Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 3, Reds 4 – May 3, 2012

If you can believe it, Ryan Dempster may have been more dominant today than Jeff Samardzija was last night – and Samardzija was unbelievable. Bryan LaHair went deep AGAIN, so did Geovany Soto(!), and Starlin Castro had his first homer of the year.

But no one will remember that. They probably won’t even remember Ian Stewart’s critical error or Rafael Dolis throwing the game away.

They’ll only remember the Carlos Marmol circus.

He used to walk the tightrope and get out of things in spectacular fashion. Now, he walks the tightrope, and falls to the ground in spectacular fashion. How a guy can crash to the Earth so many times in a row and still be allowed to climb back on the rope, I’ll never understand.

I say this with absolutely no hyperbole intended: I do not want to hear a quote from, or a quote about (by the coaching staff), Carlos Marmol this afternoon unless it starts with “Carlos is going on the disabled list.” Whether or not he’s injured, something is not right. Let him go “rehab” in the minors for a couple weeks. I can no longer stomach watching him. That was probably true a year ago.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

240 responses to “Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 3, Reds 4 – May 3, 2012”

  1. Luke

    Per Cubs beat writers on Twitter, Marmol may be out as closer.  Dolis and Russel are the candidates to take the job.

    And there was much rejoicing.

    1. calicubsfan007

      Yay!! The evil beast is vanquished! My money’s on Russell.

      1. Luke

        It may be a match up based decision, in which case Dolis will get the bulk of the work.  Russell should still see plenty of late inning action, though.

        1. calicubsfan007

          The main reason that I would trust Russell more is because he seems more consistant and can pitch well for more than one inning. I like Dolis’ stuff though.

    2. Spencer


      This begs the question, WHY wasn’t Marmol throwing fastballs and who is calling the game??

    3. DocPeterWimsey

      What I really would like is a manger to get over the “closer” notion.

      1. Ogyu

        Speaking of mangers, a pig trough would do a better job than Sveum did today.

      2. SirCub

        This. Even if the Cubs had a decent closer. Why wouldn’t you continue to play the matchups in the 9th inning? Russell should’ve gottent the ball today, not because he is a better pitcher (he is), but to face Votto and Bruce.

      3. hansman1982

        Yes, a 3 run lead in the ninth is (statistically) nearly impossible to blow. Perfect opportunity for Castillo to get some work.

  2. Rick Vaughn

    My wife knew it was a good day to leave for work early after Marmol walked the first two. I couldn’t believe it was happening again.

    Get anyone else closing immediately. He had it, and then he lost it. It happens. Time to move on.

  3. DowntownLBrown

    This one is on “The Ol Ball Coach”.

    Dempster had only thrown 101 pitches. He was coming off 15-day DL, not Tommy John surgery. He had given up 0 ER, and 3 hits. You warm up your closer, but let the guy have the ball and FINISH THE FREAKING GAME.

    Dale: “Happy Birthday Ryan, you pitched great. Now let me have the ball and I am gonna give it to a guy to blow it for you.”

  4. Brian

    I am SOOOOO tired of Marmol….. Why, Why, Why????

    I think I could have got three outs even at 65 years of age!!!!!!!!

    1. Michael

      I know I could, and I would be lucky if I hit 65MPH!!!

      1. JustSwain

        Yeah, but you can locate.

  5. Cheryl

    Heard that Sveum is considering Russell and Dolis for closer now. Looks like Marmol is definitely out for that position. Thank goodness.

  6. Rose May

    I can’t stand it.

  7. Cub Gone Wild

    Marmol won’t change his approach. He won’t listen to anybody. He is worse than Zambrano. An ML pitcher with his problems should be doing anything but what he has been doing. I would fine him a 1000 bucks everytime he threw that slider. I would fine him 250K for each poor performance. They have to get their money back some how. Maybe he will walk out like Zambrano and our problems will be over. Carlos… call Z for advice before tomorrow.

    1. MikeL

      Well….Len and Bob were saying yesterday that earlier in the year, Marmol would start with a fastball and then finish with a slider. That wasn’t working….so Boz told Marmol to try starting with the slider and finishing with the fastball. The thing that surprised everyone today was that Marmol refused to throw a fastball today….That again tells me that he does not trust his fastball and it is a confidence/mental issue.

