Chicago Cubs' starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano makes a delivery against...

Chicago Cubs' starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano makes a delivery against the New York Mets at Citi Field. (April 20, 2010) Credit: MCT/David Pokress

The Mets went into last night feeling better about themselves after a pair of wins over the Cubs.

The Cubs? Not feeling so hot. Manager Lou Piniella announced the sending of $91.5-million starter Carlos Zambrano to the bullpen to help an ailing relief crew.

Zambrano, the Cubs' Opening Day starter, allowed two runs in six innings in Tuesday's 4-0 loss to the Mets. He is 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA and is not thrilled about going to the bullpen, but agreed to it to help the team.

"I don't like to be a reliever," Zambrano told Chicago-area reporters. "I don't want to be a reliever. This team needs somebody to step up and help the bullpen."

Cubs relievers were 1-6 with a 6.15 ERA going into last night. Piniella also needed to make room in the rotation for Ted Lilly, who is returning from the disabled list on Saturday.

Early speculation centered on Ryan Dempster moving to the bullpen because he was a reliever from 2005-07. But Piniella chose Zambrano to set up closer Carlos Marmol.

"I told him we really needed him in the bullpen, and that we felt he could do a nice job for us," Piniella said. "He said he'd do what's best for the team. I'm very appreciative. He talked about maturing. This proves it to me."


Ring for Nady

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman paid a surprise visit to the Cubs locker room before the game to present Xavier Nady with his 2009 World Series ring. Nady played seven games for the Yankees last season before having Tommy John surgery.


Jacobs clears

Mike Jacobs, who was designated for assignment on Sunday, cleared waivers. The Mets were talking with Jacobs' agent to see if the veteran would report to Triple-A Buffalo or choose to become a free agent.

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