4/15 Still looking for 8th inning solution
Carlos Marmol threw the best Lou Piniella has seen the right-hander throw on Wednesday when he struck out the side in the Brewers ninth. Why?
“Because he’s nice and rested,” Piniella said of his closer, who was used as a set-up pitcher the previous three seasons. “He doesn’t have to overthrow.”
But could Marmol go two innings? The Cubs are having some trouble finding a pitcher to shut opponents down in the eighth.
“I think very few guys in baseball — very, very few — can do that eighth and ninth inning and pitch with any regularity at all,” Piniella said. “We have to solve our eighth inning solution. Marmol, with two outs in the eighth to get a dangerous hitter out, yeah, why not?”
Piniella isn’t necessarily expecting one of the other right-handers in the pen to step up, and said John Grabow and Sean Marshall will be called upon for that role.
Don’t be surprised to see Marmol going three games in a row.
“We can use him three days in a row — why not?” Piniella said. “Billy Martin used to use pitchers 15 days in a row. What you have to worry about is pitch counts. If pitch counts are heavy. If you have three easy innings of 10, 12, 15 pitches and you need him to save a game on the fourth day, why not?”
— Carrie Muskat