Before Saturday's game, Carlos Zambrano decided to give catcher Geovany Soto a couple reminders.
"Before the game, I told him I have a sinker, slider and split finger," the Cubs pitcher said. "In case he forgot."
Saturday was the first game this spring that Soto was behind the plate for Zambrano, who threw five scoreless innings, giving up three hits, two walks and striking out four in a 4-0 win over the Kansas City Royals.
If there was a downside, it was that Zambrano went 0-for-2 at the plate, including a strikeout with the bases loaded in the second. Ryan Theriot picked him up, hitting a three-run double.
"People think I worry too much about my hitting," Zambrano said. "This year, I want to concentrate more on my pitching and that's the main thing for me. They pay me to pitch and not to hit."
The right-hander, who will start Opening Day April 5 against Atlanta, did well despite being bothered by his sinuses.
"Today, I thought I was going to run out of gas," Zambrano said. "I had a fever last night and I was in bed for a long time. I wasn't feeling that good."
But Zambrano, who talked to the medical staff and shrugged off the stuffiness, showed up in camp this spring 15 pounds lighter and wants to drop about five more. He likes to say he's not in good shape, but in "better shape."
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