08/14/11 1:42 PM ET
Coleman to get first crack at replacing Big Z
By Chris Cox / MLB.com
"It's going to give Casey Coleman an opportunity to pitch," manager Mike Quade said. "He obviously doesn't have the experience or quality that Z had, but maybe he'll show up and be the guy that we saw last year for a while."
Coleman has made 11 appearances for the Cubs this year -- nine of them starts -- and compiled a 2-4 record with a 7.23 ERA before being optioned to Iowa. He's 5-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 12 Triple-A starts.
The Cubs weren't sure on Saturday night whom they would call up. Coleman's start wouldn't be needed until the middle of next week, so they could have been afforded the luxury of calling up a reliever or position player.
"We used some pitching yesterday. We were trying to decide on pitching or a regular for a couple days," Quade said. "I could just see me putting a regular on a plane last night and us using a lot of bullpen today and get to Houston going, 'How stupid was that?'"
Coleman was scheduled to start for Iowa on Wednesday against Salt Lake, so he'll be pitching against the Astros on regular rest.
Quade: Relationship with Zambrano is good
ATLANTA -- Cubs manager Mike Quade said on Sunday that he felt his relationship with pitcher Carlos Zambrano was good, and he didn't believe the right-hander's actions Friday night had anything to do with the manager leaving him in the game too long.
"I probably never sat back and analyzed that," Quade said. "I thought it was good as it could be. His decisions, and what has taken place here recently, I didn't take personally. I don't think it had anything to do with our relationship."
Zambrano was placed on the 30-day disqualified list on Saturday after he was ejected from Friday's start for throwing inside on consecutive pitches to Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. He then cleaned out his locker and left Turner Field, telling those in the clubhouse that he was retiring. The team announced on Sunday that Casey Coleman will be recalled to start in Zambrano's place on Wednesday.
Zambrano gave up eight runs in his 4 1/3 innings of work, including a career-high five home runs, which tied a franchise record.
"We needed to try like heck to get five innings out of him," Quade said. "Letting him get hit in the top of the fifth was not about leaving somebody out there to get pounded. First of all, you can hit and help this thing. Second of all, find a way to get through the fifth. If you do, maybe even get through the sixth.
"It's a balance between personal and team. I don't know what his thoughts were on that. It wasn't like you're leaving a guy in because you're mad at him or anything else. It was a team situation."
Quade didn't know if that was why Zambrano elected to try and hit Jones with two straight pitches. But he said he likely would have pulled him earlier had his bullpen not been taxed in the days prior.
"No one likes to give up eight runs. Leaving someone in to get pounded is inappropriate to me," Quade said. "I do know the circumstances the other day. I had to try to stay with him longer than maybe I would have on a day when we were as fresh as fresh could be."
Quade said he has no issue with Zambrano and has no plans to manage his club any differently without him in the clubhouse.
"It's the same with me whether Z is here or not," he said. "I had no problem with Z. I think I have a pretty good understanding of Z, leaving out the fact that I was disappointed with the way it ended the other day."
Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney both collected a career-high four hits in Saturday's win over the Braves, making them the first Cubs with four hits apiece in the Nos. 1 and 2 spots in the lineup since Tom Goodwin (five hits) and Mark Grudzielanek on July 21, 2003. That game was, coincidentally, also in Atlanta.
The Cubs saw their streak of nine consecutive games with a homer snapped in Saturday's win over the Braves. It was their longest run since Sept. 8-17, 2007, when they homered in 11 straight games.
Chicago is now 42-25 when scoring at least four runs but is 10-43 when scoring three runs or fewer.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.