CHICAGO -- Cubs closer Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the ninth inning on Saturday, and now has a career-high and franchise record 131 strikeouts.
When he got the Cardinals' Daniel Descalso to strike out to open the ninth, it was No. 129, which tied Bruce Sutter's single-season franchise mark, set in 1977. He saved the ball from that at-bat.
Marmol made it interesting as he hit Brendan Ryan, then walked Bryan Anderson. But Marmol regrouped and got pinch-hitter Mark Hamilton to strike out swinging and Skip Schumaker looking at strike three to preserve the Cubs' 7-3 win over St. Louis. The right-hander hung onto that game ball as well.
He passed his previous strikeout high of 114, set in 2008, much earlier this season.
"That's a lot of strikeouts," Marmol said of his season total.
Is he trying to fan hitters?
"No," Marmol said, smiling, "but I have to."