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Sunday, July 29, 2012
Marmol isn't perfect and Cubs OK with it

By Doug Padilla

Carlos Marmol
Dale Sveum has been impressed with Carlos Marmol's effectiveness, even if he hasn't been perfect.
CHICAGO -- Happy with the fact that Carlos Marmol is much improved, Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum won't push his luck.

So while Marmol has converted his last 11 save opportunities since regaining his closer role, Sveum won't fret over the fact that the right-hander rarely, if ever, has a perfect one-two-three inning.

"Look, he's done the job," Sveum said. "You look at every closer, you look at every night no matter if a guy is throwing more strikes or whatever, the winning run is going to get to the plate no matter how it is. One-two-three innings in the last couple of innings, they're very, very difficult to find. I don't care if the guy on the mound never throws balls at all. He will give up a hit. It's just the way it is."

Going back to June 15, Marmol has only given up five runs. But only one of those runs was in a save situation.

Sure there are still the base runners and an alarming seven walks in 8 2/3 July innings, but Marmol's velocity is up slightly and the most important thing is that he is getting the job done.

If turning Jeff Samardzija into an effective starter was the major accomplishment of pitching coach Chris Bosio and the rest of the coaching staff, then getting Marmol back on track after a disastrous 2011 has to be considered accomplishment No. 2.

"I think now it's all confidence," Sveum said. "I think it's confidence being able to throw his fastball to get the swings and misses now that guys aren't just sitting there waiting for the slider. Now there's the velocity, he's throwing the strikes getting back into counts. Now you see more swing and misses on the strike-to-ball sliders. But his confidence obviously has to be at a high level."