Carlos Zambrano said he was "still in shock" on the morning after his no-hitter against Houston, and he revealed that a former Cubs pitcher he called "Milt Potato" had told him many times he would throw one.
Milt Pappas was the last Cubs pitcher to throw a no-hitter, on Sept. 2, 1972. Zambrano referred to him as Milt Potato, a play on the Spanish word for potato.
"Every time I come to the Cubs Convention, he keeps telling me, 'You will be the next one,' " Zambrano said. "He said [in January], 'I have a feeling that you will throw a no-hitter.' It's amazing. Every year he keeps telling me the same thing. Finally it's done, thank God."
Zambrano was soaking it all in on Monday after pitching the game of his life on Sunday night at Miller Park. He received an ovation every time he stuck his head out of the dugout on Monday, but he said he felt kind of numb the day after.
"I don't feel nothing, man," he said. "Nah, I feel good, more relaxed. I'm resting and back to work. I have to work today, do some cardio and shoulder exercises, and it's over."
Zambrano said he tried "not to be too cocky" after striking out Darin Erstad for the final out in Sunday's game, thanking God and his teammates and trying to come to grips with what he'd just accomplished. His wife, Ismary, asked him why he wasn't acting as excited as she and their friends were while watching the game from the stands at Miller Park.
"I said, 'I don't know, I'm in shock,' " Zambrano said. "It's a great feeling."
Zambrano received more than 50 text messages Sunday night but didn't know he had them until he got back to his hotel room and was able to charge up his cell phone, as the battery was dead. He celebrated with family and friends in his hotel suite on Sunday night, ordering three bottles of champagne for the occasion. But with 13 people, he said it was just "a little glass for everybody" to drink.
Why not go out and celebrate in Milwaukee?
"I don't like to go out and show off and drink two or three glasses of wine," he said with a laugh. "Then people start looking at me like 'Zambrano is [tipsy].' That's why I don't go out."
The Baseball Hall of Fame asked for Zambrano's cap and a ball from the game, though he noted that "the last one was for me. I was the one who threw a no-hitter, not MLB. I have to keep something. My brother already asked for my T-shirt (that he wore underneath his Cubs jersey). I know people, my good friends and my dad will ask for something, so I have to keep stuff for my family."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times