Week 1 Storylines National League
Demotion of Carlos Marmol- Marmol has always been an interesting storyline for Cubs fans with his antics as the closer. Marmol has had many great outings with the Cubs but on the flipside has had his share of hiccups. Marmol started off the season with a sub-par outing, started with a strikeout of Garret Jones on a full count. Then, Marmol hit McCutchen and the Pirates were off to races. The Cubs ended up winning the game but most fans were unsettled by his performance. Marmol finally hit a tipping point last night against the Atlanta Braves when he came into the game with a one run lead. Marmol then proceeded to give up the tying and winning run to cause Dale Sveum to demote him from the closer role.
The Emergence of Jeff Samardzija- Samardzija has taken the role of ace by storm and has proven his value each and every start last season and opening day vs. the Pirates. On opening day Samardzija pitched eight solid innings only giving up two hits. He coupled that outing with nine strikeouts and kept the Pirates off-balanced with his devastating fastball, slider and split-finger fastball. As long as Samardzija stays healthy throughout this season I see no reason for him not to be a dominant ace and one of the top pitchers in the National League.
Upton Brothers- Justin Upton is on an absolute tear through the first week of the season. He already is batting .400 through 30 at bats with 6 homeruns and 9 runs batted in. His brother BJ on the other hand is in a funk only batting .103 through his first 29 plate appearances. Once BJ gets back into form this team is going to be very dangerous. The Braves record through their first 8 games is a very impressive 7-1 with a dominant bullpen and offense. This team will most definitely be seeing October baseball.
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