At then end of last season we here at BS, W were left with a bit of a tough choice. Both Carlos Marmol and Jordan Walden ended the season with ten blown saves. The biggest deciding factor in who we gave our pitcher of the year award to was that Carlos Marmol is Carlos Marmol. Marmol is known for not just blowing saves, but for blowing them in spectacular fashion.
Yesterday was an excellent example of a typical Carlos Marmol blown save. Marmol entered the game against the Nationals after Kerry Wood had allowed a homer to Espinosa and back to back singles to Zimmerman and LaRoche. When Marmol entered the game the Cubs held a one run lead and needed only one more out to escape the inning.
Marmol is known for a sweeping slider that early in his career would start at a batters hip and then nip the outside corner of the plate or induce the batter to swing and miss. Now the slider starts in the middle of the plate and ends up either in the other batters box or at the backstop. Marmol is so wild that he has thrown wild pitches in the Wrigley Field bullpen that have made their way to the backstop.
The first batter Marmol faced yesterday was the Nationals Jayson Werth who is trying to bounce back from a disappointing season in 2011. Werth has yet to get a hit in 2012 but did draw a walk to force in the tying run in the Nationals 2-1 victory on Opening Day. Once again Werth would come up empty in the hit department but he also wouldn’t bite on any of Marmol’s sweeping sliders off the plate.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that the most important thing a baseball player can do on offense is to not make an out and Werth was able to do just that in drawing a walk to load the bases against Marmol and set up everything else that was to come. The next batter Marmol would face was Chad Tracy who was so well thought of in 2011 that he player in Japan. Now trying to make a comeback in the States Tracy has found himself in the left handed power role off the Nats bench.
Tracy, one day after delivering a key double off of Marmol, would once again come through. Tracy laced a ground ball single through the hole on the right side of the infield and both Zimmerman and LaRoche would score. Marmol wasn’t done yet as he would then give up a double to Roger Bernadina who only remains on the Nationals because of injuries to Rick Ankiel and Michael Morse. Marmol would then give up a walk to Ramos before being pulled for Shawn Camp.
Before Marmol entered the game the Cubs held a one run 4-3 lead with only four outs left in the ballgame and by the time Marmol left the game the Nationals had taken a 6-4 lead. After Marmol exited and Camp entered one more of Marmol’s runners would score and the Nats would go on to win 7-4. All in all it was a typical day for Marmol and he is off to an excellent start to defend his 2011 Toby Award. The only thing that can stop him at this point is if the Cubs decide his services are no longer needed and he ends up in AAA for another team.