Cubs Can’t Escape Carlos Marmol – Cubs 3, Mets 4

Game Sixty-Seven – Cubs 3, Mets 4

WP – Bobby Parnell (5-3) LP – Carlos Marmol (2-4, BS 3) Save – None

The Cubs could not complete their first sweep in New York since 1991 after leading the game all afternoon and taking a 3-0 lead into the ninth inning. With Kevin Gregg unavailable, Dale Sveum used Carlos Marmol in the ninth inning … and within five minutes of Marmol taking the hill, the Mets walked off the Cubs with a three-run homer off the bat of Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

At this point, the front office has no choice but to cut ties with Carlos Marmol. He simply cannot get outs, regardless of the situation he is put in. While Marmol might have had a somewhat successful run (four outings without giving up a run), Sunday was the second time since June 1 that Marmol has given up four runs in a third of an inning. In his last seven appearances dating back to June 1, Marmol has allowed nine runs on eight hits, three home runs, with seven walks and 10 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings (14.31 ERA and a 2.65 WHIP).

Carlos Marmol was charged with his third blown save of the season when Kirk Nieuwenhuis became the third player in Marmol’s career to hit a walk-off home run.

The Mets won a game started by Jeremy Hefner for just the second time this season (2-11) after trailing over the first eight innings. While the offense managed only seven singles and one run scoring hit, the Cubs and Matt Garza did just enough to complete the sweep, especially after the Mets did everything they could to give the Cubs the game.

Matt Garza was effective on Sunday. And while he did not have his best stuff and made several mistakes that the Mets could not take advantage of, Garza still got the job done and kept the Mets off the board for seven innings. Garza allowed only three hits, walked two, hit a batter and struck out five. Garza threw 107 pitches, 64 for strikes, before turning the game over to James Russell.

James Russell did his job with a perfect eighth inning before Marmol happened in the ninth.

The offense managed only seven hits, all singles, and wasted chances early on to break the game open. The Cubs were not able to tack on and finished the game 1-for-8 with RISP while leaving six runners on base. The Cubs inability to hit with runners in scoring position did not hurt them on Saturday but a two day total of 4-for-26 with RISP and 22 men left on base is alarming, even for a team building for the future.

Luis Valbuena (2-for-4 with a run scored) had a good day hitting in the leadoff spot for the first time this season and Starlin Castro (2-for-4 with a run scored) picked up his second multi-hit game in four days. Alfonso Soriano (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove in the Cubs’ first run with a single in the first inning and hit the ball that started the wacky play in the fifth inning that the Cubs’ scored two runs on thanks to two Mets’ errors.

With Sunday’s loss (3-8 on Sundays in 2013), the Cubs dropped back to 11 games under .500 with a 28-39 mark on the season …

The Cubs jumped on Jeremy Hefner in the first inning, but like Saturday, the feeling was it should have been more. Luis Valbuena led off the game with a single to right (0-1 pitch). Starlin Castro followed with a single to left (1-0 pitch) and the Cubs had two on with no outs. Schierholtz pulled a 2-1 pitch toward first. Murphy fielded the ball and threw to second to force Castro but the Mets could not complete the double play.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in with runners on first and third with one down. Soriano lashed a 2-2 pitch into left. Valbuena trotted home, 1-0 Cubs. With runners on first and second and one out, Rizzo popped a 2-1 pitch into shallow left. Hefner then struck out Navarro swinging to end the inning. Hefner threw 20 pitches, 13 for strikes, in the first frame.

Matt Garza worked around a two-out double by David Wright in the Mets’ first without allowing the tying run to score. Garza needed 10 pitches, six for strikes, to complete the first inning on Sunday.

The Cubs wasted another scoring chance in the third inning. Valbuena led off with a single to right. Castro rolled into a 6-4 fielder’s choice and took over at first base after the Mets could not complete another double play. Nate Schierholtz singled to left and the Cubs had two on with one down again. Hefner struck out Soriano and Rizzo swinging to end the inning.

