Cubs 7, Mets 1

Winner: Zambrano (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 K, 2 BB), 3-1
Loser: Maine (6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 6 K, 2 BB), 1-2

Turning point: Aramis Ramirez's two-run homer in the fourth inning gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead they never gave up, but Jose Reyes's error on a ground ball hit by Derrek Lee, leading off the last of the eighth inning, was also critical. It opened the door to a 5-run Cubs rally—2-run single by Cedeno, 3-run bomb by Pie—that turned a tense, one-run game into a laugher of sorts. Let's call it a Laugher Lite.

Backstory: Zambrano's strong seven-inning effort, in which his newfound control was again in evidence, gave all but Marmol and Wood in the Cubs bullpen a much needed night off. And as much fun as it is to see the Cubs bludgeon the Pittsburgh Pirates, there is something uniquely satisfying about seeing them beat a first-rate team, especially when that team is wearing New York Mets colors. Zambrano now passes the baton to Ted Lilly, who has been miserable in 2008, but with a good effort in his Tuesday afternoon start against the Mets' Nelson Figueroa, could help the Cubs lock down a 7-1 homestand.


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