Bonds saw more good pitches than most nights and it didn't make
a difference. Zambrano was too good, going after the slugger from
the start with a nasty sinker and equally tough fastball.Bonds remained stuck at 713 home runs and one shy of tying Babe
Ruth for second on the career list, and the Chicago Cubs ended
their eight-game losing streak behind Zambrano's gem and a two-run
homer and four RBI from Jacque Jones in an 8-1 win over the Giants
on Wednesday night."He's a dangerous hitter," Zambrano said of the 41-year-old
Bonds. "He has many more to get. Even though people are saying
he's ready to retire, I don't think so. He just has to get his
timing."Bonds, who left the stadium without addressing the media, went
0-for-3 with a five-pitch walk and a strikeout, and he didn't take
a swing until lining out to center on a 1-2 pitch with one out in
the fourth.In the fifth, Bonds was retired on a called third strike -- a 96
mph fastball from Zambrano. He popped out in the eighth. Flashbulbs
lit up the ballpark from all angles each time a pitch came his way.Once again, Bonds came to the plate to chants of "Barry!
Barry!" and boats were out in force in the bay for the second
straight night, hoping for Bonds to splash a souvenir ball into
McCovey Cove like he's done 31 times before. Even a person dressed
in an oversized dog costume stood on one of the crafts.While Giants manager Felipe Alou opted to lift shortstop Omar
Vizquel and right fielder Randy Winn in the top of the eighth,
Bonds stayed in the game."No fans left, so Barry couldn't leave either," Alou said.
"You had 40,000 people waiting for that at-bat. I wasn't going to
be the one to take Barry out, at home especially. I think those
people are here waiting for something big to happen."The seven-time NL MVP never come close to 714 a night after Juan
Pierre robbed him of a homer with a leaping catch against the wall
in center in the fifth inning of San Francisco's 6-1 win.Zambrano (1-2) won for the first time in eight 2006 starts and
improved to 3-0 lifetime against the Giants, keeping San Francisco
from its first three-game winning streak of the season. The
right-hander pitched eight strong innings, allowing one run and
five hits, striking out six and walking five in a 110-pitch
performance."There wasn't an opportunity to not pitch to him," Cubs
skipper Dusty Baker said of Bonds. "That wasn't our idea. We were
just pitching to him. Carlos played an outstanding game, and he
found his rhythm. It was the Carlos that we know and love."Zambrano's family called from Venezuela with a special good-luck
wish, and Zambrano delivered a victory by shutting out Bonds."That gives me more confidence for my next start," Zambrano
said. "My sinker was good today and I had velocity on my fastball
to keep him off balance."Aramis Ramirez hit an RBI double and Todd Walker drove in a run
with a groundout for the Cubs, who picked up their first win in
Game 8 of their nine-game West Coast trip.Matt Cain (1-5) lost his third straight start and fifth in six --
though the Giants have vowed to stay with the rookie right-hander
until he comes around."Today I felt great and I got beat," he said. "You're going
to get frustrated. I'm frustrated right now. You've just got to
keep going."Same for Bonds, who hit his 713th homer Sunday night with a
450-foot shot at Philadelphia.Ask anybody around the Giants and they are eager for Bonds to
tie and pass Ruth."A lot of apprehension, expectations, anticipation ... and
suspicion," Alou said in a reference to the steroids accusations
surrounding his star player. "It's not your day-in, day-out
atmosphere."Alou said he expected Bonds to play Thursday's day game -- not
always the slugger's practice in recent seasons after night games."Hopefully Barry will hit 715 and get it out of the way," Alou
said. "I think he's ready to do it. He's swinging the bat well.
He's going to play at home a lot more games. Hopefully before we
leave town."Baker's 7-year-old son, Darren, one of Bonds' biggest fans,
hoped to see the slugger tie and pass Ruth."Yeah, but on somebody else," he said with a smile. "Or hit
one today and the Cubs come back and win the game."
Pierre received several phone calls from family members --
and not all of those close to him were happy he'd made the play.
"Some said, 'What were you thinking? What were you doing?"
Pierre recalled. "Mixed emotions." ... Pierre, who entered the
game mired in a 1-for-22 slump, moved from the leadoff spot to No.
2 in the order in an attempt to get going and got two hits. He was
booed when he stepped into the batter's box in the first. ...
Giants 2B Ray Durham, on the DL since April 28 with a strained left
hamstring, took hitting work in a simulated game against two
pitchers from Class-A San Jose and is set to be activated when
eligible Friday. ... Rev. Jesse Jackson was in the stands and held
court in the Giants' clubhouse postgame, defending Bonds. "This is
a superb athletic achievement," Jackson said. "The fact is, he is
a phenomenal athlete and at the end of the day his numbers speak
for themselves." ... RHP Brad Hennessey made his first career
relief appearance for San Francisco. ... Jones doubled in two runs
in the sixth and finished with his most RBI since also getting
four on April 18, 2004, vs. Kansas City.