The Cubs found a way to silence the fans of opposing teams at Wrigley Field: win.
They did so in intriguing fashion Friday in beating the Boston Red Sox 3-0 before 40.073. There were many Red Sox fans in attendance, although not nearly as many as the Detroit Tigers brought earlier in the week.
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The Cubs kept them quiet by scoring 3 runs early and shutting out their team the rest of the way.
The two interesting subplots involved starting pitcher Ryan Dempster and closer Carlos Marmol.
You read that right: closer Carlos Marmol.
Dempster, whose name has been mentioned in trade talks, worked 7 shutout innings, improving to 3-3 with a sparkling ERA of 2.11. That should only enhance his trade value.
After James Russell worked a scoreless eighth inning, Marmol came on for the ninth and earned his third save of the season and first since May 2.
Since then, he lost his old job, went on the disabled list and then worked his way back into the ninth inning.
"A couple days ago, we kind of thought about it and told him he's done everything we've asked him to do with his side sessions and his work," said manager Dale Sveum. "He's been throwing his fastball more. It's not the greatest, but we all know Marmol anyway. It's kind of par for the course anyway."
As Sveum alluded, few Marmol save chances are easy. He loaded the bases on a hit, an error and a walk before getting Dustin Pedroia on a fielder's-choice forceout to end the game.
Before that at-bat, Sveum paid him a visit.
"It wasn't a lot of nice things, nice words, I should say," Sveum related of the mound meeting.
Marmol was all smiles afterward.
"He didn't tell me good things," Marmol said, laughing about Sveum's visit. "I appreciate what he was trying to say to me, and that was throw strikes or else I would be out of the game."
Marmol stayed in the game, and now he hopes to remain in his old role. He saved the game for Dempster, who each time out might be starting his final game for the Cubs.
With the Cubs out of the race and contenders needing pitching, Dempster will be highly sought after. He can veto any trade because he has 10-and-5 rights (10 years in the big leagues and five with the same club), but he seems willing to go if the right situation would come up.
He currently is riding a 22-inning scoreless streak, the longest by a Cubs pitcher since Carlos Zambrano went 22 in May of 2004. He'd just as soon talk pitching.
"That's all I can control," he said. "We've got a great group of guys in there, we're working hard every day and things haven't gone how we wanted them to go," he said. "But we keep pressing forward and try to do what we need to do. I'm just trying to do my job and go out there every fifth day and give us a chance to win a ballgame."
Between starts, though, it's hard to avoid thinking about the trade talk.
"I'm not naive, I'm not oblivious to what's going on," he said. "But it's really kind of, not out of my control, actually it really is in my control. It's one of those things if I focused on that and I worried about that, I wouldn't be doing a very good job as a teammate to those guys in there, and I wouldn't be doing a very good job for myself if I wasn't focusing on what I need to do.
"Right now, I'm here. I love being here. Everybody knows that I love the city of Chicago and playing for the Cubs and trying to do the best I can."