6/20 Arms update

Rich Harden wasn’t sharp on Friday in his second start since coming off the disabled list. He lasted five innings, and had trouble with his command.

“He didn’t have very good location with his fastball and that’s where he got hurt,” Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild said Saturday. “He couldn’t locate his fastball even in the strike zone. The first home run was a missed pitch with the fastball and so was the second. It wasn’t only the walks, it was missing the strike zone that hurt him.”

Rothschild felt Harden was throwing better before he was sidelined with low back pain and wasn’t sure what happened Friday.

“He certainly wasn’t himself yesterday,” Rothschild said.

What about Carlos Marmol? He also hasn’t been as untouchable.

“He’ll be sharp and then he’ll throw a couple bad pitches and it’ll leak into a couple more,” Rothschild said. “Instead of stopping it, he’s letting it go on. In the past, even when he’s gotten behind, he’s been able to come back. I think it’s more location with the breaking ball than anything else.”

Is the problem a little lapse in concentration?

“I think a little bit,” Rothschild said. “The aggressiveness with him has always been something that he brings to the table all the time. He’s got to get back to that.”

One pitcher who had an impressive outing Friday was Rule 5 Draft pick David Patton, who threw two scoreless innings. He mixed in a couple changeups, a pitch he’s been working on. Patton needs a third pitch.

“He’s worked hard and he’ll keep working hard,” Rothschild said.

– Carrie Muskat

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