4/6 Braves 6, Cubs 5
It’s only five games into the season, but Carlos Marmol may have lost his job as the Cubs closer.
B.J. Upton led off the ninth with a game-tying home run off Marmol and his brother, Justin, followed one out later with a walk-off blast, his second homer of the game and fifth of the season, to lift the Braves to a 6-5 victory Saturday night over the Cubs.
Dale Sveum said they would discuss Marmol’s role, and may consider using Shawn Camp or James Russell as closer. Set-up pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa didn’t have his split-finger pitch, and was roughed up as well, giving up three runs on four hits in one inning. Marmol now has served up five runs on six hits over 1 2/3 innings in three games for a 27.00 ERA.
“We’re definitely going to talk about it now,” Sveum said about Marmol’s situation. “Fujikawa struggled, too.
“You’ve got Camp and Russell, who seem to be pretty efficient when they pitch,” Sveum said. “They’ve never had to do the last three outs of the game.”
It’s tough to pinpoint Marmol’s problems.
“I don’t know whether it’s mechanical, the arm angle or what,” Sveum said. “When he throws strikes, he’s getting hit now, too.”
Trailing 5-4 in the ninth against Marmol, B.J. Upton launched a 3-1 pitch to straightaway center. After Jason Heyward flew out, Justin, who had homered in the first, drove a 1-2 pitch to center for the game-winner. This was the first time the brothers have homered in the same game with the Braves, and the 25th time in baseball history that brother teammates have connected in the same game.
Marmol said the problem was locating his pitches.
“I tried to do my best,” he said. “I’m trying. I’m trying to do my best. I’ve got my confidence. They hit my pitch.”
– Carrie Muskat