    2. ty

      I was told last year that after Marmol got his huge contract that he would not listen and this came from the top. He is actually a well behaved kid but stumbled into this pitching thing by accident and never adapted proper mechanics. He discovered if he threw his curve ball as hard as he could–actually just flinging that it had movement. Twenty million dollars later and this career is in trouble.

  8. MikeL

    Has anyone else noticed a “deer in the headlights” look from Marmol this year? There was a time when Marmol used to have a killer instinct look in his eyes. He might still have the stuff, but I think his performance is pretty much all mental now. He seems to lack total confidence whenever he goes out there.

    1. calicubsfan007

      Definetly saw that look yesterday. He actually looked surprised that he got anybody out yesterday.

  9. Kevin

    Simply a joke!

  10. Levi

    Even though they both make me happier than MARMOL as of now, neither of them excite me a whole lot. Closers are so overrated and in a year like this, just go with the match ups and do closer by committee. Glad if MARMOL is out if that spot, but I will just dread him anywhere else also. I want him to leave. If he wasn’t already a head case, he sure will be now.

  11. Frodaddy 81

    I’m Gatorade jug punching pissed!

  12. ty

    Remember in little league-even high school-walks always scored. Where is Doc Wimsey? Need stats for mlb walks–then again 4 walks does have to score. Rather have Casey Coleman!

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      Well, the stats on walks this year are pretty straight-forward: the team that takes the most walks (or surrenders the fewest: call it as you will) is  218-107.  Assuming a 0.500 record on the 14% of games in which both teams take/give up the same number of walks, that projects to a 105-57 record over 162 games.  (This games was one of the 109: and had Marmol not given up 3 walks, then it would have been one of the 109.)

      Now, that leaves out a concentration of walks in a single inning like Marmol shows.  I often denigrate the concept of “game-changing power” or “game-changing speed.”  I will never denigrate the concept of “game-changing wildness.”  Still, one crazy inning like this usually will put the “gave up fewer” team to “gave up more” team.

    2. hansman1982

      it all comes down to run expectancy, therefore when the batter is allowed on base. Len and Bob gave an interesting stat last night that there is nearly the same run expectancy from a runner on 1st with no outs as there is with a runner on 2nd with 1 down. .6something

      When Carlos Marmol is on the mound, though, that number jumps to eleventy bajillion, regardless of the outs.

      1. Drew

        I’ve read that stat before, and I know it was on this site! It was regarding the bunt and its almost worthlessness.

        On a good note: Spent all day yesterday at Busch (The High School team I coach played after the Sh*tbirds) and at least got to see them lose. It was a great experience, but I would guess Wrigley would just *feel* 10 times more awesome, since Busch definitely lacks that nastalgic feel.

        Anyway, It was great to see them lose, and at least it takes a little bit of the sting out of it.

  13. Kevin

    Cub fans don’t deserve this lack of judgement from the manager on up. People are paying lots of money to see a circus, unbelievable!

  14. Ogyu

    Join in everybody:

    Hey! Hey! Ho!! Ho!!
    Carlos Marmol’s Got to Go!!!

    Hey! Hey! Ho!! Ho!!
    Carlos Marmol’s Got to Go!!!

    1. calicubsfan007

      What about “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye!”

  15. Tarheel Cub

    Totally agree with the article! He has no business closing games at this point. I can not believe Dale Sveum would march him out there in the ninth. EVERYONE knew what was going to happen. Sveum is managing like QUADE, and losing respect fast!

    1. MikeL

      That’s a bit harsh. I think the use of Marmol came from the top. I am not saying the front office pushed Sveum’s hand, but I think they wanted to showcase Marmol so that some egotistical pitching coach from another team would see Marmol’s “promise” and ask his front office to trade for him. It used to be that Marmol would only beat himself by walking hitters and his stuff was generally not hittable. This year though he still can’t throw strikes, but when he does the hitter usually makes good contact. I don’t think anyone expected that, but now that it is the case they have decided there really isn’t anything there to show other teams.

      I really think the cubs were trying to push Marmol off to another team so that they wouldn’t have to eat his salary by releasing him outright…..but it appears that is where Marmol is headed.

    2. hansman1982

      WOW! That is a tad excessive. Marmol did set down the side in order last night. Bringing him out here today was just hoping to build on a good outing.

