Goodness does Victor Zambrano drive you insane. Man could he be good.
Most of the time it looks like he's internalized Dr. Peterson's lessons about pitching to contact and letting the natural movement on his pitches move the ball just up or down from the sweet spot of enemy bats. But then something goes wrong or he sees his shadow or some crazy thing and then Boom! Goodbye release point, goodbye lessons, time to nibble and walk guys and stand staring on the mound until the defense is lulled into a Trachselian torpor.
Truth be told, I'm not sure how he got out of the fifth. Well, I know how he got out of the fifth, of course — he made two singularly nasty pitches to Chase Utley. What I mean is I'm not sure how he managed to right himself and find those pitches. I feared Utley more than Thome or Burrell there — Utley's an awfully good young hitter who looks like he knew what he was doing, and instead of trying to hit the ball to Nassau would wait for an I-don't-want-to-walk-him fastball or ignore a buried-in-the-dirt change. And Zambrano had clearly lost his command and fallen out of synch with Piazza, who kept with the Peterson Plan despite being shook off like a “Bull Durham” outtake. Well, however he did it, good for Victor. And good for us.
And good for Willie for not sending Zambrano back out there, recent bullpen struggles aside. When we finally broke through and opened up a can of whoop-ass on Geoff Geary, it was bullpen tryout time, and only Danny Graves failed the pop quiz. And that's OK — he's still a project. For now.
Carlos hit a triple. Cameron turned in some very wise baserunning. David Wright hit well and (mostly) fielded well too — no offense to Daubach, but Minky would have saved that low throw. Reyes again started off the game with a terrific, extended at-bat and drew a walk. Mike hit an old-style Mike home run. Even Jose Offerman briefly made me put aside my wrath at his presence on the roster.
.500 again! Let's play two! Even if it is Ishii. (Heck, it worked last time.)