After three at bats, the Cubs were 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position, left four men on base and struck out five times.

Garza made quick work of the Mets in the third … and after three complete, the Cubs led 1-0.

The game remained 1-0 Cubs until the fifth.

Jeremy Hefner retired Garza on a grounder to second and Valbuena on a pop out to third for the first two outs in the fifth. Starlin Castro lined a hanging breaking ball into left for a two-out single. Nate Schierholtz worked a walk. With runners on first and second with two down, Soriano pulled a 1-2 pitch toward the hole between second and third. David Wright made a sensational diving stop to his left, got to his feet, and checked second before airmailing a throw to first. David Bell sent Castro to the plate. Daniel Murphy’s throw was wide of the plate. John Buck could not catch the ball. His glove came off and Schierholtz rounded third and slid in safe with the Cubs’ third run after the ball got away again. Soriano ended up at third as the ball got away for the fourth time but was stranded when Rizzo tapped back to the third base side of the mound to end the inning. The Cubs scored a pair of runs on two charged Mets’ errors.

Matt Garza worked around a leadoff double by Lucas Duda and a two-out walk to Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the fifth and kept the Mets off the board.

Starlin Castro committed his 10th error of the season (tied with Alexei Ramirez for the most errors by a shortstop) to start the Mets’ sixth after Carlos Torres retired the Cubs in order in the top half. Castro fielded the routine grounder off the bat of Valdespin then threw wide of first. Garza walked Daniel Murphy on four pitches.

David Wright stepped in with two on, no outs and the Mets down by three. Wright just missed a homer to left. Soriano caught the deep fly and threw toward third, instead of second base. Valdespin made it easily to third and Murphy moved up ninety feet on the Cubs’ second miscue in three batters. To Garza’s credit, he refocused and struck out both Byrd and Duda swinging to end the inning. Garza threw 91 pitches, 53 for strikes, over six innings.

The game remained 3-0 Cubs through the seventh. Garza kept the Mets off the board in the home half after giving up a leadoff single to John Buck. Garza needed 107 pitches, 64 for strikes, to complete seven innings on Sunday afternoon.

The Cubs could not tack on in the eighth or ninth innings and the game went to the bottom of the ninth with the Cubs up 3-0.

Carlos Marmol was given the ninth because Kevin Gregg was unavailable after pitching in four straight games. Marmol served up a solo homer to Marlon Byrd that cut the Cubs’ lead to 3-1 … then it got very ugly in a hurry.

Marmol walked Lucas Duda (3-2 pitch), gave up a single to right (2-2 pitch) to John Buck. Omar Quintanilla bunted Duda and Buck to second and third with one out.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis stepped in and smoked a 1-0 pitch from Marmol off the Subway sign on the second deck beyond the right field wall … game over.

The Cubs begin a very difficult four-game series in St. Louis on Monday night … Travis Wood faces Shelby Miller in the opener.

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  • jtrain23

    It seems too cliche to attack Marmol’s performance and call for immediate action. I don’t blame Sveum for sending him out there. I know the front office is trying to prove that he has some sort of value hoping a trade could provide something of value in return.

    At this point, I don’t think Marmol’s ability to pitch is the issue at hand. The offense was yet again anemic. Soriano had an RBI single, but the only other runs they could squeeze across we’re on that debacle in the 5th. It just seems that the young guys aren’t able to carry the lineup and there are no strong veterans to pull the youngsters along when things are grinding to a halt.

    To me this is much more of a concern than the relief pitching which is always a wild card, even on good teams.

    • paulcatanese

      You have a point, but how often do you see a pitcher come with a three run lead no one on and blow the game as quickly as Marmol did, oh I forgot, he has done that before. I couldn’t even get a drink of water and it was over.
      I am so tired of this front office running guys out there to somehow increase their trade value,
      it stinks.
      I have said this before (not an offend to you at all) how can any team not know what Marmol is worth, and any length of times to bring him out there to somehow increase his value is just plain bogus>

    • Ray Ray

      Rizzo had several chances to blow the game wide open. 5 runners LOB.

