4/5 Big Z
Monday was Carlos Zambrano’s sixth straight Opening Day start, and his shortest. Big Z was pulled after 1 1/3 innings. At that point, he had given up eight runs on six hits, including two home runs, hit a batter and made a throwing error that led to a run. This was Zambrano’s sixth straight Opening Day start, which is a club record. He has won only one of those games.
The 1 1/3 innings matched Big Z’s shortest outing of his career but the other time he did it was Sept. 4, 2006, and he came out of that game because of back problems.
“He’s certainly capable of doing a heck of a lot better,” Lou Piniella said.
“Too many pitches in the middle,” Zambrano said. “They have a good lineup. Against a team like that, you can’t put the ball in the middle. You have to hit the spots and the corner if you want to pitch good against the Braves.”
— Carrie Muskat