The last time Carlos Zambrano started a game, he felt shoulder discomfort. Twelve days later, after throwing a no-hitter against the Astros and winning, 5-0, at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Zambrano felt euphoric.
09/15/2008 1:28 PM ET
Zambrano euphoric after no-no
Cubs pitcher believes crowd helped him to no-hitter
The Astros hitters couldn't touch the Cubs' righthander in the neutral site game forced to Milwaukee by Hurricane Ike. It was the Cubs' ninth no-hitter since 1900, and the first in Major League history to be thrown at a neutral site.
"I'm still a little confused right now," Zambrano told The Chicago Sun-Times. "I still can't believe it. It's a great feeling. It's a feeling you can't describe."
Zambrano recorded 10 strikeouts, and only two balls were hit out of the infield. The zeros on the scoreboard didn't catch Zambrano by surprise.
"It was the whole game," he said. "I was watching the scoreboard every inning, and in the ninth inning when I came out, the crowd was all crazy and helping me out."
Marlins make infield history: The Florida Marlins have the first infield in Major League history in which all four players have hit 25 home runs in a season.
Jorge Cantu hit his 25th on Friday night to join first baseman Mike Jacobs (32), second baseman Dan Uggla (30) and shortstop Hanley Ramirez (29) in the infield power accomplishment.
"They'll go down in history; they'll get their name in the Hall of Fame, I believe," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, predicting that Friday's lineup card will be sent to the Hall, told The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "This is big. It really is. People are going to be talking about those names for a long time."
"I felt relief because it's something that was really, really hard to do now that I look and think about it," Cantu said. "It's something that'll stick in the back of my mind. I can't describe how happy I am."
Owings shows bat before arm: Micah Owings' first contribution with the Cincinnati Reds came with his bat and against his former team.
In the top of the 10th inning, just one day after being sent to the Reds to complete the Adam Dunn trade, Owings hit a pinch-hit, game-winning double to give the Reds a 3-2 victory over Arizona.
"I still haven't really comprehended it," Owings told MLB.com. "It means a lot to get the opportunity. I feel blessed for the outcome, too."
Owings, who is known as a good hitting pitcher, was excited to have the chance.
"I told him he was going to hit if there was a runner on first base and two outs," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He couldn't wait to hit. He came through big time. I was like, 'Wouldn't it be ironic if he was the guy to end up winning the game in his first game back here?' Everybody knows he can hit. If anybody knows, [Arizona] knew he could hit."
Burrell part of elite Phillies benchmark: Pat Burrell has joined Mike Schmidt as the only Phillies players to hit 20 or more home runs in eight consecutive seasons. Schmidt accomplished the feat from 1974-1987.
Burrell, who has 31 home runs this season, is a free agent after this season and doesn't know if he'll have an opportunity for nine straight seasons of 20 or more homers.
"The truth is, I look at things and try to be optimistic about everything, with the idea that coming back here would be great," Burrell told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "But you never know. You just have to ride it out and see. It's a complicated deal. I certainly have been here long enough and have seen players come and go. It's been a hell of an experience, and I hope it continues."
With 249 career home runs, Burrell ranks third on the Phillies' all-time list. Just ahead of him with 250 is Del Ennis.
"I've certainly enjoyed my time here," he said. "I'm thankful for the opportunities. That goes a long way for me."
Isringhausen plans for another year on the mound: Jason Isringhausen, who is out for the season but sitting on 292 career saves, says he has every intention of pitching next season.
"I'm sure I'm going to play," Isringhausen told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I'm going to go through the rehab so that I can make that decision, but right now, I plan on playing. We'll see how it goes from here."
Meloan effective in relief duty: Nearly two weeks after John Meloan was recalled by the Cleveland Indians from Triple-A Buffalo, he appeared in his first game for the Tribe, working a 1-2-3 inning against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
"I understood that I'd be limited when I came up," Meloan told The Cleveland Plain Dealer. "The last couple of years I've pitched out of the bullpen. This year, I've thrown about twice as many innings, so they want to be careful. It shows me they care about my arm."
Baker ready to go on three days' rest if needed: If called upon to do so, Scott Baker says he'll be ready to pitch on three days' rest Wednesday for the Twins against the Indians. If he does get the start, if would be the first time in his career that he'd be working on fewer than four days' rest.