      • Ray Ray

        I think it is time to start being concerned with Rizzo’s inability to hit with RISP as well. He came into today hitting .169 and it got worse after today.

        • paulcatanese

          That slider or curve low and inside is eating him up.

        • John_CC

          Let’s not forget that Rizzo is all of 23 years old with 800 PA in the ML. Calm down.

          • Ray Ray

            Should everyone just ignore it John? It’s seems OK to criticize out other 23 year old who plays SS…but god forbid anyone point out any flaws with this 23 year old. Take note.

          • John_CC

            No but you are always defending Castro, which is fine, I think Castro will work it out. While they are both very young, Castro has almost three full seasons more than Rizzo. Why not show some patience with him as well?

      • paulcatanese

        Yeah, and I made the smart remark that
        batting where he would get him going,
        then, what do I know:)

        • Ray Ray

          If you press with RISP…it doesn’t matter where you hit in the lineup. He definately shouldn’t be in the 3 hole.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      I have been consistent with my views on Marmol and did point out the offense, or lack thereof. He became the story as soon as the ball hit the Subway sign.

      I’m sorry to say but at this point, Marmol has zero value and if anything, for those front offices that still value wins for a starting pitcher (can’t believe some still do) he removed a win today from a player that has value.

      • Ray Ray

        agreed 100% Neil. It is time. Cut him.

        • triple

          I agree as we’ll. there is no point keeping him in the bullpen to further humiliate this team and its fans. Cut him loose and let anyone else have a shot! If Marmol wasn’t on this roster the team could potentially have 4 more wins, probably more.

    • John_CC

      That’s a red herring. The offense may be bad, but the offense did not lose this game. 3-0 in the 9th, Marmol lost the game. Period. No if’s and’s or but’s.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    If we cut Marmol and he gets picked up to we get anything in return?

    • TheWrongGuy

      NO and YES we do get something in return…

      An opening on the 40 man roster NOT named Marmol.

      We should have won this game.

      That’s my 2 cents.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      In terms of players, no. The Cubs would not receive anything.

    • paulcatanese

      Yeah, a cord of firewood, of course the Cubs
      will have to cut it all up:)

      • Ripsnorter1

        That would be an overpayment at this point….

        • paulcatanese

          Even a Lemon tree?

  • Thomas D

    I see everyone blaming marmol for this but it’s not him sveum should have had him intentionally walked that guy and brought parker in for the possible dp ball. When I seen marmol pitching to him I was like why tgey should be walking this guy for the dp ball anyone else see that

    • BosephHeyden

      Even if they did that, had Blake Parker given up a single, two runs score and it would have still been on Marmol. Though Sveum HAS to get some of the blame. I get sick of seeing people give him a pass because “oh, no one would have won with this team.” That may be, but a better manager wins THIS game. Because a better manager does not put Carlos Marmol in the ninth inning, especially after his previous innings of work. Heck, a slightly better manager may put Marmol in, but has Parker on standby at the inning’s start and puts him in after Byrd’s HR (or the very latest after walking Duda).

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, and I have said several times that this team is not as bad as it looks,
        certainly not a World Series contender, but a better team, and do not deserve to lose game after game like this.
        I know Garza is too much of a team player to confront Marmol, but I sure don’t know how he will keep his cool.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Here’s why. Before today lefties were hitting .100/.229/.104 while right handers were hitting .321/.472/.486 with 8 extra basehits, 4 home runs against Marmol this season.

      • paulcatanese

        Neil, I saw Camp warming up before the
        ninth, but then who would have been the lesser of two evils?

        • Ripsnorter1

          If we release anybody, Camp needs to go first, imo.

    • John_CC

      Get serious. You are really going to try to pin the blame of a lead off HR, a walk, a single and then a bomb on the manager — for not calling an intentional walk? Really?

  • Ripsnorter1

    WHOA!
    I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!

