Time to worry: When your team has lost four straight at home during the stretch run of the division race. Time to really worry: When your manager says "If he can pitch, he'll pitch. If he can't, we'll put Sean Marshall in the rotation." Those words of wisdom were spoken by Lou Piniella, after Carlos Zambrano bailed after five innings due to arm problems in Chicago's 9-7 loss to the Astros in 11 innings. Piniella's words join "I dare anyone to cross this mighty Maginot line" and "I see no way that blimp travel fails to catch on" as inspirational benchmarks. Zambrano will be examined today. He threw 86 pitches and gave up three runs on five hits and three walks, striking out three. In his previous start against the Pirates, he gave up six runs in 4⅓ innings. Geoff Blum hit a two-run homer in the 11th off of Kerry Wood to win it. Jim Edmonds hit homer No. 17 in the seventh for Chicago. Any way you look at it the Cubs are in trouble, and this didn't help. Yeah, we want some of that awesome Blackhawks mojo to get us over the top. Here's the situation: Chicago is 4 1/2 up on the second-place Brewers in the Central with 23 to play. But any team that's 0-for-the-past-two-centuries has to be thinking about the health of its pitching staff for the playoffs. Zambrano has a dead arm, Rich Harden's next start has been pushed back to Sept. 11 in St. Louis (that's a long freakin' rest), Ryan Dempster, who is starting for the first time since 2003, is on pace for 200 innings. And where is Fukudome again? There is only one reasonable solution to all of this, of course: Rooftop wedding! You stay focused, Cubs fans. Pregame Thread [Bleed Cubbie Blue] Zambrano Departs Early As Astros Nip Cubs In Extras [USA Today]