Kerry Wood, Carlos Marmol ugly it up again

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In the Cubs’ first game Thursday, Kerry Wood took a blown save in the eighth and Carlos Marmol got the loss in the ninth. In the second game Saturday, Wood took the loss in the eighth and Marmol got tagged with a blown save in the same inning.

Wood got the call to start the eighth with the Cubs up 4-2 and allowed a solo homer and two singles after starting the inning with two quick outs. That resulted in Marmol’s appearance with the tying run on second. Marmol walked the first batter he faced, allowed back-to-back hits and then walked one more guy before getting pulled. Shawn Camp allowed an infield single afterwards, giving the Nationals a five-run eighth in what turned out to be a 7-4 victory.

Wood and Marmol are now both sporting identical 27.00 ERAs and 6.00 WHIPs after two appearances. Marmol has given up four hits in his inning of work. In Sept./Oct. 2010, he pitched 15 2/3 innings and allowed just two hits.

The Cubs lack any other reliable relievers, so they’ll just have to hope Wood and Marmol work through their troubles. Pulling Marmol for the closer’s role temporarily is an option, but since Wood is in no position to claim the job, they’d probably have to mix-and-match James Russell and Rafael Dolis in the ninth if they go that route.

The Cubs had to figure going into the season that the bullpen was going to be a problem. Still, they were likely more confident about the eighth inning and Wood than they were about any other portion of it. Now they’ve already blown two leads in that inning, erasing quality performances from Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza in the process.

Report: Mets, Jose Quintana agree to 2-year, $26 million deal

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — The New York Mets and José Quintana agreed to a two-year, $26 million contract, adding another veteran arm to the team’s rotation.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the move to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal was pending a physical.

New York has been rebuilding its pitching staff following a playoff loss to San Diego in the wild-card round. Three members of its rotation became free agents this offseason, and the Mets also had several openings in their bullpen.

Ace right-hander Justin Verlander agreed to a two-year, $86.7 million contract with New York.

Quintana played for Pittsburgh and St. Louis last season, going 6-7 with a 2.93 ERA in 32 starts. The left-hander was terrific after he was traded to the Cardinals in August, posting a 2.01 ERA in 12 appearances for the NL Central champions.

Quintana also worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings for St. Louis in his lone playoff start, but the Cardinals were eliminated by Philadelphia.