Tom Glavine made the NL All-Star team, but chose not to participate in the All-Star game because he needed rest. Carlos Zambrano was scheduled to pitch for the NL, but he ended up getting some unexpected rest.
Both pitchers return to the mound Saturday, as Glavine looks to move into a tie for the major league lead in wins when the New York Mets take on Zambrano and the Chicago Cubs in the middle game of their series at Wrigley Field.
Glavine (11-2, 3.48 ERA) did not pitch in Tuesday’s All-Star game after starting Sunday, although he made the trip to Pittsburgh’s PNC Park. Zambrano (8-3, 3.24), meanwhile, was scheduled to pitch two innings but was unable to go after he was accidentally struck in the right elbow by the fungo bat of AL coach Joey Cora.
Zambrano was near the batting cage to do an interview with Venezuelan reporters when Cora’s backswing inadvertently hit him. X-rays were negative and Zambrano, the Cubs’ lone All-Star, was diagnosed with a bruise.
“That was rather frightening news when I heard that one,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said.
With Mark Prior and Kerry Wood hurt, Zambrano has cemented his status as Chicago’s ace. The right-hander has won two straight starts and five straight decisions. In his last outing July 7, he gave up one run and five hits while striking out six in six innings of a 7-2 win over Milwaukee.
Zambrano is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in one start and one relief appearance against the Mets.
As well as Zambrano has pitched of late, Glavine has been even more effective. The veteran left-hander has won nine consecutive decisions and will be looking to tie Toronto’s Roy Halladay for the major league lead in victories Saturday.
On Sunday, Glavine surrendered three runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings, but did not factor in the decision in a 7-6 win over Florida.
Glavine is 14-11 with a 3.41 ERA in 31 starts against the Cubs (34-55). He has had problems with Aramis Ramirez, though, as Chicago’s third baseman is batting .471 (8-for-17) with two home runs and a double against him.
The Mets (54-36) won their third straight game as they resumed play after the break Friday, scoring four times in the fourth inning to defeat the Cubs 6-3.
The game saw a 45-minute rain delay after the fifth inning, and New York center fielder Carlos Beltran didn’t return because of soreness in his right knee. His status for Saturday’s game is uncertain.
Endy Chavez replaced Beltran, who played all nine innings in the All-Star game.
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, who didn’t play in the All-Star game because of a deep cut on his left pinkie, sat out Friday’s contest, but manager Willie Randolph said he could be back in the lineup Saturday.
“I think the main hurdle for him is how it feels when he catches the ball,” Randolph said. “Line drives and that kind of stuff are going to be a little scary at first.”
Reyes hasn’t played since he was injured July 7, when he slid headfirst into first base and cut his finger on Florida first baseman Mike Jacobs’ spikes. He needed seven stitches to close the wound.
The Mets have won four straight against the Cubs. They swept a three-game series against Chicago at Shea Stadium from Aug. 5-7, 2005.