Marmol was a little shaky again last night. Got himself into a bases loaded jam with 1 out but eventually worked himself out of it. His command was all over the place. The kid has some great stuff and I have no doubt 1 day he can be a closer but right now I think his best role on this team is that 8th inning guy who can either come in to start the inning or come in with a jam on the bases and get the Cubs out of it.
I just hope his arm doesn't fall off later, we've already used him in 26 games for 33 innings which is 1/2 of the games the Cubs have played so far. Wood and Howry aren't too far behind him I guess but after that no one in the bullpen has really thrown a whole lot of innings. The 1-4 starters have averaged near or over 6 innings a game so far which helps keep the bullpen fresh but the Cubs have also had a lot of extra inning games too.
Oh yeah, and did you guys catch Lasorda in the 7th inning? Funny stuff. Him and Bob were really getting some good ones in. Bob continued his light hearted joking about Soriano. Tommy asked "who's that on 1st, Soriano? He can run right?" Bob said kind of chuckling "well sometimes..." Another time they were talking about guys taking days off to rest and Tommy says "why do you need a day off? You jog in and out of the dugout 9 times a game, bat 4 times and maybe get on base at least once a game. How can you get tired doing that?"
Kerry Wood is still learning how to be a closer. It's not something that a lot of guys are perfect at when first being put in that situation. I remember John Smoltz struggling at first when the Braves moved him to the closer role a few years ago...he seemed to figure it out pretty well.
Wood just needs to stop hitting batters. His outing last night was good with the exception of the base hit. He worked ahead of the hitters and mixed the fastball and slider well. He just needs to develop consistency.
There are not guarantees that Marmol is ready to take over the closer role as well. It takes something different between the ears to handle the pressure that comes with that role. Wood is a veteran, who has been in a jam or two in his career. Marmol is in his second season of pitching well at the major league level. I think Lou fears that moving Marmol to the closer role could cause him to wilt and start losing command of the fastball for no other reason than the mental side of being the closer.
The only thing I'd do differently is chew some a** on the guys down in the bullpen, because using Marmol for 2 innings a night now will cause problems later. The other guys in the bullpen need to step it up so the Cubs don't wilt later on in August & September.
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