Pitching to contact proving beneficial for Marmol

Pitching to contact proving beneficial for Marmol

CHICAGO -- Manager Dale Sveum said Carlos Marmol had to understand that pitching to contact is acceptable before he could regain any confidence on the mound.

Marmol allowed two runners on base Saturday before forcing a deep flyout to right field and a double play to end the game. He was then summoned to record the final two outs of Sunday's 3-1 win, putting a pair of runners on base before fanning Geoff Blum and getting Gerardo Parra on a liner.

"I think he hit rock bottom there when we took him out of the closer role, and I think he had to sit back and realize that this contact stuff is OK, that 'I don't give up many hits even when I'm in the strike zone and let the defense do its work and get the double-play ball when people get on base,'" Sveum said.

Marmol has still struggled with free passes recently, allowing four walks in his last two appearances entering Sunday. Sveum said the key for Marmol is throwing strikes at key moments on the mound.

"The throwing strikes when he has to seems to be what he's been able to do," Sveum said. "Obviously, sometimes the pitch count looks like it's getting up, and then all of a sudden he's been getting some double-play balls or making the pitches when he has to and throwing the strikes."

Marmol, who hasn't allowed a run in 10 of his last 12 appearances, has the support of second baseman Darwin Barney.

"When you've got a guy like Marmol coming in and doing his job well like he has been lately, you feel comfortable out there," Barney said after Saturday's win.