Carlos Marmol could be Cubs’ closer again by Friday
By GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org July 19, 2011 10:38PM
Updated: October 27, 2011 12:32AM
Carlos Marmol’s demotion from the closer role could be especially brief if he makes as much progress next time out as he did Monday night.
Marmol, who was replaced as closer after back-to-back poor outings Thursday and Friday, still had enough command issues that he walked two batters Monday, but he also got some snap back on his slider and struck out two.
Most important, ‘‘I got my confidence back,’’ he said. ‘‘I feel very good.’’
Manager Mike Quade said again Tuesday that he considers Marmol’s role a day-to-day issue.
But he sounded as if Marmol could return to the ninth-inning role by Friday, when the lefty-heavy Philadelphia Phillies have departed and the Houston Astros are in town.
‘‘I thought he was sharper [Monday] than he has been, which is a good sign,’’ Quade said. ‘‘He’s working back in the right direction.’’
Quade said he talked ‘‘at length’’ Tuesday with Joe Torre, who handles discipline issues for Major League Baseball, about his critical comments Sunday about the umpire crew. But he wasn’t told if he would
‘‘I’ll wait and see,’’ Quade said. ‘‘The one thing that’s great about having Joe is that he’s been on both sides of this. And he gives you an opportunity to explain, and it’s not just cut and dried. So we’ll see where that goes.’’
With four straight day games through the weekend and temperatures forecasted to be in the upper 90s, Quade said he’ll take extra care with the workloads of some of his players, especially after watching Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay leave Monday’s game in the fifth inning because of heat exhaustion.
‘‘[Today] sounds like it’s going to be brutal,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ll especially keep an eye on my catchers, for sure. And your pitchers, too. We saw what happened to Halladay. . . . It’s a little different than April.
‘‘Compared to what they’re calling for [today] — 110 degrees, or heat index or whatever it is — [Tuesday’s 80 degrees] should be like a breath of fresh air.’’
Halladay was back at the ballpark Tuesday doing an abbreviated post-start workout program. He estimated he would be back on a normal schedule today, on track to make his next scheduled start.
Despite plenty of fluids and believing he prepared for the heat and humidity, Halladay said the heat Monday felt like it continued to build throughout his start, including between innings, ‘‘and I couldn’t stop it. . . . In that last inning, there was a point where I felt like I was about to get wheeled off the mound.’’
It was unlike anything he has experienced in a game, despite having pitched in hotter conditions, he said.
Monday’s start snapped a 63-start road streak in which Halladay had pitched at least six innings.