James Russell stands up for embattled Carlos Marmol

Carlos Marmol
Carlos Marmol has struggled early in the season and Cubs fans have noticed. (USATSI)

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After nearly blowing save chances on opening day and Thursday, Carlos Marmol finally did blow one -- and take the loss -- Saturday night against the Braves, as he coughed up a one-run lead on homers to both Upton brothers. And he was then relieved of closing duties.

Monday, the Cubs had their home opener for the 2013 season. When Marmol came in to pitch the eighth -- with the Cubs trailing 7-2 -- the fans let him have it, especially after Ryan Braun led off the inning with a double.

Marmol would end up getting out of the inning without allowing a run, stranding runners on first and third.

After the game, fellow reliever James Russell stood up for his teammate.

"You lose some respect for the fans," Russell told Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago. "There's no room for that."

Marmol's lack of control has always been an issue, but he used to never get hit. And now he has very little control and gets knocked around the yard. Obviously, that's a recipe for disaster, and the fans in Wrigley Field are fed up with Marmol.

Where Russell may be coming from: Marmol has only two blown saves in his last 22 chances.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered the last five World Series beginning with the epic 2011 Fall Classic. The former Indiana University... Full Bio

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