Cubs’ Carlos Marmol secure in role as closer

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Former CubsÕ great and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson was the guest speaker to over 150 kids as part of the 2012 Citi Cubs Kids program. Dawson came to Blaine Elementary on Southport in Chicago and the kids wore Cub hats and shirts. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

Carlos Marmol knows the numbers as well as any of the critics calling for manager Dale Sveum to demote him from the closer role.

He also knows that he went more than two weeks between save opportunities, that the Cubs’ lousy start has left him with nothing close to a regular work schedule and that Sveum had his back after he gave up an eighth-inning home run Tuesday to the St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Holliday for his second blown save in three chances.

But the one thing he’s most sure – and emphatic – about is, ‘‘I don’t make no excuses,” he said.

Marmol called the pitch to Holliday a ‘‘mistake” slider that missed his intended spot by more than six inches.

Taking solace in the fact the Cubs came back to win the game in the 10th, Marmol was relaxed Wednesday in the clubhouse.

And confident.

‘‘Of course,” he said. ‘‘I’m fine. Velocity’s good, ball’s moving good. It was one pitch.”

And he wanted the ball again Wednesday. He got it in the ninth, albeit with the Cubs trailing 5-1.

‘‘I’m ready every day, no matter what,” he said. ‘‘My job’s to pitch every day, be ready every day.”

That attitude is part of why Sveum didn’t hesitate Tuesday to vow Marmol would ‘‘be right back out there closing tomorrow, too.” That, and possibly the fact there really aren’t any other options.

For all the mechanical and command issues that inevitably crop up with Marmol, resilience and a closer’s ability to forget aren’t concerns.

‘‘He’s already done it,” Sveum said of why he has faith in that. ‘‘He did it in spring training. After a couple of bad outings, he came back and threw the ball very well. And after the outings here early [first two games], he came back and was throwing the ball well.

‘‘The other guys on the other side of the fence are paid a lot of money to hit. Sometimes they catch one, and other nights that same exact pitch is a pop-up to the infield.”

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