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The Curious Case of Carlos Marmol

kane simmonsCorrespondent IAugust 2, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 16: Carlos Marmol #49 of the Chicago Cubs throws the ball against the Houston Astros on May 16, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Astros 5-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Whenever Carlos Marmol enters the game, usually in the eighth, so too enters anxiety. It was no different Saturday night when Marmol entered the game against the Marlins in Miami with a one run lead.

Marmol entered the game in the eighth and promptly walked the first batter on five pitches, and hit the next batter with the very first pitch. A sac bunt moved both runners into scoring position with only one out.

Lou Pinella calls for a intentional walk and now the bases are loaded for the consistently wild Marmol. Dan Uggla steps into the batters box and Marmol throws two sliders for balls and then something goes off inside Marmol's head and returns to dominating batters.

Marmol throws three straight sliders, nasty sliders, for strikes and Uggla is called out looking. Jeremy Hermida step into the batter box and Marmol throws him three straight sliders, nasty sliders, and Hermida strikes out swinging to end the inning.

During yet another rocky outing for Marmol WGN announcer Bob Brenly pondered if the Cubs could/should send Carlos Marmol down to the minors to work on his control. To date Marmol has allowed just under twice as many walks (48) as hits (27).

Marmol's command has always been an issue, but this year it has been at its worst. Marmols stats are as follows: 2-2, 3.60 ERA, 55 appearances, 51.0 innings, 27 Hits, one HR, 10 HBP, 48 BB, 60 SO, 24 Holds. 

Whatever Carlos Marmol's problem it is in his head because his stuff has never been in question. So I think that a trip to the minors would most likely shatter his confidence.

Tonight, Marmol gained a lot of confidence because Lou left Marmol on the mound and he worked himself out of the jam. More often then not Marmol and his arm can get him out of what Marmol and his head gets him into. 

The Cubs would score two insurance runs in the nineth and Kevin Gregg blew the save allowing all three game tying runs with two outs. In the tenth Derek Lee hit a leadoff home run and Aaron Heilman would get the save. 

The Cardinals won tonight behind a two home run game by Matt Holliday to beat the Astros 3-1 to stay a half game behind the Cardinals for first place. 

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