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MLBeat: Zambrano still a starter
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07/16/2002 2:41 pm ET 
MLBeat: Zambrano still a starter
Plus: Cubs/Cardinals game rescheduled for Aug. 31
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com

Carlos Zambrano's win Monday earned him another start in the rotation. (Ted S. Warren/AP)
CHICAGO -- Carlos Zambrano will likely get another start Saturday against Houston. He's earned it.

The right-hander won his second straight start against the Atlanta Braves Monday night and now is 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA in three starts. He's pitched in 19 games this season and was primarily in relief until he was pressed into the rotation when Jason Bere went on the disabled list with a sore groin.

"(Zambrano) has got good stuff," Cubs interim manager Bruce Kimm said. "Last year, I let him go the entire game (at Triple-A Iowa) because I wanted to see how he finished the game and he showed me a bulldog approach."

In that game Aug. 30, Zambrano struck out 13 in a 3-2 win at Omaha.

"The main thing for him is that he was in control of the situation last night and he has good stuff," Kimm said. "You don't beat the Atlanta Braves unless you have good stuff."

Zambrano made three starts for Kimm at Iowa this year before he was called up. Last year, he was 10-5 with a 3.88 ERA in 26 games (25 starts). He struck out 155 to rank third in the Pacific Coast League.

"It's good when they have confidence in you," Zambrano said. "You try to do your job and do it right."

And he wasn't fazed having to face the best team in the National League.

"I don't think in the big leagues there's a best team, a good team -- they're all the same," Zambrano said. "You have to do the job."

  • Makeup date set: The game between the Cubs and Cardinals that was postponed because of the death of St. Louis pitcher Darryl Kile June 22, has been rescheduled.

    The game will be played Aug. 31 as part of a day-night doubleheader. The park will be emptied at the conclusion of Game 1 and will reopen at 5:30 p.m. for Game 2.

    The scheduled game will begin at 12:05 p.m., followed by the rescheduled game at 7:05 p.m. Tickets for the 7:05 contest will go on sale Friday, beginning at 8 a.m.

  • Green leaves: The Cubs are trying to figure out what happened to a patch of ivy on Wrigley Field's outfield wall in center field. "We think someone leaned over the bleachers and dumped something that killed some of our ivy," Cubs executive vice president Mark McGuire told the Chicago Tribune. There's no indication who did it or why. "I don't know if we know for certain what happened," Cubs president and CEO Andy MacPhail said Tuesday.

  • Lesson learned: Don't expect Kimm to make the same lineup mistake twice, not after embarrassing himself Monday night. In the eighth, Kimm inserted Darren Lewis as a pinch-runner for 1B Fred McGriff. Angel Echevarria went out to first base in the ninth and was originally announced as batting in the fourth spot. But Kimm had to pull Sammy Sosa out of the game and put Echevarria in the third spot in the lineup card. "That was a mistake on my part. Why, I don't know," Kimm said. "For some reason, I told (Echevarria) when he was going in he was going in Lewis' spot and then I walked out there and put him in the third spot. I tell my players that mistakes are part of the game, but for myself, that's a mistake that shouldn't happen. It's a new day, it's behind us but I'm still a little disgusted about it."

  • Extra bases: LF Moises Alou did not start Tuesday, part of Kimm's plan to give each of the veterans a little breather. "Once we get off this trip (to Philadelphia), they'll probably play every day," Kimm said. ... On the short two-day road trip to Philadelphia, the Cubs players will be allowed to wear jeans, which was not part of the dress code in the past. Sport coats aren't required. "To be honest, I don't want to wear one sometimes," Kimm said of sport coats. "I just want them to be comfortable." ... The Cubs have homered seven times in their last two games, raising the season total to 109. It's the second highest mark in the National League behind San Francisco's 112. At their current pace, the Cubs would hit 196 homers this year. The team has reached 200 twice -- 209 in 1987 and 212 in 1998.

  • Fantasy edge: Wednesday's starter, Kerry Wood, is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in two starts against the Phillies, who he hasn't faced since Sept. 27, 2000.

    Carrie Muskat covers the Cubs for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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