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Carlos Zambrano leaves Cubs to visit sick 11-year-old nephew in Venezuela

Aug 25, 2010, 12:19 PM EDT

After holding the Nationals to one run over 7.1 innings last night for his best start of the season Carlos Zambrano left the Cubs and flew home to Venezuela to be with his sick 11-year-old nephew.
Zambrano told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that his nephew has been hospitalized with a bacterial infection and “is in bad condition.” Zambrano is expected to rejoin the team this weekend and will make his next scheduled start Monday against the Pirates, but pitched last night with his mind on something other than the Nationals’ hitters:

It’s bad. He’s only 11 years old and being close to death is no fun. People should live until their old age, but god calls us home, and what can we do? But at the same time, I talked to my brother and he told me “Don’t worry about what happened there, just worry about what’s going on here and dedicate the game to his son.” In the first inning I was thinking about him, throwing all the pitches saying, “This is for my nephew.”

Since rejoining the rotation a few weeks ago Zambrano is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four starts, but his 15/16 K/BB ratio isn’t nearly as encouraging.

  1. Mrsteve - Aug 25, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    tick tick tick

  2. Jonny5 - Aug 25, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    You have to admit, he’s got heart.

  3. CJ - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:11 PM

    I wish I could get away with that this week. “Hey boss, my mom’s cousin is ‘sick’ so I have to go travel across the country to be with him. Where? Well, he’s judging Miss Universe this week, but he’s in real bad shape and clearly needs my help.” Think that’ll work?

  4. CJ - Aug 25, 2010 at 2:14 PM

    don’t get me wrong though, I’m not dogging the guy for it. Obviously the kid’s in bad shape.

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