Marmol Has Been Baffling

The most vexing problem facing the Cubs is what to do about onetime lights-out setup man Carlos Marmol.

It's been a struggle for Marmol most of this season, and in Sunday's 6-3, 14-inning victory at Cincinnati, Marmol was pulled from the game after walking the first two batters of the eighth inning.

Walks have been a huge problem. In 27 innings pitched, Marmol has given up 14 hits and 27 walks for a WHIP (walks plus hits per innings pitched) of 1.52.

Last season, Marmol had a WHIP of 0.93, with 40 hits and 41 walks in 87 1/3 innings.

Marmol has been struggling with his slider -- it's sailing instead of breaking downward.

Fortunately for the Cubs, Angel Guzman has emerged to hold things together in the 'pen. He's already supplanted Aaron Heilman as the third man behind Marmol and closer Kevin Gregg. If the Cubs put Marmol into less pressured situations so he can work on his mechanics, it's possible Guzman could take over in the eighth.


--Guzman earned his first big-league save Sunday. Guzman has thrown 13 1/3 scoreless innings since May 8. Overall, he's 2-0 with a 2.28 ERA. In 27 2/3 innings, he's given up 17 hits and eight walks for a tidy WHIP (walks plus hits per one inning pitched) of 0.90.

-- INF/OF Jake Fox made his first start of the season Saturday when he played right field. It's possible Fox will start Wednesday at Houston against Astros LHP Wandy Rodriguez. Fox is 4-for-11 (.364) with a double and two RBIs since his May 27 call-up from Class AAA Iowa (Des Moines). The Cubs would like to try Fox at designated hitter in two weeks with games at the Tigers and White Sox. They'll have roster decisions to make later this week when IF Aaron Miles comes off the disabled list.

--RHP David Patton earned his second win Sunday. Patton has appeared on only 12 games and has a 6.06 ERA.

--LF Alfonso Soriano hit the game-breaking home run in the 14th inning Sunday, but he was 1-for-7 in the game and is 5-for-26 on the road trip. Soriano's on-base percentage dipped below .300 on the trip, but he had it back up to .305 with a walk and the homer Sunday. Over his last 16 games, Soriano is 11-for-71 (.155).

--C Geovany Soto entered Sunday's game as a pinch hitter and wound up going 0-for-4 as his batting average fell to .204. Soto hit only his second homer of the season Saturday. His on-base percentage is .325, but he's slugging only .277, prompting manager Lou Piniella to give backup Koyie Hill more starts, a trend that likely will continue.



At Des Moines, the Cubs (29-30) collected 12 hits in the victory Monday. Five players finished with two hits: CF Sam Fuld (2-for-5, triple), RF So Taguchi (2-for-3, double, three RBI), LF Jason Dubois (2-for-4, double, two RBI), 2B Matt Camp (2-for-4, two RBI), and SS Anderson Machado (2-for-4). OF Doug Deeds (1-for-2) came off the bench and added a three-run home run, his fourth. INF Aaron Miles continued his rehab assignment, leading off and playing third base. He was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts. RHP Rich Harden made a scheduled rehab start and pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run and three hits. He struck out six batters and walked two, throwing 70 pitches; 44 strikes. LHP James Russell (1-0) picked up his first Triple-A victory in relief, allowing one run and four hits in 1 1/3 innings.


At Sevierville, 2B Tony Thomas (1-for-4) scored the winning run on 1B Blake Lalli's RBI sac fly to give Tennessee (25-34) the victory in extra innings Monday. CF Jim Adduci (3-for-5) paced the offense with three hits and 3B Jonathan Mota (2-for-2, double, RBI) added two hits. LHP Jeremy Papelbon started and pitched four innings, allowing one earned run and seven hits. He struck out four and walked two. RHP Jake Muyco (1-1) earned his first Double-A win in relief with one scoreless inning.


At Jupiter, Fla., the Cubs were held to four hits in the seven-inning loss Monday. 3B Jovan Rosa (0-for-2) drove in the Cubs' only run. 2B Nate Samson (1-for-3), DH Ryan Keedy (1-for-3), 1B Jake Opitz (1-for-2, walk), and RF Jonathan Wyatt (1-for-2) each recorded hits. LHP James Leverton (2-7) started and suffered the loss, allowing two runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked five and struck out one.


The Cubs (25-27) collected eight hits, and four Daytona pitchers combined to one-hit Jupiter in the seven-inning victory. Samson and Rosa paced the offense, each going 2-for-3 with Rosa hitting his 13th double. LHP Dustin Sasser (2-0) earned the win in relief, allowing one run (unearned) and no hits in two innings. RHP Craig Muschko started and tossed three scoreless innings to open the game.


At Geneva, Ill., the Chiefs (30-25) collected eight hits in the loss Monday. DH Josh Harrison (2-for-4) tripled and scored two runs, and CF David Macias (2-for-4) added two hits atop the lineup. 1B Rebel Ridling (2-for-3, walk, RBI) added two hits to extend his hit streak to 10 straight games. C Michael Brenly was 0-for-4 to snap a nine-game hit streak. RHP Marcus Hatley (4-4) started and allowed four runs and six hits in four innings in the loss. He walked two and struck out two.

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