Zambrano will try to get his season turned around when he takes the mound for the Cubs in the middle game of their “Windy City” interleague series with the visiting White Sox.
With his five-hitter against Philadelphia on May 8, Zambrano showed the type of form he displayed last year, when he went 16-8 with a 2.75 ERA.
However, after throwing 136 pitches in that outing Zambrano didn’t have much in his start against Washington last Saturday. He was forced to leave in the fourth inning with soreness below and above his elbow, and was on the losing end of a 4-3 decision.
An MRI revealed no damage, and after an extra day of rest, Zambrano says he’s ready to pitch.
“This is my job and they pay me for that,” Zambrano said. “They pay me to pitch and I’m here to pitch. Whatever team I’m on, I will pitch—because they pay me for that.”
Zambrano will need to be at his best both physically and mentally on Saturday because he will be facing the team with the best record in baseball.
The White Sox, who have followed up a three-game losing streak with three straight wins, got the jump on the Cubs with Friday’s 5-1 win.
Mired in a 1-for-21 slump, Crede hit his fourth homer leading off the fifth to give the White Sox a 2-0 lead. His long drive to left sailed through a 16 mph wind blowing in.
“It’s definitely a lot of fun playing in a series like this. There are a lot of fans and electricity,” Crede said. “It’s so much better.”
Dye’s seventh homer, a solo shot off Mike Remlinger in the eighth, put the White Sox ahead 5-1 and gave their fans more reasons to be heard at Wrigley Field.
“There were a lot of Sox fans, it’s usually all Cubs fans,” Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee said. “They were kind of going back and forth. You just kinda hear them rooting for their team.”
The White Sox and Cubs have met 43 times since interleague play started in 1997, with the South Siders winning 23.