Where to even start today?. The Cubs pasted the Dodgers 12-3 with Big Z being both the pitching and hitting star. He threw 77 pitches, 49 for strikes, in 5 innings of work. He gave up 3 hits and 3 runs. He also crushed a 3-run homer _ batting right-handed _ in the second inning and a run-scoring double in the fourth.
"Let's talk about pitching; that's my business," Big Z said. "My main job is to pitch, and I did a good job today."
Zambrano also revealed that he and his family are close to becoming citizens of the United States and that he plans to spend most of his time living in Chicago. At the same time, he expressed pride in being a Venezuelan.
He said he may have the much-discussed laser eye surgery after the season. His right eye has been bothering him, but he says it's feeling better. He had talked of having the surgery this winter.
Earlier today, as you saw in the previous blog, the Cubs will retire uniform No. 31 in honor of pitchers Fergie Jenkins and Greg Maddux. Jenkins is a Hall of Famer, and Maddux announced his retirement at the winter meetings. Both had two tours of duty with the Cubs.
It was a nice Cubs debut today for third baseman Corey Koskie. He started and doubled in his first at-bat. The ball carried to the wall in center field. Koskie is trying to come back from a two-and-a-half year absence caused by post-concussion syndrome. The Cubs signed him to a minor-league contract a couple weeks ago. If he doesn't make the team out of spring training, he's agreed to spend at least 30 days at Class AAA Iowa. If he comes back to the form that made him a solid player for the Twins, he could give the Cubs a legit power threat off the bench and a backup to Aramis Ramirez at third base. But that could eventually cost Micah Hoffpauir a roster spot.
Asked if he felt normal, Koskie replied: "Yeah. I feel as normal as normal can be for a Canadian playing major-league baseball. I feel good out there." Koskie is from Manitoba. He was on Team Canada's roster in the World Baseball Classic. During today's game, he spent time talking to the umpires. He said they were swapping concussion stories, as umpires tend to get hit in the mask with foul balls while working the home plate.
Koyie Hill hit a 2-run homer in the fifth inning. He's now hitting .414 and looks to have a comfortable lead for the backup catcher's job behind Geovany Soto.
Today's crowd was a Cactus League record 13,046. The Cubs and White Sox drew 13,010 in Mesa on Feb. 28.
Today, just as they do at Dodger Stadium, many of the L.A. fans went home early.