I thought since Neil and other veterans of CCO are tracking down Arizona games for the main body of our Cubbies, it would be interesting to have an eye on Carlos Marmol, who's now playing for honor and pride of his country, Team Dominican, in the second World Baseball Classic tournament.
According to the ESPN2 announcer, Marmol was not going to play for his country, with fear that he'll lose the closer job for the Cubs. But our Sweet Lou assured Carlos that Lou will not decide who's the closer while Marmol plays for the Dominican. So there Marmol went, to Puerto Rico.
The game started today, 10 a.m. Central Time at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The Dominicans (or DOM, to keep short) are playing against Team Netherland (I'll refer them as Dutch from now on).
The situation was tight. The DOM trails 2-3 to the Dutch. Then start the top of the 9th, Marmol stepped on the mound.
You can find the boxscore here:
But in order to see how Marmol fares against one interesting team combined of Dutch league professionals, Minor rookies, and a limited few of Major talents, I'll break down the inning. (I was watching it LIVE on ESPN).
Marmol pitched against Dutch pinch hitter Simon. He started 0-1, but missed a fastball outside. But very swiftly, with a slider high close to the middle, he won 1-2 before the next slider hit Simon.
Dutch pinch-ran for Simon.
The clean-up hitter, Halman (CF), after a devastating fastball 0-2 count, bunted but fouled. Out number one. Runner on 1st.
The 5th down the hole (de Caster, 3B) tried hit and run the first (or second, I missed the count). It seemed at first that the pinch-runner was tagged out by Dominican second baseman Cano, but the Major League umpire Mr. Cooper called defensive intereference. Apparently, the runner collided Tatis (1B) while turning back; Tatis was throwing the ball to Cano at the moment.
So with runner on 2nd and 1 out, Marmol gave de Caster his usual warm welcome.
2-2, fastball high, swing and miss, STRIKEOUT.
Now comes the veteran Dutch player, righthand batter Adriana. 0-1, slider down and middle, 1-1. Then fastball high and middle, swing but foul.
1-2, no hassle, slider pin-point middle and away, Marmol's trademark K that resolved the inning.
DOM lost the game 2-3, but Marmol looked just as fine as his mid-season form. Study showed that Major League pitchers performed worse in the season (compared to last) after WBC. But I believe our new Kid-K will shine with his Cubbie Blue.