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Zambrano falls short in Final Vote

Zambrano falls short in Final Vote

WASHINGTON -- Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano thought Chris Young was an All-Star, and evidently so did a lot of other people.

The San Diego Padres pitcher was named as winner of the Monster 2007 All-Star Final Vote, and will join the National League team on Tuesday in San Francisco. Zambrano, who was competing for that spot, will spend the All-Star break at home in Venezuela.

"No, I'm not disappointed," Zambrano said after Thursday's game against the Nationals. "I've got two appearances in All-Star games, so there's nothing to do be disappointed about. Good for him."

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The competition for the final opening on the NL roster included Zambrano, Young, Houston's Roy Oswalt, Pittsburgh's Tom Gorzelanny, and Arizona's Brandon Webb. Oswalt was named to replace Atlanta's John Smoltz, who withdrew because of injury, and not Zambrano because Oswalt was next in line on the players' ballot. Smoltz was chosen for the NL team by his peers.

When the list of Final Vote candidates was announced, Zambrano said he was surprised Young wasn't already on the NL roster.

"[Young] deserves to go," Zambrano said of the right-hander, who leads the league with a 2.00 ERA and .197 opponents batting average against. "Honestly, he's the one who deserves to go in that group."

Zambrano, 10-6 with a 4.04 ERA in 18 starts, was seeking his third trip to the All-Star Game.

"There are some guys in the competition who have better numbers than me, speaking of ERA and other things," Zambrano said after his last start Tuesday against the Nationals. "I just have more wins than they have. Whatever happens, happens. If I don't go to the All-Star Game, I go to Venezuela and enjoy my time there in my country. If I go, I'll enjoy that with my family, also."

Since declaring he was starting the season over on June 6, Zambrano is 5-1 with a 1.42 ERA (seven earned runs in 44 1/3 innings) and 51 strikeouts. He began the day ranked sixth in the league in strikeouts, and now has fanned 102 for the season.

Big Z will start Sunday in the Cubs' final game of the first half against the Pittsburgh Pirates, and was expected to open the second half of the Cubs' season on July 13 against Houston.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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