Cubs closer Carlos Marmol shrugs off his St. Louis blues
BY GORDON WITTENMYER email@example.com April 13, 2012 11:14PM
Carlos Marmol, who has struggled in St. Louis, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth. | Dilip Vishwanat~Getty Images
Updated: May 15, 2012 8:10AM
ST. LOUIS — Cubs closer Carlos Marmol said he’s in a good place physically and mentally.
Geographically? Not so much, if last year means anything.
But Marmol, whose toughest moments during his toughest season seemed to come in St. Louis, has made it clear that last year means nothing to him these days.
And St. Louis? “Yeah, I know what you mean,’’ he says, “because it’s St. Louis. But you just want to get in there and get your outs. That’d be nice.’’
In six appearances in St. Louis last year, Marmol gave up six runs in 61/3 innings, enough to make nearly a half-point difference on his season ERA (3.59 in games not played at Busch Stadium). He blew two of three save chances in St. Louis, including the one in June on Ryan Theriot’s two-out hit that set off Carlos Zambrano’s “We stinks’’ rant.
He smiles a little at that. “No Theriot [this time],’’ he said. “He kicked my [butt] last year.’’
Marmol had no problems Friday, retiring the Cardinals in order in the ninth, two on strikeouts.
He said there was no extra incentive to do it in St. Louis.
“St. Louis or anybody else, I try to see every team the same,’’ he says.
When the Boston Red Sox celebrate the 100-year anniversary of Fenway Park next Friday with former playing greats and other Red Sox luminaries, the only living Boston general manager to preside over a World Series title won’t be anywhere near the city.
“No,’’ Theo Epstein said. “We have a game that day.’’
The only person alive to ever manage the Red Sox to a World Series championship also won’t be there. Terry Francona told the Boston Globe he has no intention of attending after what he felt was a smear campaign by the organization against him on his way out of town last fall.
Ian Stewart’s three-run shot to right in the first inning was his first big-league home run since Aug. 23, 2010, with the Colorado Rockies, ending a 170-at-bat drought.
◆ Marlon Byrd’s line single to left in the third was his second hit of the season and snapped a 0-for-20 skid.
◆ Arizona resident and hockey fan Dale Sveum isn’t afraid to admit he enjoyed Phoenix’s Game 1 win over the Blackhawks. “I’m a Coyote fan, people got to understand that,’’ the Cubs manager said. “But if the Blackhawks beat them, I’ll have my Blackhawk hat on and T-shirt and be rooting for them the rest of the way.’’