Lou Pinella took a calculated risk last night by pulling Carlos Zambrano. We won't know if that is a good idea until perhaps Sunday. Here's why I agree with what he did.
1) At 85 pitches - think of this like an Olympic Triathlon. Big Z did an Oly. If Lou has him pitch another inning...it is like the old Springfield Ironhorse Triathlon - a bit longer. Big Z should be pitching Sunday against a lower ability pitcher at home.
2) The bullpen has been solid. He has the 5k sprinter types down there who have been solid in the second half. If the old adage "good pitching beats hitting" sticks...this isn't a discussion.
3) AZ Diamondbacks have only two "great" pitchers right now a) the guy who pitched last night and the relief ace (also pitched last night). This means that in a game 3 or 4 the Cubs should have an advantage.
So what you saw (or in my case...saw on ESPN because I was out cold at 8pm) is a high percentage play for the Cubs. I'm actually quite surprised about how many Chicago "people" are freaking out about this. I guess most folks have forgotten that the Bulls lost game 1 of their first championship against the LA Lakers. After game 3 the talk was more like "too bad they can't win it at home" and MJ and the Bulls went on to dominate Magic Johnson and the Lakers. Isn't revisionist history fun?
I can't wait to see what happens if the Cubs win tonight and Saturday. It should make for a feverish Sunday when you add in the Chicago Marathon, Bears/Packers and the Cubs. Monday just might be an unofficial holiday.