Sep 28, 2010, 1:48 PM EDT
Carlos Zambrano knocked the Padres out of the Wild Card lead last night by tossing seven shutout innings in a 1-0 victory, continuing his excellent run since rejoining the Cubs’ rotation following a misguided temporary move to the bullpen.
Zambrano is now 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA in 10 outings since becoming a starter again, holding opponents to a .189 batting average and just one homer in 219 at-bats. And amazingly, after posting ERAs of 6.56, 5.00, and 5.01 in April, May, and June his overall mark is down to 3.36, which would be Zambrano’s best ERA since 2005.
I’m not convinced that Zambrano is all that new and improved, because his 55/37 K/BB ratio isn’t particularly strong and despite doing such a great job keeping the ball in the ballpark his ground-ball rate isn’t actually very good either. On the other hand, I thought the Cubs were far too quick to bump him from the rotation in the first place and his current run is a not-so-subtle reminder that he can still be a very effective starter.
All of which is good news for the Cubs, because they still owe him $18 million in each of the next two years.
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