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Whew.

Travis Wood was brilliant – and looked very sharp – through six innings, and the Shawn Camp/James Russell tandem locked down the 7th. Kyuji Fujikawa was solid in the 8th. End of string of thoughts.

Nate Schierholtz, with a two-run homer in the 9th, tried his best to ensure that those panicked about seeing Carlos Marmol in a one-run save situation could relax. But we know better than that.

But, as I said: whew.

april 4 box

  • Cerambam

    test 2

    • Cerambam

      brett, what am I doing wrong?!

      • hansman1982

        I can see your gravatar

        sometimes it just takes a bit

        • Cerambam

          ahh, okay thanks hans. its just the default for me still but ill take your word for it.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            It’s there. Just takes a little while to populate across the interwebz.

  • Mike

    Jesus H.F. Christ! I thought Marmol was going to give me a heart attack!

  • http://twitter.com/rbmryu Rafael Bruno Meirelles

    OMG! At least we do have something to cheer about. Good one!

  • Tw

    WHY DO THEY KEEP THIS GUY???? He isn’t worth it!! DUMP HIM!!!

  • Jim

    I know they are trying to build value on Marmol so that they can move him, but there has to be a point where you are killing the morale on the team. At this point Kyuji Fujikawa should be the closer and Marmol should be put in the bullpen to work things out.

    On the other side, Lillibridge and Valbuena are giving us exactly what most of us expected … nothing! It is early and I hope they can find a way to contribute one of these days.

    • Wilbur

      At one time I thought they were trying to build value, however I think everybody in the league knows who this guy is and isn’t and all the Cubs are left with is pay him to play or pay him sit because no one else wants this problem.

      As I cannot see the Cubs outrighting him, It will be an exciting time at the old ballpark whenever he comes in …

    • RY34

      maybe marmol should go back to arizona to work on some things, like everything.

  • Dave

    You know that guy who graduated with a 2.01 GPA, but will always have that degree on his résumé? Carlos Marmol is the pitching equivalent of that guy.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Heh.

    • DarthHater

      Yea, but he only flunked one of his last 22 classes, so you shouldn’t be so excessively critical. :-P

    • MightyBear

      I wish you would please not talk about me.

  • cubsin

    After last year and his slow start this year, I’m beginning to conclude that Marmol isn’t a cold weather pitcher.

    • Mrp

      I’ve concluded that if he was worth something we would have already traded him. I’m not sure why they keep running him out there as a closer at this point. If what he did last year wasn’t enough to get someone to bite on a trade (outside of the Haren deal), then I don’t know what will.

      • Bric

        More important is the question of why Sveum continues to prove what everyone in the league already knows- Marmol’s an extremely inconsistent, injury prone pitcher who has to be tightly controlled with shaking off pitches and such. Not exactly what a contending team will be looking for in July, regardless of how filthy his sinker can be.

        Sveum and Theo aught to be thinking of their own futures, not his. If they continue to trot him out there in these close early season games (in which every team theoretically has a chance) they’re sending the message that this season was already written off before it started. VERY dangerous attitude to take.

        • hansman1982

          If we can get June-Aug 2012 Marmol, he is one of the best closers in the game. Heck, I am sure even during that stretch you could find a game or two similar to these two, these just get magnified by the fact they are early in the season.

          • Bric

            This is true, and let’s hope so. But consider this- I can’t really think of a player that had questions around him: work ethic, chemistry, reliability, durability, league, legal or steroid issues, etc. that was worth a damn in July. Those chances get taken in the of season, not at the deadline. The only exception would be Manny Ramirez. Anybody else you can think of in this category that can give us hope?

            • Edward

              Barry Bonds

    • DarthHater

      Now all you have to do is delete the words “cold weather” from your comment. ;-)

  • mudge

    Save – S. Blown Save – BS. Saves like this: BSS.

