Memo to Lou: Carlos Marmol Should Close for Chicago Cubs

Jim SheldonCorrespondent IMay 1, 2008

Kosuke Fukudome had just lined his fourth hit of the game into right field.

My uncle asked me, "So what do you think of Wood as the closer?"

I responded, "Well, it's hard to say because the last few times they've warmed him up, the team scored a bunch of runs and he couldn't get a save, so I'm not sure. Let's see how he does in a close game."

Low and behold, I got my wish. Wood entered the game with a 3-1 lead and was set to face Craig Counsell, a pinch hitter, and Jason Kendall.

I thought to myself, “Kerry, finish these guys off and let's head to St. Louis on a good note.”

He presumed to hit Craig Counsell on his first pitch. What a start!

Of course, Len and Bob had to mention that in Kerry's first appearance this season against the Brewers he hit Rickie Weeks with the first pitch.  The Brewers then went on to score three runs in the inning.

So I kept that in the back of my mind but didn't think much about it. The next batter, Gabe Kapler, lined a double over the head of Alfonso Soriano, putting runners at second and third with nobody out.

Jason Kendall, the former Cub, hit a ball up the middle that was knocked down by Theriot. Counsell scored, cutting the deficit to one, at 3-2. Wood then walked Rickie Weeks, making the bases loaded with no outs.  Mike Cameron was then up.

Cameron struck out on a high fastball, and I thought it was an okay double play here, game over. First pitch to Ryan Braun, a devestating slider, 0-1.

Where was this earlier Woody, I said to myself.

The next pitch was lined over Fukudome's head.  Kapler scored.  Kendall scored, but Weeks was thrown out at the plate.

However the damage was done, the Brewers led 4-3. Fielder then grounded out to second to end the inning. Another blown save for Kerry.

The Cubs entered the bottom of the ninth against Eric Gange, who has struggled to say the least. Ronny Cedeno led off with a walk, and I thought it was an alright but good start. 

Come on Soto, two-run homer here, let's end this. Soto struck out looking on a questionable call, one down. The next batter, Felix Pie, grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end it.

Final score: Brewers 4, Cubs 3.

My uncle looked over at me and said, "Why didn't they just leave Marmol in?  He struck out four of the five batters he faced. Instead they bring in Wood and he blows it again."

One should know that I was on the Kerry Wood bandwagon in the beginning. I felt that as long as he didn't get hurt, he could close for this team.

The wagon has since crashed and burned, and I hopped on to the Carlos Marmol wagon. Marmol has the best stuff of the guys in the pen and maybe the best stuff on the team.

In 15 games this season, Marmol is 0-0 with a 1.42 ERA. He has pitched 19 innings, giving up only nine hits, three runs, and has struck out 27 batters.  He also has two saves.

Give this kid a chance! Wood is a shell of his former self and could become a quality set-up man but not a closer.

Marmol has been the glue that has held the bullpen together and deserves a shot at being the closer. After all, he can't be any worse than Wood.

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