Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs' Marmol: `No excuses'

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Carlos Marmol knows the numbers as well as any of the critics calling for Cubs manager Dale Sveum to demote his closer.

He also knows he went more than two weeks between save opportunities and that the team's lousy start has left him with nothing close to a regular work schedule and that the manager had his back after he gave up that homer Tuesday night for his second blown save in three chances.

But the one thing he's most sure - and emphatic about - is, ``I don't make no excuses,'' he said.

Even on that pitch to Holliday that Sveum shrugged off Tuesday night as a good pitch that ``one of the strongest guys in baseball'' got lucky enough to hit out, Marmol called it a ``mistake'' slider that missed his intended spot by more than half a foot.

Taking solace in the fact the team came back to win in the 10th, Marmol still was relaxed by Wednesday morning in the clubhouse. And confident. ``Of course,'' he said.

``I'm fine. Velocity's good, ball's moving good - it was one pitch.''

And he wants the ball again today. And tomorrow.

``I'm ready every day,'' he said, ``no matter what. My job's to pitch every day, be ready every day.''

That attitude is part of why Sveum didn't hesitate Tuesday night to vow Marmol would ``be right back out there closing tomorrow, too.'' That and, possibly, the fact there really aren't any other options.

For all the mechanics and command issues that inevitably crop up with Marmol, resiliency and a closer's ability to forget aren't concerns.

``He's already done it,'' Sveum said of why he has faith in that. ``He did it in spring training. After a couple bad outings, he came back and threw the ball very well. And after the outing here early [first two games], he came back and he was throwing the ball well.

``The other guys on the other side of the fence are paid a lot of money to hit. And sometimes they catch one, and other nights that same exact pitch is a popup to the infield.''

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on April 25, 2012 3:10 PM.

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