  • mul21

    He was fine the last 2 1/2 months last year to the tune of 5 ER in 29.2 innings. He may yet figure it out, but I’d certainly prefer he not be doing it in the 9th inning with a small lead.

    • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

      Last year is history. Baseball is supposed to be a meritocracy. Even Marmol’s good saves last year were cardiac events. Look at his walk ratio.

      Fujikawa is making it look easy.

  • http://Bleachernation Loyal100more

    The rotation, and the bullpen are looking good. Now if we could just get the bats working at the same pace, we would be in good shape! As for marmol… He’s really becoming a proble I would rather another team deal with. One that doesn’t need any help loosing!

  • http://Bleachernation Loyal100more

    Hard enough to win… Without marmol SINGLE HANDEDLY giving the game away in the 9th.

  • Cubbies4Life

    Is it possible to just send Marmol back to spring training all by himself? On, like… Jupiter or somewhere? My heart rate is just now falling out of the stroke zone.

    • Wilbur

      … how well does a slider break in a hydrogen/helium atmosphere?

  • Curt

    I think his resurgence last yr was built on no pressure didn’t matter if the cubs lost, now that the wins might matter at least for awhile the pressure is back and so is the wildness and hit batters, how long do the cubs keep running him out in tight save spots let him try the 7th or 8th if he finds it then let him try the 9th again .

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Call me crazy, but I have seen Marmol a whole lot worse than he was today. He had Martin struck out, and he got squeezed on several other pitches. His fastball was at 94 and his slider was not that bad. McCutcheon is going to rip a lot of guys, and the hit to right Sanchez just slapped the ball.
    When I can’t stomach it is when he is all over the place, today he had some decent control.

  • Ben (BG2383)

    I took that better than I have most moments. When I saw him come in to the game I approached it with the idea he was going to blow it and anything else was gravy. It is pretty clear he isn’t going to have much trade value. Can he please be replaced if performance #3 mimics his season so far and entire Spring?

  • TonyP

    How did Wood look, I didn’t get to watch the game. Obviously the stats are good with 3 base runners in 6 IP….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Very good. With a few exceptions, he was hitting his spots, and he very good action on his pitches. He’s never going to overpower, so that’s how he has to do it. And he did it today.

      Then again, I kind of suspect the Pirates lineup is a lot like the Cubs lineup …

      • TonyP

        Sweet hopefully he can put it all together and be a valuable 4th or 5th starter for the next 3-5 years.

        When baseball reference states “earliest Arb eligible 2014″. Is that after the 2013 season or after the 2014 season?

        • hansman1982

          It will be after the 2013 season. Works the same way for FA eligibility, the year listed would be the first year of the Arb or FA salary.

          Another helpful guide with those is to look at the players service time. For this year it will show as before this season so he will be at 3 years of service at the end of this year.

          • TonyP

            thanks…

          • TonyP

            Service Time (01/2013): 2.004, Arb Eligible: 2014, Free Agent: 2017

            1 more question please.

            Since Wood is at 2.004 he will need to spend almost all of the year in the MLB roster or he might not hit the 3 year mark and not be eligible after 2013. (I know there is a Super 2 group however)

            • Noah

              I think Wood is out of options, though, so he’d have to pass through waivers to go to the minors.

  • Red Baron 42

    Only saw bits and pieces..but Marmol looking like Mel Rojas. 20.25 ERA eesh

  • Sosa

    Marmol = new zambrano. hate this guy so much…

    • Freshness21

      I agree. The way he was carrying on after he “saved” the game was very reminiscent of Big Z’s excited idiocy back in the day. I’m all for a guy being pumped up, but these guys look ridiculous pumping themselves up like maniacs.

  • bbmoney

    Love the fact that our 6-8 hitters today or a combined 0 fer the year so far. I know they’ve only played a combined 6 games so far between them……..but man those bats…..aren’t good.

    But hey, I’m an optimist, at least Lillibridge didn’t strike out today.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Lillibridge actually hit a couple balls hard today. Valbuena … not so much.

