There are times when it can be almost painful to be a Chicago Cubs fan, and Tuesday night was a perfect example.
Cubs’ ace Jeff Samardzija had pitched a good game against the Cincinnati Reds, giving up only one run in his final Spring Training start before Opening Day, but chaos erupted when the bullpen took over.
The Reds had a slight lead over the Cubs, 2-1 going into the ninth inning, but the real horror came when Cubs’ closer Carlos Marmol took the mound. Marmol only faced six batters during his short outing and managed to give up six runs. The 30-year old gave up a double, three singles, a walk, and a runner who reached base on an error before manager Dale Sveum took pity on his closer and pulled him from the game.
This is not what the Cubs want to see in the final week of Spring Training.
Every Cubs fan knows that Marmol is infamous for his struggles on the mound, but Wednesday’s game against the Reds took his inconsistencies to a whole new level. Samardzija had a solid game behind him until his teammate came in and destroyed his hard work.
To be fair, Marmol wasn’t the only pitcher from the bullpen who gave up runs. Hisanori Takahashi, James Russell and Michael Hamann did so as well, and the Reds still managed to slaughter the Cubs, 11-1.
Although it’s only Spring Training and the games don’t count for anything but practice, there is absolutely no way the Cubs should allow Marmol to be their closer this year. He has had several years to show why he deserves his position and has disappointed his team time and time again.
These constant blown saves are getting out of hand. The Cubs have the option of making newcomer relief pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa their new closer, but it has been said several times that Marmol will continue to be the closer, which should make everyone nervous for the upcoming season.
Theo Epstein, if you have any mercy for the Cubs and their fans, please do everyone a favor and take the closing role away from Marmol.