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Carlos Marmol yanked from first save chance

Apr 1, 2013, 4:46 PM EST

Carlos Marmol Getty Getty Images

Carlos Marmol began the season as the Cubs’ closer, but manager Dale Sveum didn’t hesitate to yank the right-hander when things started to unravel.

Handed a 3-0 lead in the ninth inning, Marmol struck out Garrett Jones and then hit Andrew McCutchen with a pitch. McCutchen stole second base, Pedro Alvarez singled him home, and then Marmol walked Gaby Sanchez as the tying run.

And that was it. Sveum pulled Marmol with one out, two runners on, and the Cubs up 3-1. Left-hander James Russell came in, followed by right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa, and together they wriggled out of the jam to close out the win.

At this point it’s pretty safe to assume that the Cubs would only stick with Marmol in an effort to let him rack up saves before a trade, but it’s only a matter of time before Fujikawa is the closer.

  1. Ben Cerow - Apr 1, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    You have to admit, it’s pretty impressive to lose your closer job on the first day of the season. #MarmolCoaster

  2. mreezybreezy - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    Not sure what’s more disappointing: the gross amounts of talent Marmol has squandered, or the fact that the sabermetrically inclined front office continues to allow him to be put in ball games where he can “save” the game.

    • shwoogy1 - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      How else are they supposed to build value on him? We have to trade him. Only way to get anything for him is for him to have some value to begin with and this is not helping the situation.

      • mreezybreezy - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        Build “value” in him by not putting him in in a save situation. I’m confident to say that every other team in baseball realizes he’s not a reliable closer, so why market him as such? Middle relief is an area he hasn’t fallen flat on his face yet, so why not try it out? Or just continue to pound the square peg in the round hole. Whatever.

  3. shwoogy1 - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Please PPPPLLLLLEEEAAAASSSSEEE someone take him from us. We will pay you to take him. Any takers??

  4. spudchukar - Apr 1, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Andrew McCutchen is a fantastic talent. One of the most exciting players in baseball. Still stealing second when you are down 3-0 with one out in the ninth; bone-headed, regardless if he is safe or out.

    • esracerx46 - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      This isnt soccer! 3 runs is nothing. The dude wants to win and by stealing second he ensured a double play ball wasnt going to end the game.

    • sledgehammerwarmup - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      He did it to force the Cubs out of the shift they were in for Pedro. Had he stayed, Pedro’s bloop to center field would have been caught by the extra fielder.

      • sledgehammerwarmup - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:12 PM

        I take that back upon rewatching. That would be a hit despite the shift the Cubs had on, but still a great idea to play the percentages.

      • spudchukar - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:26 PM

        Bullshit, It is a bad baseball play, the odds of it being a beneficial play are about 100-1, regardless of your revisionist excuses.

      • spudchukar - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Not only is it a lame excuse, it doesn’t pass the smell test. A team is much more likely to remove or adjust a shift, with a runner on first, than on second, keeping the double play opportunity in order.

      • sledgehammerwarmup - Apr 2, 2013 at 3:56 PM

        Calm down, friend. That was my opinion, not an excuse. I don’t need to make excuses for a team that hasn’t broken .500 in two decades, so relax a bit.

        Facts are: Cubs had the shift on for Pedro with Cutch on first, once Cutch stole second, they were no longer in the shift. The double play is still attainable as long as Alvarez doesn’t hit a grounder to third, which I’m pretty sure he’s never done, and the Cubs admitted as much, going with the aforementioned shift.

        So since you said it was 100-1 odds to be a good baseball play (it ended up scoring a run), and that teams are “much more likely” to adjust a shift with a guy on first than a guy on second (and the exact opposite happened), the 2 ABs were either a miracle or you need to give up oddsmaking.

  5. sfm073 - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:03 PM

    Carlos marmol would’ve been a hall of famer closer If he came up with any other team.

    • Alex K - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      You’re right, it’s totally the Cubs fault he can’t throw strikes.

  6. 11thstreetmafia - Apr 2, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    Fujikawa is the answer.

  7. spudchukar - Apr 2, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    So if one comes in for Carlos, to help save the game, would it be called Marmol-aid?

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