    The Cubs easily have the game in hand 3-1 against the offense-less Mets. I leave for church, and WHAM!, I come home to a loss.

    It’s stupefying.

    Like Dale Sveum said, when asked if Marmol will ever close games again, “I hope not.”

    • Sonate

      When I left to shop they were ahead 3-0. Three runs — three outs. But NOOOOOOO! THe manager HAS to put in the most incompetent closer since Latroy Hawkins. Sveum should be fired! (It’s analogous to going for a field goal when your 4 points down with 7 seconds to play.

      • paulcatanese

        Good one…

      • J Daniel

        Again, who is the answer?

    • J Daniel

      Agree, RIP. but who did you want out there?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Gregg is out due to overwork.

        But we had Parker and Villanueva available.

        • Ray Ray

          What about Henry Rodriguez? Was he in uniform yesterday?

          • Ripsnorter1

            Can’t trust him with the lead–he’s another Marmol–can’t throw a strike to save his life. And if he does, it is grooved….

            I’d sooner trust Rondon. And then, gag!, Camp.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cole Hammels is 2-10 for the Phillies.

    And to think Marmol doesn’t even close out games for the Phils.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Rudy wasn’t the world’s greatest hitting instructor, but he was better than this.

    Anthony Rizzo….
    Last 28 days…hitting .198 BA/.324 OBP/.326 slug

    Starlin Castro….
    last 28 days=.168 BA/.218 OBP/.232 slug

    Welington Castillo…
    last 28 days=.210 BA/.290 OBP/.226 slug
    That’s right: .226 slugging.

    Darwin Barney:
    Last 28 days=.236BA/.274 OBP/.292 slug

    These are just the young guys. They messed Castro up when last year they insisted he change his approach. Now everything is wrong. It went wrong as soon as they started messing with him.

  • Ray Ray

    Sveum is the safest manger in the major leagues.No chance he gets fired. The FO isn’t concerned about winning games and how he manages a game.

    • paulcatanese

      Truer words were never written. The only way Sveum goes is in a group package, and that would include Epstein and Hoyer, and they are not going anywhere.
      They have a plan and it’s a good one, but they need to start watching the home front or it will get away from them.

      • BosephHeyden

        Their plan is good on paper, but, and dead horse here we go, the team has decent enough pieces available to it right now that, if the Cubs go get some GOOD free agents (read: not Scott Hairston/Nate Schierholtz type Free Agents…and that’s not saying Schierholtz is bad, he just serves the purpose of playing well enough to get himself trade value later), then next year they should be able to compete (again read: not guarantee playoff contender).

        All it will take for the current plan is one hiccup, one prospect not panning out, and the Cubs get set back another two years. The good teams don’t build exclusively from the farm system: they supplement from it. Three better-than-average draft classes in, and next year we should have some good supplements. The rest involves doing what a major market team is supposed to do: get the best players available at the position of most need.

        • paulcatanese

          I agree, and just trying to remain a positive Cub fan, but you are right, and I have said many times they are all prospects, and
          right, if one goes bad, it would be another couple of years.
          To make matters worse, I heard
          today that Stanton from Miami may be available, but only with several good prospects in the mix.
          Love to have that guy for the Cubs, but as you say, that could be the hiccup in the plan. Miami wants young good talent, and the Cubs have that. Hope they keep their heads on straight.

        • Tony_Hall

          And please go back the last 2 off-seasons and list out who WERE the best players available and see how they are doing. Do NOT go back and pick out he is actually doing the best, but who were the top ranked free agents, and look at their contracts and their results and tell me if the Cubs would be in a better position to win a World Series. They might have won a few more games, but everyone would then be complaining of all the wasted and bloated payroll and still no playoffs.

          The Cubs do NOT need every prospect to succeed or the plan will derail. They have depth at almost every position, that allows for the flexibility when one player doesn’t succeed.

