CINCINNATI – Carlos Zambrano says he's sorry.
The Cubs starter sought out closer Carlos Marmol on Monday and apologized for second-guessing the way he pitched in a loss that extended Chicago's slump to six games.
"What I said yesterday was (in) a moment of frustration," Zambrano said, before the first game of a series against Cincinnati. "I apologized to Marmol. Let's move on."
Marmol and manager Mike Quade were ready to move on, too. Quade talked to him in the manager's office on Monday and attributed his critical comments to the frustration that has engulfed the team. Chicago was fifth in the NL Central, 11 games out of first place, after getting swept by first-place St. Louis.
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 started a 3-2, 10-inning loss in St. Louis on Sunday. Marmol gave up a tying RBI double to Ryan Theriot in the ninth, throwing a misplaced slider. Zambrano said after the game that the closer should have gone with a fastball instead.
Marmol accepted his apology.
"Any negative stuff is gone for me," Marmol said. "We have to move on. It doesn't bother me. He apologized to me and we're fine."
The blown save set up Albert Pujols' second consecutive game-ending homer, this one leading off the 10th inning. Afterward, Zambrano said, "We're playing like a Triple-A team. This is embarrassing."
On Monday, 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."