CHICAGO – Maligned Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol began his journey back to the closer’s role two days after getting demoted.
Boos greeted Marmol as soon as the Cubs’ public address announcer called attention to the right hander walking toward the mound to pitch the eighth inning. Although he allowed a leadoff double to Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun, he worked around the trouble. Marmol struck out two of the next four hitters and did not allow a run for the first time in four outings.
Marmol’s performance gave the Cubs a chance to pull off a ninth-inning comeback, though they fell short in the 7-4 loss.
“I’ve got good teammates, and they’ve got my back,” Marmol said. “I think our relationship has been very good this year.”
Injury updates: Although pitcher Matt Garza was with the team Monday at Wrigley, he isn’t close to returning to the rotation.
Garza (left lat strain) threw a bullpen session Thursday in Atlanta, and Sveum said Garza needs to throw a couple more bullpen sessions before he gets sent somewhere to pitch in a game situation.
Second baseman Darwin Barney is expected to have the stitches removed from his left knee later this week. Barney landed on the 15-day disabled list after he received five stitches to close a deep cut, which was occurred when he chased down a foul ball in the Cubs’ final spring training game.
Once the stitches are removed, Barney will go on a rehab assignment. When asked if that rehab will be in Kane County, Barney said “that’s the plan.”