3/18 Getting a grip
Carlos Zambrano has not experienced Spring Training anywhere but Arizona but said the dry air made it difficult for him to get a good grip on his pitches Friday.
“I was telling [Kerry Wood] that for some reason, with the air here, you can’t have a good grip,” Zambrano said. “It makes it tougher for the pitchers. I like to throw other pitches besides my sinker. I like to throw my split finger and slider. Today I threw one good one, one bad.
“Thank God, we play in Chicago and not Arizona,” he said. “It’s better air.”
Mike Quade pulled Zambrano in the fifth one batter after Joey Votto’s two-run homer. The two appeared to have an animated exchange on the mound.
“I told him, ‘What if I don’t want to leave?'” Zambrano said. “He said, ‘Then we’re going to fight here.’ He said, ‘Get out of here.’ It’s about having fun, too. You come in and work hard but at the same time, have fun.”
Quade has made it easy to laugh this spring.
“He’s a great guy,” Zambrano said of the Cubs manager. “He’s always in a good mood. He’s a straight guy. Whatever he thinks, he comes to you or calls you in his office. … He always has respect for us. That’s why we get along good with him.”
* Friday’s crowd of 13,182 is the fourth largest in HoHoKam Park history.
— Carrie Muskat