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CINCINNATI -- Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano has apologized to closer Carlos Marmol for second-guessing how he pitched in Chicago's most recent loss.
Zambrano criticized Marmol's approach after a 3-2 loss Sunday at St. Louis. He said Marmol should have thrown Ryan Theriot a fastball rather than a slider, which the former Cubs player hit for a tying double in the ninth inning. Albert Pujols won it with a homer in the 10th.
"The problem wasn't Pujols," Zambrano said Sunday. "The problem was [Theriot's] at-bat. We should have known better than this. We are playing like a Triple-A team. This is embarrassing. Embarrassing for the team and the owners. Embarrassing for the fans. Embarrassing, that's the word for this team."
"We should know that Ryan Theriot is not a good fastball hitter," Zambrano yelled after turning in the direction of Marmol's then-vacated locker. "We should know that as a team. We should play better here. We stink. That's all I've got to say."
Zambrano said before Monday night's game at Cincinnati that he was wrong to criticize Marmol that way. He said he made the remarks out of frustration.
"I went back to the hotel last night, thinking about what I had done," Zambrano said. "What I had said was out of frustration, so I apologized to him.
"I didn't mean to hurt him. But when I apologized, he was very nice to me. I learned from this experience. He was very pleasant to me and very professional. I told him I really appreciated that."
Marmol said the players have moved on after Zambrano apologized.
"We talked today. He apologized to me. It's all in the past," Marmol said on Monday.
Manager Mike Quade also talked to Zambrano.
"He called me into the office and he wanted to have a little chat with me," Zambrano said. "We talked everything out.
"I really feel for this team. I think sometimes I care too much. I just want this team to do good. I don't like to be in this position where we keep losing and keep losing, and we don't do nothing about it. I just want to win with this team and do the best I can."
Quade didn't fine or otherwise punish the starter.
"Comments made totally out of frustration," Quade said. "And on that level, I can completely appreciate the frustration that he and everybody else is going through. The comments in no way reflect how he feels about his teammates.
"The level of frustration is obviously pretty high around here."
Zambrano, who is owed about $30 million through next season and has a full no-trade clause in his contract, said Monday that he wants to stay a Cub.
"No, I definitely want to stay here with the Cubs," Zambrano said. "I don't want to think about a trade right now. I want to think about helping this team.
"I have a mission here. I've said it since I've been in the big leagues, and that mission is to win with the Cubs. Anything can happen in the big leagues. Anything can happen in the next two months. The previous two months we didn't play well, we didn't pitch good."
General manager Jim Hendry was disappointed with the way Zambrano initially handled the situation.
"Marmol has been outstanding for us for a long time," Hendry said. "He's just going through a rough patch right now. Everybody is frustrated [with losing]. Sometimes things boil over but you have to be a better teammate than that."
As far as Theriot, he said he understood why Marmol went with the slider, and that it's OK with him if pitchers feed him a diet of fastballs.
"I kinda like it," Theriot said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I hope everybody throws me fastballs now. If you look at the numbers, and I'm not sure what they are, but I'm relatively positive that I would say 90 percent of my hits are on fastballs.
"It's always easy to [second guess pitches] that after the fact. I think Carlos' best pitch is his slider. It's one of the best in the game. I don't blame him for sticking with his best pitch at that point. It just worked out in our favor at this time."
Marmol stood by his decision to throw a slider to Theriot.
"My slider isn't as good as it was, just right now," Marmol said. "But I would not have thrown any different pitch."
Zambrano said he wasn't giving up on the Cubs' chances of getting back into contention.
"I just want to get together with this team and play better, be a good leader for this team, do the best I can to help this team win a ballgame," Zambrano said. "We can be 11, 12, 15 games out, but we start winning games, who knows?
"It's not over yet. Believe me guys, it's not over for the Cubs."
ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.