CHICAGO -- Cubs closer Carlos Marmol struck out the side in the ninth inning on Saturday, and now has a career-high and franchise record 131 strikeouts.
When he got the Cardinals' Daniel Descalso to strike out to open the ninth, it was No. 129, which tied Bruce Sutter's single-season franchise mark, set in 1977. He saved the ball from that at-bat.
Marmol made it interesting as he hit Brendan Ryan, then walked Bryan Anderson. But Marmol regrouped and got pinch-hitter Mark Hamilton to strike out swinging and Skip Schumaker looking at strike three to preserve the Cubs' 7-3 win over St. Louis. The right-hander hung onto that game ball as well.
He passed his previous strikeout high of 114, set in 2008, much earlier this season.
"That's a lot of strikeouts," Marmol said of his season total.
Is he trying to fan hitters?
"No," Marmol said, smiling, "but I have to."
Cubs still tweaking rotation
CHICAGO -- The Cubs head into the final week still tweaking their rotation.
Carlos Zambrano (9-6, 3.56 ERA) will open a four-game series against the Padres on Monday and will get one last start Oct. 2 in Houston. Ryan Dempster (14-11, 3.87 ERA) and Randy Wells (8-13, 4.28 ERA) will start on Tuesday and Wednesday, but Cubs manager Mike Quade wasn't sure who would go in which game.
Dempster may start on Tuesday to let him get two more starts and finish the season Oct. 3 against the Astros.
"There are options," Quade said.
Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild was to talk to Dempster and Wells to sort things out and see if either wanted an extra day.
"Once we make that decision, the rest should fall into place," Quade said. "I should be smart enough to know to use pencil [when writing the rotation]."
Quade wants to give the veterans a chance to finish on a good note, and will favor them over youngsters like Casey Coleman and Jeff Samardzija.
"They've all earned the right to finish this thing up ahead of the other guys," Quade said. "They get priority, and we'll piece it together in the best way to help those guys."
Byrd day-to-day with bruised face
CHICAGO -- The right side of Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd's face was swollen and bruised after he was hit by a foul ball in a freak accident on Friday.
Byrd, who did not start on Saturday against the Cardinals, fouled a ball in the third inning on Friday, and it bounced off the dirt and hit him in the face. X-rays were negative.
"Your eyes are pretty important in this game," Cubs manager Mike Quade said. "He's a tough guy, and he'll let us know [when he can play]."
It's not known when Byrd, who has a career high in hits with 162 and is batting .291, might return to action.
"He's day-to-day," Quade said. "Aren't we all?"
Cubs honor Minors' Player, Pitcher of Year
CHICAGO -- Outfielder Brandon Guyer and pitcher Chris Archer were honored on Saturday as the Cubs' Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively.
Guyer, 24, batted .344 with 39 doubles, six triples, 13 homers, 58 RBIs, 76 runs scored and 30 stolen bases for Double-A Tennessee. He led the Southern League in slugging percentage (.588) and ranked second in batting average, third in doubles, fourth in extra-base hits (58) and fifth in on-base percentage.
It was quite the comeback for the right-handed hitter, who dislocated his shoulder on a head-first slide in the second month of the season.
"My winning this is even more special because of what happened," Guyer said.
A fifth-round selection in 2007 out of the University of Virginia, Guyer will play winter ball in Venezuela, leaving Oct. 6.
Archer, 21, combined to go 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA in 28 games between Class A Daytona and Tennessee. He struck out 149 in 142 1/3 innings and walked 65.
Originally selected by the Indians in the fifth round of the 2006 Draft, Archer was part of the Mark DeRosa deal in December 2006. The Cubs also acquired pitchers Jeff Stevens and John Gaub in the trade. Archer will pitch for the U.S. team in the Pan American Qualifying Team tournament in Puerto Rico.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.