5/16 Big Z’s tough night – updated
Carlos Zambrano was probably looking forward to Monday’s game. He had won five consecutive starts at Great American Ball Park, and was 5-0 with an 0.75 ERA in that run. He also had a 10-game road win streak, dating back to August.
But those streaks came to an end Monday night. Zambrano gave up six runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings, all of the runs coming in the Reds’ seven-run sixth. The Cubs had a 4-0 lead going into the inning.
“It was all my fault,” Zambrano said. “If I consider myself a good pitcher, I should keep the score like that [at 4-0]. I’m disappointed in myself. A four-run lead, I don’t like the performance today from myself. It can be Philadelphia, whatever, any good team. As a good pitcher, you have to get better and keep pitching the way you’re supposed to pitch and keep the score in your favor.”
The Reds sent 12 batters to the plate in the sixth. With one out, Drew Stubbs singled and Edgar Renteria walked — the key at-bat — to set up consecutive RBI singles by Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce.
“In that situation, I have to let Renteria hit the ball,” Zambrano said. “I don’t want to face Votto with two batters on. It’s unacceptable. I’m very disappointed I gave up five, six runs today.”
Said manager Mike Quade: “The walk to Renteria was huge in the inning. That animal that’s hitting behind him [Votto] is tough enough. He wasn’t able to get [Votto] out and he’s been very successful getting Phillips out and he didn’t. He had a group of people there who he’s pitched extremely well against and you say, ‘He’ll get through this,’ and he didn’t.”
Scott Rolen followed Bruce with a RBI double over Alfonso Soriano in left to chase Zambrano. Marcos Mateo’s first pitch to Jonny Gomes was closer to his head than the plate and a run scored on the wild pitch. Gomes then drove a 1-1 pitch into the center field bleachers for his seventh home run and a 7-4 lead.
“My teammates played good today and I let my teammates down,” Zambrano said. “If you want to blame somebody, blame me. Not my teammates. They gave me a four-run lead and I didn’t keep it like that.”
— Carrie Muskat