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Cubs Tue Apr 06 2010

Braves Tomahawk Zambrano, Cubs

A 16-5 loss was not the way Carlos Zambrano nor Cubs fans envisioned starting the 2010 season. Zambrano lasted an inning and a third surrendering eight earned runs and two home runs. It was a bad showing by Cubs Monday afternoon at Turner Field.

Things didn't start off on such a bad note, however, as the Cubs offense showed some patience at the plate against Braves starter Derek Lowe. New comer Marlon Byrd got the Cubs going in the top of the first with a three-run homer. Unfortunately it wouldn't be enough as Big Z would serve up six runs in the bottom of the first.

They would add to their total in the second to make it 7-3 after a throwing error by Zambrano. Braves catcher Brian McCann would tack onto the lead in the with a solo homer making it 8-3. Aramis Ramirez would draw the Cubs within three after hitting a two-run homer in the third. Atlanta would be in command the rest of the way, however. They would widen the deficit in the later innings adding eight more runs.

The Cubs fell victim to bad umpiring. A potential rally in the sixth was killed after second-base umpire Marvin Hudson ruled a ball that was clearly dropped by Braves center fielder Nate McClouth a catch. Replay would show the umpires had missed the call. However, it wasn't the umpiring that cost the Cubs this game. Bad pitching and sloppy defense were mostly to blame in the worst loss in Cubs history on Opening Day since 1884.

Fans can only hope that this isn't a continuing trend the rest of the season because if this is a tell tale sign of things to come it is going to be another long year on the North Side. There were some positives to take away from this game.

Sean Marshall being one of them. Marshall pitched two and two-thirds scoreless relief while striking out five. Rookie pitcher James Russell tossed two scoreless frames as well. The same cannot be said for Jeff Samardzija was just as bad if not worse than Zambrano. Samardzija coughed up two hits,three walks, six runs with four earned.

It was good to see a healthy Ramirez in there. They can ill afford to go with out him for an extended period of time again this season. Although unlike last year they have a suitable back-up if needed. Another good sign was seeing Kosuke Fukudome going 2-for-3 with a pair of hits and two runs scored.

For all of those fans ready to jump ship consider this. There are 161 games left to the regular season so stick around for awhile. This team is too good not win. One bad game will not define this team for the rest of the season. It is definitely not time to panic. If it gets to June and they are still playing as bad as they did today, then you can start worrying. Until then, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. Baseball is back. Besides if it were easy it wouldn't be the Cubs.

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