The story was supposed to be a feel-good one about Ryan Dempster coming off the disabled list on his 35th birthday.
Dempster did lower his ERA to 0.95, but the topic of the day was another ninth-inning implosion by closer Carlos Marmol. Although Marmol didn't suffer a blown save, that unfortunate stat went to Rafael Dolis, Marmol gummed up the works as he came into the game in the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead.
Three walks, a hit and an error later, Marmol was out of the game. The Reds won the game, 4-3, with Dolis also suffering the loss.
The Cubs will come home Friday to a firestorm of fan and media criticism concerning Marmol, who has not been a lockdown closer since 2010.
Manager Dale Sveum has been patient with this entire 9-16 team, but he might be ready to pull the plug on Marmol as closer.
"I've definitely thought of it now," Sveum said. "I can't lie to you."
Although former closer Kerry Wood came off the disabled list, he is not a option.
Instead, Sveum said he would consider either Dolis or left-hander James Russell as the closer. Dolis is a rookie. Russell has been the team's most effective reliever thus far, but he's been mostly a situational lefty in his career, which began in 2010.
Marmol really isn't in a position to argue.
"He's the manager," Marmol said. "He can do whatever he wants to do. I agree with that. Whatever he wants to do. I'll take the ball whenever he asks me."
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