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Carlos Zambrano defends Mike Quade

With the Chicago Cubs falling 20 games under .500 in his first season as manager, Mike Quade seems to be losing supporters.

But Carlos Zambrano isn't among them.

Zambrano stood by his manager Saturday in an interview on Chicago's ESPN 1000.

"He makes mistakes like everybody else, you know," Zambrano said. "At the end of the day, all (he's doing) is just trying to win. Sometimes it doesn't go the way he wants, but you know he tries to win. For me he's the same guy ... things haven't gone the way he expects."

Quade went 24-13 down the stretch last season after being named interim manager Aug. 23 after Lou Piniella stepped down.

Zambrano said asking Quade directly is the only way to know if he's changed as a manager since last season.

Zambrano, who said he has a lot of respect for his manager, also threw his support behind struggling reliever Carlos Marmol. Marmol was temporarily removed from his role as closer July 15, after a stretch of five appearances in which he only threw three innings while giving up eight runs, seven walks and five hits with no strikeouts.

"Marmol has pride in what he (does). Two blown saves, but he'll come back and work," Zambrano said. "I saw him work hard, not only physically, but mentally. I saw him in the video room watching his arm, that says something about him."

Zambrano had criticized Marmol for his pitch selection earlier in the season after the closer blew a save to the St. Louis Cardinals on June 5. However, Zambrano quickly apologized the next day for calling out his teammate.

Zambrano said although a playoff run doesn't look to be in the Cubs' future this season, he and his fellow veterans have an important job to do.

"We're in the process of seeing a lot of young guys come up from the minor league farm," Zambrano said. "As veterans, we need to teach these guys how to do things in the big leagues. If the Cubs bring up prospects like (Brett) Jackson, I'm sure everybody here will have to help him. He's the future, you know. They will be a big part of our future, so that's a good thing we can take out of this season."

With the trade deadline a week away, the Cubs are expected to be unloading veterans and calling upon their youth. If that happens, prospects like Jackson and Ryan Flaherty -- both of whom were recently promoted to Triple-A -- may be getting mentored at Wrigley sooner rather than later.

Sahadev Sharma is a regular contributor to ESPNChicago.com.