      Now, why on earth did Sveum leave him in after he walked 2 is anyone’s guess.

      1. Bric

        It’s true that Marmol put down the side in order but it looked to me like he was pretty shaky in doing what is expected of him. So after he gets his job done do you look back at him 16 hours later and say “Go do it again!…”? Or do you give the guy a little rest and at least a full day to put his brain and confidence back together and let one of the other guys get the last 3 outs from a team that’s done squat offensively for 8 innings?

        Whatever you think, his job isn’t his anymore and now he’s really gonna have to show something to get it back. A closer that can’t colse two games in a row isn’t a closer. I think the stats could prove that.

  16. SirCub

    So there was definitely a moment in this game, right after the Soto bomb, that I started to get really crazy optimistic. I mean, I started thinking the Cubs were actually a good baseball team. At that moment, it appeared the slumping players were coming around, the hot bats were staying hot, the top of the rotation looked as good as any in baseball, the back of the rotation looked stable, and the team’s defense and baserunning looked as good as I can remember in years. I allowed myself, at that moment, to be proud to be a Cubs fan. Clearly, my pride had blinded me from two obvious facts.

    1) Carlos Marmol can blow any game.


    2) The Cubs can find a way to lose any game.

  17. kyle

    Possible lineup later this year: 1. Tony campana 2. Starlin castro 3. Anthony rizzo 4. Bryan lahair 5. Brett jackson 6. Steve clevenger 7. Darwin barney 8. Ian stewart/ Blake dewitt/ Josh vitters/ Jeff baker 9. Pitcher

    1. calicubsfan007

      Please, don’t have Baker or DeWitt starting… The rest of the lineup looks solid.

    2. Marmol Sucks

      The idea of having Blake DeWit in the everyday lineup is quite terrifying. I don’t think Soriano will be moved. Hopefully Soto can be traded and possibly DeJesus as well. Vitters will not be ready this year either. I think we are stuck with Stewart for the year and possibly next because Baez won’t be ready next year either. David Wright and Kevin Youkillis are free agents but we have no in house options for 3B.

      1. calicubsfan007

        Can we afford either of those guys?

      2. JustSwain

        Both those guys are injury prone. I don’t see either of them happening.

    3. hansman1982

      If DeJesus is gone, I am guessing it will look something like this:

      1. Jackson
      2. Cardenas/Sappelt
      3. Castro
      4. Lahair
      5. Rizzo
      6. Stewart
      7. Sappelt/Cardenas
      8. Castillo (assuming Soto is traded, fairly clear the front office sees Clevenger as the career backup at this point)

      BTW, GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY, we might have exactly 1 player from last year’s team as a starter by the end of the season.

      1. Dave

        1) Cardenas
        2) Vitters
        3) Castro
        4) Rizzo
        5) Lahair
        6) Jackson
        7) Castillo
        8) Dejesus (Im takin a guess and sayin he sticks around)

        I don’t like the idea of putting a young guy in the 8 hole- i feel like it’s just setting him up for failure. Also, i think jack strikes out too much to hit lead off. Anyway you look at it Castro/Rizzo/Lahair/Jackson is a solid core- and don’t forget we’ll have the flexibility to add a few free agents in the coming years to fill in the gaps.

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          K’s are more irrelevant for an NL leadoff batter than any other batter in MLB.  Far and away the most important stat there is OBP: high OBP requires a lot of walks, and a lot of walks usually accompanies a lot of K’s; ergo, the best candidates for leading off frequently K more than average.

          1. hansman1982

            and a secondary job of the leadoff guy is seeing A LOT of pitches which Jackson does.

            1. SirCub

              And the tertiary job of the leadoff hitter is to steal some bases which Jackson also does a little bit of.

              1. DocPeterWimsey

                True, although in a lot of ways you get more bang for your buck with stolen bases lower in the order.  On a good team, the #3-#6 hitters are good at driving guys home from first and/or good at getting on base themselves & keeping the line moving.  Thus, a steal from (say) a #7 guy in an NL lineup does a lot more to improve his chances of scoring in front of the #8 & #9 hitters than does a steal from the #1 & #2 guy.