"He's the one guy [in the rotation] who could do that," manager Ron Gardenhire told The Minneapolis Star Tribune. "He's been around long enough. He'll be able to handle it. He's the biggest and strongest out of the group."
Justin Upton gets career-best four hits: Justin Upton was red hot this past weekend with two hits on Saturday and a career-high four hits -- including his first homer since July -- in the D-backs' 2-1, 10-inning loss to the Reds.
"My confidence has been there," he told The Arizona Republic. "It just hasn't been working my way. I'm going to remain confident and hopefully help out the ballclub. We need somebody to really break through, and hopefully it's me."
Duran learning from the experts: German Duran's third trip to the Texas Rangers club as a rookie has brought opportunity to learn from All-Stars Ian Kinsler and Michael Young. He hopes to soak up enough knowledge to compete for a roster spot for 2009.
"To me, those are the guys I want to learn from," Duran told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I'm not going to put my head down, and say, 'These guys are All-Stars.' I'm going to ask questions, I'll learn, get better and do whatever my job is that day."
Crisp continues effectiveness at the plate: Coco Crisp continued his late-season surge on Sunday, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs in Boston's 4-3 win over Toronto. He's batting .465 in September and has quietly raised his average to .288.
"It definitely makes it a lot easier when you don't have to deal with too much," Crisp told The Boston Herald. "You can just focus on the game and try to have fun playing it. It is nice to fly underneath the radar. I think that's the easiest way to play this game."
Taveras "a blur" on basepaths: Willy Taveras broke Eric Young's Colorado Rockies single-season stolen base record of 53 thefts earlier this season. Young, an ESPN analyst who retired as a Rockie, figures there's a lot more thievery in store for Taveras.
"He's still on his learning curve. If he learns a few more tricks of the trade, I really think he can get 100 bags," Young told The Denver Post. "I was watching him going from first to third [Friday], and his white cleats were a blur."
Lincecum chalks up shutout: Tim Lincecum pitched his first shutout in the Majors, a four-hitter with 12 strikeouts against the Padres on Saturday night to push his record for the season to 17-3.
Lincecum needed 138 pitches to complete the game, and after he recorded the final out, he wasn't quite sure how to act.
"My first thought was, 'What do I do now?'" Lincecum told The San Francisco Chronicle. "Bengie [Molina] had to tell me to come toward him. It was a good hug, nonetheless."
Saves record in hand, K-Rod wants more action: Now that Francisco Rodriguez has the single-season save record, he wants to make sure that he keeps pitching. It's a sentiment shared by Angels manager Mike Scioscia.
"I've been feeling so sharp," Rodriguez told The Los Angeles Times. "I don't know how it's going to affect me if I sit for three, four or five days and don't pitch."
Rodriguez has not been used in more than three consecutive games this season.
"His workload has been manageable," Scioscia said. "I don't think he needs an artificial five- or six-day shutdown."
Cunningham's first blast comes at the right time: Aaron Cunningham hit his first home run in the Majors on Sunday. The three-run shot in the eighth inning lifted Oakland to a 7-4 win over Texas.
"It's a great feeling to hit one out of the park," Cunningham, who had the ball safely in his locker, told The San Francisco Chronicle. "Off the bat, I thought it had a chance, but closer to first base, I thought it might not."
Richar debuts with pinch-hit single: As one of the players acquired in the trade that sent Ken Griffey to the White Sox last month, Danny Richar made his Reds debut on Tuesday with a pinch-hit single.
"He's aggressive," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker told MLB.com. "He swings the bat well. He stays out of the air. I like his hand action."
For now, Richar is just going to do his best to leave a positive impression.
"We'll see what happens," he said. "I'm going to try to show them I can play. I'm going to take advantage of whatever opportunity that they give me. I'm going to play hard."
Norton's home run helpful in a pinch: Greg Norton came off the bench and hit a three-run homer as part of a five-run ninth inning for the Braves, propelling Atlanta to a 7-4 win over the Mets on Sunday.
"I think it was huge for our team," Norton told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "We're just trying to play as well as we can for the rest of the year. To take two out of three from the Mets, who are playing really well, at their place, last time in Shea Stadium -- it's big for us.
"It'll make our off day [Monday] a little nicer."
-- Red Line Editorial