          I know you don’t want to hear this but it will be 2015 before we see the Bryants, Solers, Almoras, Baez, Alcantaras, start to take over the lineup and probably closer to 2016 before the pitching staff is getting the Underwoods, Blackburns, Johnsons Wells, Paniagua, let alone the haul of pitchers from this years draft.

          • Ray Ray

            Exactly Tony. 2015 or 2016. That shouldn’t be acceptable. The point is that they should TRY and win. Theo has already wasted several million dollars. EJAX(waste) Concepcion(waste)Ian Stewart(waste) Scott Baker(waste)
            Buy some players to buy some time until these prospect are ready. I would rather see them try to win and you never know. The Nationals were supposed to be “SUSTAINED” winners and WS contenders every year. No one can predict injuries! That is why every year you should give the team the best chance to win.

          • BosephHeyden

            Nowhere in any of this did I say they needed to get free agents the last two offseasons. This is the offseason they should start. Because the last two offseasons have been awful. This one should be better.

    • DWalker

      Honest question since I was thinking about it on the drive home yesterday listening to the aftermath. Does anyone honestly see Sveum managing a world series team? Lets say Rondon and Marmol especially are both replaced by above average relievers, and the outfield is a good one, and Castro and Rizzo are both playing like they can. That actually makes for a solid team. Does anyone see Sveum actually taking a good, but maybe not overwhelming team through the playoffs? I don’t see it, unless he is totaly sandbagging. His bull pen management is pretty much dreadful and his choice of line ups, I guess you could say is over thought. He doesn’t seem to have any skills at managing late in the game. His biggest skill he was supposed to bring was his experiance as a hitting coach, but it seems like he gets more regression than progression. I honestly feel like right now, Sveum with a better team would still find a way to mismange them into crucial losses.

  • CerranoReadyNow

    Took my little girl to her 1st Kane County game today. Nice atmosphere and nice people. A nice couple actually gave us their extra tickets. Had a great time on a beautiful day for baseball. Dan Vogelboom doesn’t look as big as most people make him out to be. Almora looks like a natural in center and Pierce Johnson is a strikeout machine. Definitely going to be making kore trips to Geneva!

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Sounds like you had a great Father’s Day. Good to hear on Vogelbach, Almora and Johnson.

  • Ray Ray

    Just saw this stat about Marmol…Hitters are batting .182 against Marmol before the 9th inning(10 for 55) but in the 9th hitters are 14 for 37 or .378.

    • Ray Ray

      Looks like Marmol is not going anywhere. Per Phil Rogers…

      There’s no sign that the Cubs are going to release Carlos Marmol, who blew Sunday’s game. Dale Sveum indicates the

      team still believes he has value, even if he has
      contributed to the Cubs blowing 14 saves in 27 chances this year. Said
      Sveum: “We’ve come to find out that he has trouble with the last three
      outs. But somebody has to pitch the other innings, and he’s done a
      pretty good job in that role.” Sveum admits that Marmol has become a
      lightning rod with fans. Said Sveum: “That’s no fun for anybody. We all
      know the reaction he gets. But since he’s been taken out of the closer’s
      role, he’s done a pretty good job, as well as anybody. That’s all you
      can ask for when you’re not closing.”

      • Sonate

        Then stop him (Marmol) from closing!!! This is not rocket science!! Sveum gets the blame!

      • triple

        Yeah after hearing that, the blame is 50/50 on Sveum’s and Marmol’s shoulders…. you don’t just hand an addict a crack rock. What did he expect to happen?

      • paulcatanese

        Ray, that’s classic for Sveum to say.
        I thought they were going to mix and match today.
        That’s no longer a lightning rod, that’s a full blown tornado. I would hate to be him when they return to Chicago.
        As a fan, I don’t agree with booing a player, but,,,, I don’t think the manager is off limits.

        • Ray Ray

          I love the line….”we’ve come to find out that he has trouble with the last 3 outs.” How long did it take you to figure that one out Dale???? Haha

  • oldanddisgusted

    To paraphrase a common cliché: Marmol Happens!