                However, BJax has the speed and (from what I’ve gleaned) baserunning skills to score from first on doubles, and that’s really valuable in a leadoff guy.  (Well, it’s valuable in anybody, obviously, but you get what I mean….)

                1. SirCub

                  I agree, I just wanted to say tertiary. You make valid points, but I think in the end it will depend on the structure of the lineup. In the Cubs’ current configuration, the 2 and 3 hitters (Barney/Campana and Castro) are primarily singles hitters, so swiping a bag in front of them greatly increases your chances of scoring, while their 8 hitter (Soto) has more power, and is actually more likely to score a runner from first than Barney/Campana/Castro.

            2. DocPeterWimsey

              Which, in turn, increases the chance of K’ing.  Obviously, whiffing is not good: but it’s a common side-effect of a good approach for a leadoff man.  Indeed, if a leadoff batter is going to make an out, then a K might be the best possible out: it means 3+ pitches, wearing the pitcher down just a bit and letting the teammates see more of the repertoire.

              And, as we’ve seen, a lot of guys who don’t K because they don’t take pitches have proven to be pretty inept leadoff men for the Cubs (and other teams)!

  18. AK

    I’d like to see Russell take the job. Maybe move Wells into the bull pen???

    1. calicubsfan007

      Wells has been incredibly inconsistent this year.

  19. Ogyu

    OK, this is really unbelievable. The Tribune quotes Sveum as saying: “It’s the same story again,” Sveum said. “Throwing 3-0 sliders (to Joey Votto) when you have three-run leads, that’s just not acceptable.”

    Apparently the Tribune did not ask the logical follow-up question: “If it’s so fucking unacceptable, then why the fuck did you leave the guy in to face three more fucking batters, you fucking imbecile?”

    Whatever happened to real journalism?

    1. Spencer

      Or, why wasn’t he throwing fastballs and who is calling the game?

      1. calicubsfan007

        Quite a few people have said that Marmol was told to throw more fastballs, he just refused to do it. No one, except for Mariano Rivera, can get away with throwing only one pitch.

        1. Ogyu

          Insubordination, then. Void his contract.

    2. ty

      Ogyu–I hereby bestow upon you a Masters Degree of Journalism and will use what earned pull to get you a job with the Tribune. Follow up questions will be your forte and our Bostonians and their flunkies will damn well think they are back in a pot of oyster stew.

      1. MIchael Montgomery

        Trib lays off people who get advanced degrees and experience, they cost too much…

        1. Ogyu

          I’d be happy to pose my questions to Sveum for free. :-)

  20. Ogyu

    Here’s a sophisticated sabrmetric argument: Camp is throwing 1.3 walks per 9 innings. Therefore, he is the closer until further notice. QED.

    1. calicubsfan007

      I’d prefer a pitching machine closing our games over Marmol, so Camp is just an upgrade over what I had in mind.

    2. Dave

      i agree- the idea that a closer has to be a fire baller is overrated. I’d rather get beat on a couple of hits than on 5 walks. Ryan Franklin was lights out for about two years in STL… yeah it ended poorly but closers always seem to be short lived (obviously there are exceptions).

  21. this old cub 2

    NOTHING I hate more than for the starter to throw lights out and then the “closer” blows it for him.
    The book on Marmol has to be: dont swing at a thing until he proves he can throw a strike and then take some more pitches cause he’ll make his own mess and can no longer pitch his way out of it.
    Nice job by Dolis to get out of Marmol’s mess but then made a mess of his own that he couldnt get out of either….my oh my!

  22. Camiata2

    I posted this as my status update on fb (I apologize in advance for the profanity, but not really) “Carlos Marmol, if only you’d go fuck yourself as hard as you’ve fucked the Cubs this year and last. I’d be hella pleased with that outcome. Fucker”.  That about sums up my thoughts on the matter.

    1. Ian Afterbirth

      It’s ok – I think Ace is letting us vent today.

  23. morgan

    if it wasnt for marmol and wood this team would be 500

    1. DocPeterWimsey

      That assumes that you could replace those two with a couple of guys who never blew saves or holds.  However, every team has at least one blown save: and of the 4 with only 1, all of them get reduced save chances because their team is either really good (Rays & Yanks) or really bad (Pads and Twins).   Indeed, there are at least 5 teams with bullpens that have done worse than the Cubs: they actually are middle of the pack in this young season.

