitches."

CUBS 8, METS 1: SS Ronny Cedeno set a career high with five RBIs. He doubled home a run in the Cubs' three-run fourth and broke open a 4-1 game in the eighth with his first career grand slam. LHP Ted Lilly earned his first victory against three losses by pitching six innings and giving up four hits and the only Mets run. OF Reed Johnson drove in two with a fourth-inning single. The Cubs recorded their second straight series sweep and won seven of eight on the homestand.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 23, 2008

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