Sunday brunch blog: Talking Marmol the day after
The topic everybody wanted to know about this morning was Carlos Marmol. After yesterday’s brutal outing, the question was what the Cubs were going to do with Marmol and how he will be used.
“We’re really in no different situation than we were yesterday,” said manager Dale Sveum.” Obviously he had a bad outing and couldn’t throw strikes. But nothing’s changed in that fashion right now. Like I said he’s one of the seven guys, and he’s got to pitch, and we’ll get him back out there in some fashion. You can’t hide people. They have to pitch.”
We also had a chance to visit with pitching coach Chris Bosio. He tied Marmol’s woes to a couple of factors.
“He’s got to be better; he’s got to pitch better,” Bosio said. “The biggest thing with Carlos is just concentration from pitch to pitch. Bottom line is him, along with everybody else, we’ve got to do our part and be better across the board.
“The biggest thing with Carlos is his concentration with executing the pitch. I think when Carlos gets in trouble, along with the rest of the guys, is they get going too fast. Yesterday was a classic case of that.”
Marmol walked the first two Reds batters he faced Saturday before hitting Brandon Phillips. His numbers look like this: 2-2 record, 6.17 ERA, 1.97 WHIP, 11.2 innings pitched, 11 hits, 12 walks, 3 hit batters and 11 strikeouts.
Over the years, the one thing you notice is that few things demoralize a team more than blown leads late in games. After yesterday’s game, starter Jeff Samardzija said that is not happening to this team, which he called “resilient.”
Sveum put it this way: “I’d be lying (to say those aren’t) tough losses. We’ve had a quite a few of them this year. Late leads, and whether it’s a mistake in the field or obviously some meltdowns from the bullpen or whatever. We’ve had some difficult losses 30 games into the season. It’s no fun for anybody, and the players battle, battle, battle and get those leads, and all of a sudden, they’re gone. I don’t care who you are it ain’t no fun.
“Going into the season, we all said we had a much more competitive team. We were going to be able to keep the line moving a little more with the left-handers we have in the lineup in Schierholtz and Navarro catching sometimes and the way Valbuena’s swung the bat. For the most part, that’s all worked to a ‘T.’ The back end of the bullpen has cost us, obviously. But we’ve had some miscues on the field that have cost some of our starters some really good outings, as well. It’s just a shame that if we had played really clean baseball and had a dominating bullpen, this could be flipped to 19-11. Instead, we’re on the back end of this. So it’s frustrating.”
Asked if this is testing his patience, Sveum said: “I won’t lie. Your patience can only take so much sometimes. You put players out there to do a job and sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t work out. The bottom line is production and getting jobs done.”
The Cubs send Edwin Jackson (0-4, 6.27) against Mat Latos (2-0, 1.83). Jackson is coming off his worst outing, a 4.2-inning, 11-hit, 8-run performance against the Padres in a 13-7 Cubs loss last Tuesday.
“Most of them have come down to an inning,” Sveum said of Jackson’s starts. “Obviously, the last one was a tough one all the way around. Other than that, 90 percent of his innings were dominant. There’s one inning in each game where he lost fastball command and things broke down. Just putting guys away, getting ahead, strike one. I can sit here and evaluate his first five starts, and they haven’t been that consistent even though there has been a lot of dominating innings in those outings. We’ve just got to sustain that through the course of a whole game.”
From the game notes: The Cubs today begin a stretch in which they host three teams in a three-day span at Wrigley Field for the first time in nearly 53 years. It’s the Reds today before the Cubs host the Rangers tomorrow night to make-up April 17’s rainout. Tuesday, the Cubs begin a two-game series vs. the Cardinals. The Cubs last hosted three teams in three days at Wrigley Field, August 21-23, 1960, when they played a doubleheader vs. the Giants on August 21, then hosted the Reds on August 22 before starting a series vs. Pittsburgh, August 23. The Cubs thank Ed Hartig for his research assistance.
Left-handed reliever James Russell has tossed 12.1 scoreless innings, spanning 16 appearances. This stretch is just 1.2 innings shy of his career-high 14.0-inning scoreless innings streak, done June 24-July 29, 2011. Russell tossed 11 scoreless innings in the season’s opening month, becoming the first Cubs reliever in 44 years to go the season’s first month without allowing a run while throwing at least 11.0 innings. The previous Cubs reliever to do that was Ted Abernathy in 1969. He spun 16.2 shutout relief innings that April before allowing a run in 1.2 innings of work, May 2 vs. the Mets. The Cubs credit STATS Inc. for research assistance. Russell does have a blown save. He has allowed 3 of 13 inherited runners to score.
Class AAA Iowa tries to get it going to day in a doubleheader against Oklahoma City. The I-Cubs have had three straight postponements because of the weather. Kyuji Fujikawa is set to pitch today in Game 1 as he begins his minor-league rehab. Matt Garza is set to continue his rehab Monday at Iowa.
The Kane County Cougars (A) got 5 extra-base hits yesterday as they won their fifth in a row, 6-1 over Dayton. Felix Pena got the win, working 7 innings and giving up 4 hits and 1 run while walking one and striking out seven. He’s 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA. Bijan Rademacher (.322) went 3-for-4 with 2 doubles and a stolen base. Rademacher is a 13th-rounder last year out of Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, Calif. He split time in his final year of college between the outfield and the mound, becoming the team’s closer in the final weeks of the season.
Class AA Tennessee got a rare rough outing from lefty Eric Jokisch, the organization’s pitcher of the month for April. The Northwestern product lasted 3 innings in the Smokies’ 8-0 loss to Mississippi. Jokisch gave up 7 hits and 6 runs while walking four and striking out three. He’s 3-2 with a 3.34 ERA. Park Ridge’s Brian Schlitter worked a scoreless eighth inning. He has not allowed an earned run in 13.1 innings over 10 games to open the season. Including last year, Schlitter has not allowed an earned run I 24 consecutive innings over 16 games. He pitched in 7 games for the Cubs in 2010.
Class A Daytona won its sixth straight, 11-5 over Lakeland. P.J. Francescon got the win, pitching 6 shutout innings and giving up 3 hits while walking one and striking out five. He’s 3-2 with a 4.80 ERA. Jorge Soler hit his third homer and his first in 16 games. He was 1-for-3 with 2 walks. John Andreoli (.340) went 3-for-4 with a walk and 2 triples. He has a six-game hit streak, during which he’s 10-for-25. Ben Carhart (.314) extended a hit streak to nine games (16-for-34).