Cubs’ Carlos Marmol savoring turnaround
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org August 5, 2011 11:04PM
Updated: September 7, 2011 12:40AM
Carlos Marmol hasn’t allowed a run and only one hit in his last five outings, picking up five saves in the Cubs’ six-game winning streak. His turnaround since mid-July after his seventh blown save and several days off to work on mechanics has been dramatic.
‘‘The funny thing is, he could still be even better,’’ manager Mike Quade said. ‘‘The quality of the breaking ball is back, but I’ve seen it even better.’’
Quade didn’t plan to use Marmol on Friday after the closer had worked in four of the last five games.
‘‘But he wanted it bad,’’ Quade said. ‘‘He’s been through his struggles, and he’s been pitching well now, and he wanted something to prove at home. He absolutely wanted the ball.’’
Marmol walked one and struck out one in gaining his 24th save.
‘‘I was ready,’’ he said. ‘‘I feel strong now. I’ve been pitching good, and I wanted to show the fans I can do it. When you struggle, you struggle, but I’ve been working [on mechanics].’’
Quade said he won’t use Marmol on Saturday if a save situation arises so the closer can rest a day.
Good day sunshine
Wrigley Field was in good shape for the Cubs on Friday after hosting the Paul McCartney concerts. The only noticeable damage was in the far right-field corner, where the equipment for the Sunday and Monday shows was loaded and unloaded and where trucks gained access to the field.
‘‘It held up really well,’’ vice president of ballpark operations Carl Rice said. ‘‘The two days of the concerts and the whole week were all in the upper 90s, but the field wasn’t covered until Saturday night, and it came off right after the Monday night show, so it was the least amount of time. [Head groundskeeper Roger Baird’s team] really did a great job of getting everything taken care of. The sod in the right-field corner was replaced, but we’ve always had to do that [after concerts].’’
Pitcher Chris Carpenter, who was optioned back to Class AAA Iowa in July after appearing in 10 games with a 2.79 ERA, has been put on the disabled list with a strained oblique muscle retroactive to Aug. 3.
Carpenter, whom the Cubs project to be part of the pitching staff next season, pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief a day earlier. In 20 games at Iowa, he has a 6.38 ERA and one save.