It was short and sweet with Cubs manager Mike Quade this morning as he really wanted no part of talking to the media. And who could blame him? So the press conference lasted about three-and-a-half minutes and was all about - what else? - Carlos Marmol. The one stat that jumps out to me is that Marmol has no strikeouts in his last 5 appearances.
We'll get to all that. First, the lineup:
Marmol says he's going to look at videos, and Q says he's not sure he'll use Marmol today if a save situation arises.
"I don't know," Q said. "We'll find out. I want to talk to my pitching people. I want to talk to him and see where we're at."
Might he need a "mental day" off?
"That's what we kind of have to decide,” the manager said. “I need to talk to him. There's mechanical work to be done when you go through a situation like this. I think the last time I saw him really, really sharp was probably against the White Sox. We need to talk about that and see where we're at. See where he's at and why and see what kind of adjustments he can make."
If Marmol doesn't close, Q says he has "all the confidence in the world in Marsh and Woody."
"Work and game are two different things, and he needs to get himself consistent work wise and understand what he needs to do," Q said of Marmol. "We don't want to lose sight of the fact that this guy has been damn good for a long time."
Here is how it's gone for Marmol in his last 5 appearances:
July 14: 0 IP, 1 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 0 SO
July 9: 1 IP, 0 H, 0ER, 1 BB, 0 SO
July 8: .1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
July 7: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO
July 4: 0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO
The game against the White Sox Quade talked about was July 3, when Marmol worked 1.1 innings in getting the save. He allowed no hits and no walks while striking out two.
In the last 5 appearances, however, he has a WHIP of 3.86 and an ERA of 27.
From the game notes: Dempster will appear in his 344th game as a Cub, 11th-most all time among Cubs pitchers and 2 shy of tying Three Finger Brown for 10th. Dempster has worked 987.1 innings as a Cub, and he looks to be the 45th pitcher to reach 1,000...Darwin Barney leads major-league rookies with a .303 batting average, 31 multihit games and 90 hits. Barney had his hitting streak snapped at five last night. He was 10-for-17 in the run.
Class AAA Iowa got back into action after the Triple-A All-Star Game. The I-Cubs lost their eighth straight, falling 8-4 to Oklahoma City. Nick Struck took the loss, working 4.2 innings and giving up 9 hits and 7 runs, 5 earned. He's 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA. Tyler Colvin hit his seventh homer. Brett Jackson and Ryan Flaherty each made their Triple-A debuts. Jackson was 1-for-5 with a double. Flaherty was 1-for-4 with a double.
"You can taste it now," Jackson told the Des Moines Register of making it to the major leagues. "You can really smell it. It motivates me more. I'm very thankful to be here and excited about the opportunity to play in Iowa."
Jackson has had to battle through a finger injury and some batting slumps.
"In the long run I think it will be useful, learning to adjust after an injury and going through a couple of slumps," he told the Register. "Certainly I'd rather be hitting .300. But all things considered, I'm happy with how the season has gone."
Class AA Tennessee held off Mississippi 5-4. Brooks Raley started and got the win, working 7 innings and giving up 5 hits and 1 run while walking no one and striking out four. He's 6-7 with a 4.26 ERA. Catcher Luis Flores was 2-for-3 with a walk.
Class A Daytona got 18 hits and beat Fort Myers 5-2 in 10 innings. Jeff Lorick started and went 5.2 innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 unearned run. He walked three and struck out four. Evan Crawford (.330) was 4-for-5. Justin Bour (.292) was 3-for-6 with a double.
Peoria (A) fell 10-2 to Lake County. Austin Kirk, who has a no-hitter to his credit, took the loss, working 4.2 innings and giving up 10 hits and 6 runs. He's 5-6 with a 2.95 ERA. Rubi Silva was 3-for-5 with a triple. Arismendy Alcantara extended a hitting streak to five games, going 3-for-4.
Boise (A) lost 5-1 at Vancouver. Yao-Lin Wang worked 4.2 innings in taking the loss. He gave up 4 hits and 3 runs while walking one and striking out nine. Paul Hoilman was 3-for-4.
Mesa fell 10-9 to the Padres. James Pugliese worked 3 innings, giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. Center fielder Oliver Zapata was 2-for-4 with a homer, a walk and a stolen base. Newly signed draft pick Zeke DeVoss was 2-for-5 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base in his second professional game.