      • bbmoney

        Well that’s good to hear. Didn’t catch the game myself.

  • Dan

    marmol was bad but are bigger problem is at 2nd and 3rd they is no power at all never thought I would be praying for Barney and Stewart to hurry and get back!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ivy Walls

    Marmol is already an afterthought, you could play hangman vocabulary and spell nail biter and it would still come out Marmol, yet last April he was like this and then came back to have a solid remainder of the year.

    I give it to sometime between April 25 and May 5 where Marmol moves to another role.

    STILL CUBS ARE 2-1 on the road starting out!!!!

  • DocPeterWimsey

    Again, it’s not so much this particular closer that bothers me: it’s the whole damn concept. Rivera’s and Eckerslies are extremely rare things. If you have one, then lucky you. Otherwise, put in the reliever who has the best chance of getting the first three batters out given the pitchers’ strengths and the batters’ weaknesses.

    Oh, and have I mentioned that I hate the save?

    • hansman1982

      the save would be more useful if they limited it to 2 runs instead of 3.

      I saw a study a couple years ago that showed there was no difference between Rivera and the worst closer in baseball at 3 run saves. If I remember correctly, they will usually blow 3% of them.

      • pete

        Probably showing my age but back when I was a kid watching Ted Abernathy, Dave Giusti and Phil Regan, wasn’t a save defined as facing a batter with the tying run on deck or pitching the final 3 innings?

  • Patrick G

    Lets say the cubs just release Marmol, do they owe him the entire contract left or a percentage of it?

    • bbmoney

      All of it.

  • Indy57

    Was listening to the game on my MLB app. Wood pitched great, Camp came in, then my battery went under 7%. Turned it off. Glad I missed another Marmol melt down. The starting pitching on this team looks much improved over 2012 and nearly all of the relief pitching as well. Just turn off the TV/radio in the ninth. It will make life so much easier.

  • Jason

    I think Theo and Jed are kicking themselves for not going through with the Haren trade.

    • cubzfan

      Agreed.

  • Jesse Ervin

    I could understand if this inconsistency was something new, but this has been on-going for years. I seriously can’t even stand to watch him pitch!

  • ruby2626

    Forecast for Atlanta are highs of 64, 71 and 74, some of these Dominican guys that can’t play in cold weather get at least a 3 day reprieve. Yes I’m talking to you Mr. Soriano, the guy who didn’t hit his first HR last year until May and has one single on the year. Kind of worried about Rizzo, a poor spring training followed by one hit in 3 days has me somewhat concerned. I agree with caller Dan, never thought I’d long for Stewart but at least he has the potential to hit a long one every now and then. Marmol is Marmol, streaky as ever, not a fan but he’ll kick it up as soon as the weather turns warmer.

    • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

      what about some of these Texans, or Californians or Floridians or Arizonans?

  • Die hard

    Marmol like Ferguson Jenkins needs more time to loosen up— solution is same for HOF like career — try him at starter for 7 starts and lets see what is

    • Carew

      HA

  • http://thenewenthusiast.com dw8

    Trying to win the title of Defensive efficiency guy or “Deficiency guy” for short.
    Through three games
    Batted Balls 67
    Outs on Batted Balls 53
    Efficiency=.7910
    Cubs pitcher BABIP= .209

  • DONNIE621

    Sad but this is the type of perfomance most people expect when Marmol enters the game… Everyone is holding their breath… Including Marmol himself! Check out the look on his face when he throw ball one on the first pitch!

    When things do go well it’s considered an anomaly. One has to believe the teams that would be considered the “market” for Marmol are clued in… This is why no one is beating down the Cubs door to trade for him.

    Marmol is a Hendry mistake that the current regime has to deal with. My sense is the Cubs will hope for the best but take less than they would like. He won’t be with us after July at the latest (fingers crossed).

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