  24. BleedBlueinWNeb

    my dad long ago told me there should be a sniper in the press box for kickers that miss fg’s within 40 yards! i feel the same way about closers in MLB.

    i was at work during the game but was monitoring it on mlb.tv on my phone, sickening. wish i could have heard Brenly.

    nothing worse for team morale than having dempster pitch so well to only have it washed away by a man posing as a closer. he needs to go to extended spring training, take a dl stint and try to figure something out.

    is Sveum getting raked over the coals for this one too?

    1. Edwin

      Just so I get this straight, you think that when closers blow saves, they should be shot and killed?

      1. BleedBlueinWNeb

        it was kind of a tongue in cheek comment…but my mom did text and said he should be shot! i ‘m sure she was being sarcastic as well. but yeah…

        1. Edwin

          Your parents sound very nourishing.

          1. Ogyu

            First shootings and now cannibalism???

            1. BleedBlueinWNeb

              edwin loves mike tyson

          2. BleedBlueinWNeb

            ok so we can’t be frustrated by the loss? and in being frustrated we can’t use overblown illustrations and comparisons to vent? it’s cubs baseball dude. sorry if you don’t like my comments.

      2. BleedBlueinWNeb

        notice i said kind of…

  25. Cub Gone Wild

    The sad thing is.. Marmol is going to get his money no matter what. So maybe he figures his career is basically over and hey I got enough money to live forever in the Dominican Republic on my ranch. The quicker I get bounced from my job the quicker I get home to my ranch and my horses. He is one of those guys who got paid and is set for life and just simply doesn’t care what happens. There is no way anybody ever signs him to another contract. So he figures F it I’ll just go on home. He and Zambrano must have went to the same school.

  26. Mrp

    Sunk cost, cut Marmol. It is that simple. I don’t want him sent down to the minors to infect the rest of the organization with his case of the bads. Let another team pick him up, it can only make them worse.

  27. Brent

    I know it’s early, but has anyone seen Dempster’s stat line for the season? 4 games, 0.95 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 29 K, and a record of 0-1. 0-1 after 4 starts with a 0.95 ERA. Unreal. I hate Carlos Marmol. Where’s Jeff Gillooly when you need him?

    1. calicubsfan007

      Ha, Gillooly, makes me think of Family Guy.

    2. hansman1982

      but clearly he sucks since he hasn’t gotten a win since…like…August 11 of last year!!! Ya, cause starting pitcher wins only matter.

      1. Ogyu

        And yet another imaginary debating opponent is bested….

  28. Dave

    Wish i could say im shocked but i’m not. Once again, yesterday’s “1-2-3″ save was misleading, and today Marmol wasn’t as fortunate. Is it wrong if i hope that he blows every save opportunity until he is replaced? if he comes in tomorrow and gets the save it is only going to give everyone a false sense of hope until he comes out and blows another three run lead. LaTroy Hawkins sounds better than Marmol right now.

  29. Dea

    Marmol’s ass needs to be sent down to AA to get his act together. Marmol should know it would be for his own good and the good of the team. Forget trading him now, because his value is zero. If and when he proves he deserves another shot, then bring him up, but NOT in the closer role. As for the closer now, do it by comittee until someone in the pen steps up and proves to be reliably consistent.

    I know this year is kind of like six months of September, but damn, you just can’t be giving away games.

  30. Norm

    Cubs should have signed Heath Bell or Ryan Madson when they had the chance…

    1. hardtop

      you obviously didnt see heath bell last night (or in his other appearances this year). the difference? ozzie pulled bell before he could do too much damage. damn, when ozzie guillen is out managing your guy, you know you’re in trouble.

      1. MikeL

        Heath Bell might actually be pitching worse than Marmol…..and Madson is out for the year due to a torn ligament in his elbow! Geez, Norm! The cubs should’ve hired you as GM!!!!

    2. Norm

      Heh…sarcasm wasn’t detected here I guess…
      I would never sign a RP to a high dollar, multi year deal….Heath Bell and nearly everyone not named Mariano are examples why.
      And Mariano just got hurt too….

      1. MikeL

        Then I take back my smart ass response, Norm. However, there wasn’t much of an indication of sarcasm there and many others on this site will probably be in total agreement with your statement.