SAN FRANCISCO -- Carlos Zambrano has every right to feel frustrated after being denied a pitching win for the third time this season because Heath Bell failed to come through. Bell didn't receive the blown save on Wednesday, but he definitely cost Zambrano the victory.
The latest installment: Bell took over in the ninth on Wednesday with a 2-0 lead but couldn't hold it. The Giants ended up tying the score and sending it to extra innings, where the Marlins won on Giancarlo Stanton's solo homer in the 10th.
But the still winless Zambrano said he wasn't upset at all. Not in the least.
“I feel like I’m a new Carlos Zambrano,” he said, “because the old Carlos Zambrano would be throwing a chair and screaming at his teammate. But God has changed my life. I’m happy that we won today. That’s the most important thing.”
Zambrano said Bell apologized to him afterward.
“Heath failed and it’s time to pick him up,” Zambrano said. “Everybody has to pick up each other. That’s what the game is all about. I talked to him and I told him to keep your head up, as soon as I see your head down, I’m going to come to you and we’re going to have problems. Things will turn around. He’s one of the best and he’s had a rough start, but I know he will settle back and be the same closer that he was in past years.”
Bell was unable to record an out in the ninth, prompting manager Ozzie Guillen to pull him for Steve Cishek. Cishek, who pitched the final two innings, was credited with the win. Bell said he understood the decision.
“Ozzie made a good decision, worked out for us,” Bell said. “Stanton picked me up big time right there. I just feel really bad because Zambrano pitched a heckuva game. It still hurts, but it’s one of those things that, for whatever reason, I’m not having any luck this year. The tide will change for me, hopefully sooner rather than later.”
Meanwhile, Guillen was non-committal about whether he'll continue to stick with Bell as his closer. But he sure did offer plenty of praise for Cishek afterward, an indication that he night be leaning toward handing the closer's role over to him.
"Cishek did a tremendous job to go out there and stop that bleeding and come back and save the game," Guillen said. "It was nice to see. My job is to win games. I'm going to put the best guy we think is doing the job there. This is a tough call to any position because we spend a lot of money on this kid (Bell). I've got to put my best guy out there, and right now he's not our best guy. We got to wait to see."