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Marmol loses closer's job for time being

Marmol loses closer's job for time being

Marmol loses closer's job for time being
CHICAGO -- For the second straight game, Carlos Marmol was unable to convert a save situation and protect a two-run lead. Cubs manager Mike Quade said the right-hander will take some time to work on his mechanics and has lost his job as the closer for now.

"Hopefully when I get back, I'll be the old Marmol," he said.

Quade met with Marmol, pitching coach Mark Riggins and others, including pitchers Kerry Wood and Sean Marshall, prior to Friday's game against the Marlins, which the Cubs won, 2-1. Quade wanted to make sure Wood and Marshall were prepared to close Friday, if needed. The switch was prompted by Thursday's outing, during which Marmol didn't retire a batter in the ninth, walking four and giving up a hit. All five baserunners scored in Florida's 6-3 comeback win.

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"There's mechanical work to be done when you go through a situation like this," Quade said. "The last time I saw him really, really sharp was against the White Sox. We need to talk about that and see where we're at today."

That Interleague game against the White Sox was July 3, and it was the last time Marmol struck anyone out. In six outings since, he's walked seven, given up five hits and eight runs.

Quade called on Marmol in the ninth Friday to protect a 2-0 lead, but he walked the first batter he faced on four pitches. He retired the next, then gave up a single to Hanley Ramirez, who was thrown out at second trying to stretch his hit into a double. Logan Morrison then hit an RBI single, and Marshall came in to get the final out for his second save.

Marmol asked Quade for a chance to pitch Friday and said he felt better on the mound.

"I appreciate what he did," Marmol said. "It's tough. I've got to keep working, and hopefully I can get better."

He'll get that chance to work on getting better in the next few days. There's no timetable for Marmol's return.

"Relievers just don't have the side time and the time to work on stuff that starters do," Quade said. "You almost have to say you're going to give him a couple of days."

It's not automatic that Marmol will be the closer when he does return, Quade said.

"Marshall has obviously been our most reliable guy," Quade said. "I have no problem closing with [Wood]. Circumstances will dictate some of that, but those two guys will be prominent late."

It's been a rough stretch for Marmol since that White Sox game. On July 4, he entered in the 10th with a runner at second and one out. The runner, Jayson Werth, stole third and then scored on a wild pitch by Marmol to give the Nationals a 5-4 win.

Marmol rebounded three days later on July 7 and threw one inning for a save. But on July 8, he gave up two runs on two hits, including a homer, in one-third of an inning against the Pirates. The next day, he picked up a save. Next was Thursday's mess.

This month, Marmol has a 16.63 ERA, giving up eight runs over 4 1/3 innings. In June, he had a 0.60 ERA, serving up one earned run over 15 innings in 13 games.

"He needs to get himself consistent, work-wise and understand what he needs to do, like he has for years," Quade said. "Everybody goes through tough times and adjustments and this is one of his. We don't want to lose sight of the fact that this guy has been good for a long time. It's not like he's been falling apart."

Cubs catcher Geovany Soto has seen Marmol fix himself in a game.

"For him, he falls into rhythms," Soto said. "He could walk a couple people and then he finds that slot and turns it on."

Marmol did his same pregame routine on Friday, going for a run with veteran Ramon Ortiz.

"Everybody is entitled to have a bad day," Soto said. "It's part of the job. Marmol is one of the guys who has a short memory and he's going after it. He's very professional in his job. He comes in, does his routine every day -- good or bad -- and sticks with it. He finds that [arm] slot, and it's over."

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