HOUSTON -- It was only a matter of time before Carlos Zambrano earned his first victory in a Marlins uniform. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound righty leads the Miami pitching staff with a 1.98 ERA and 1.02 WHIP. After Monday's dominating three-hit shutout, he is now in the win column as well.
Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said he knew full well what he was getting with Zambrano when Miami traded for him in the offseason.
"The reason I took that chance on Carlos is because I know him personally, off the field," Guillen said. "I like that guy when he's on the field. I don't want Carlos to be nice. I want Carlos to be mean, be tough and have some passion for the game. There's a difference between being crazy and being passionate for the game."
Catcher John Buck has seen Zambrano's passion firsthand.
"He's obviously high intensity, and finding that balance and working with him to try to get to that is kind of fun for a catcher to be a part of getting the best out of your pitcher," Buck said. "And then being Zambrano is even cooler for me."
Guillen said he felt like it was time for Zambrano to move on from Chicago, where he spent 11 seasons with the Cubs.
"I think it was better for him to start over on another team," Guillen said. "I think sometimes change helps people. And I think it's helping him right now."
Zambrano credits the coaches and teammates in Miami for allowing him to settle in quickly.
"I thank all the people that brought me here," Zambrano said. "Ozzie is one of them. These guys welcomed me with a lot of patience and a lot of love. When you change teams, that's what you need."