First Star – Paul Maholm (.445 WPA)
Second Star – Randy Wells (.248 WPA)
Third Star – Jose Tabata (.235 WPA)

Before we begin, we gotta address Zambrano. Jim Hendry came out and said that Z will be on the restricted list and will need to go through some medical aspects to his rehab before being reinstated. It’s a good move for the Cubs and I would even guess that there is a chance we don’t see Zambrano back until as early as August.

Kevin Millar chimed in on MLB Network on the situation:

Millar on Zambrano’s outburst during Friday’s game against the White Sox:

I spoke with him the other day, after the games on Saturday and the main thing he wanted to get across was that at times guys like Carlos, they don’t know how to handle or how to fire up a team. …There wasn’t one play that made him mad, it was just the whole team and the way they’ve been playing made him mad and then he was frustrated, he said, after his inning and came in and was basically trying to pump all the guys up.

…He told me a week before that he wanted to get Carlos Silva to do something to the team because he’s doing well and Carlos Zambrano said that he knew [Silva] wasn’t the right guy to do this at this time because of his struggles. … I told him straight up, I said… ‘You can’t say the team’s playing like girls … You can’t say that this whole team that’s not clicking for some reason’ or ‘We’re not playing hard’ because he’s a big part of that problem. He understood that … and that’s what he was trying to get across. It wasn’t a personal thing with Derrick Lee – obviously Derrick Lee took it personal, and [Zambrano] felt terrible and we obviously see what happened in the dugout. We see the way he’s reacted and this is the second time. [In 2007], he went out and fought Michael Barrett and beat up Michael Barrett, well then they end up trading Michael Barrett thinking that, ‘Ok, we’ll get rid of him but something has to be done.’ Now him [Zambrano] going to anger management counseling…I think this is the new fad that we’re trying to show that at least there’s an effort there.

That was basically his view, that he shouldn’t have done it, he wasn’t the right guy to do it, he wanted Carlos Silva to do it last week. It wasn’t one play, it wasn’t the Derrick Lee play that caused this whole scene. He ran in the dugout and was yelling at the whole group.

Millar on whether Zambrano wants to remain with the Cubs:

I think he wants to heal the situation, whether he remains a Chicago Cub or not. Who knows if the wounds are too deep? Who knows? That’s Jim Hendry’s job. But see this is the problem: we give huge contracts to players and now we think ‘Oh, that equals leadership,’ or, “If a guy’s doing well, that equals leadership.’ That’s not the case. You create these monsters through organizations and Carlos Zambrano’s Carlos Zambrano. I think they knew this was an intense guy, I think they knew this guy who dances to a different beat at times, but he’s not a bad human being by any means.

It’s getting harder and harder to look to the positive each and every game as we watch this team piddle away games that are winnable. Last night marked the ninth straight series in which we lost the opening game. You can’t win the majority of series you play in when you continually drop the opening frame. It just puts too much pressure on the team. It reminds me a little of the USA World Cup run. Just about every game, the team put themselves in an early hole and had to battle back to scrap out a tie. You can’t keep going to that well and expect it to have water. If the Cubs want to make this season a respectable one, and that’s certainly still a possibility, they have to “Strike first! Strike hard. No mercy, Sir!” (Anyone know what movie that is from? On to the notes:

  • If you didn’t watch the game, Randy Wells was not as good as his line reads. He did give us a quality start, but he was behind in the count all night long and found himself struggling to manage his pitch counts. He had thrown 80 pitches after the 4th inning. That can’t happen if you’re going to work into the 7th and 8th innings. If you compare his 1st pitch strike % and his over strike %, even his pitches per plate appearance, this year looks basically identical to last year. It just doesn’t look the same. He doesn’t seem as sharp this year.
  • The Bobby Crosby / Lastings Milledge collision was very scary. If you didn’t see the play, Crosby left the game early after colliding with Milledge on a ball in the 2nd that basically fell beside them. He took an elbow / shoulder to the side of the face and you could see his head slap similar to the way it does when a boxer takes a clean knockout to the face. Bob Brenly had a pretty funny quote about the situation, considering that this is the second time this has happened over the last few days for the Pirates. He said “It might be worth the money to buy a few cowbells for the infielders to wear around their necks” It doesn’t seem as funny as I type it, but it made me laugh at the time.
  • We saw a rare issue for Tyler Colvin in the field as he misplayed a ball in RF and came in too far. The ball went over his head and allowed Andrew McCutchen to get an easy triple. Those mistakes are going to happen every now and then. Colvin has played well out there and I’m willing to forgive. I do go back to my constant argument that plays like that should be scored an error.
  • How is Ronny Cedeno on a ML roster? Seriously, look at his numbers.
  • Len Kasper mentioned that in the 9th inning, it would be great to have a guy off the bench that can be that pinch runner, but that it’s a luxury to carry that guy on the roster. I disagree and would argue that if the Cubs wouldn’t carry 12 pitchers, it would allow them to have a guy like Sam Fuld or a player of that ilk to fill that role. A 12 man staff is so stupid, in my opinion, especially when you have starters that work deep in the ball game on a consistent basis.
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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail