Back spasms sideline Chicago Cubs closer Morrow

  • Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Brandon Morrow celebrates after striking out St. Louis Cardinals' Tommy Pham to end a baseball game Saturday, June 16, 2018, in St. Louis. The Cubs won 6-3.

    Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Brandon Morrow celebrates after striking out St. Louis Cardinals' Tommy Pham to end a baseball game Saturday, June 16, 2018, in St. Louis. The Cubs won 6-3.

Updated 6/19/2018 8:12 PM

It's been quite the rough stretch for Chicago Cubs closer Brandon Morrow.

He went from June 7-16 between appearances because he was battling what the Cubs said was "fatigue."


Maybe it was a different kind of fatigue that caused his latest malady: back spasms. Morrow was unable to close the first game of Tuesday's day-night doubleheader, a 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.

The ailment occurred in the wee hours of Monday morning following Sunday Night Baseball in St. Louis.

"I had a spasm early yesterday morning after we got back in, just undressing at my house," he said. "So I'm hoping since it's not like a trauma-induced spasm, like I wasn't throwing a pitch or lifting something, twisting or doing anything, once the muscles relax then it should be OK."

Morrow was even willing to get specific about the injury.

"Taking my pants off, yesterday morning after we got back in, like 3 a.m.," he said.

The Cubs went with Justin Wilson to close Game 1, and he was charged with a blown save and a loss, as he gave up a 2-run double to pinch hitter Kyle Farmer with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to complete a Dodgers rally.

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Not a fan of day-night:

Cubs manager Joe Maddon was no fan of the 3:05 p.m. gametime starts the Cubs used to feature on several Fridays and Saturdays when he got to town in 2015.

That changed, as most were done away with.

What's likely not to change are the revenue-producing day-night doubleheaders, such as Tuesday's at Wrigley Field.

But Maddon liked that no better than he liked the 3:05 starts.

Tuesday's day-night doubleheader with the Dodgers came about because Monday night's scheduled game was called off after rain and a power failure that knocked out most of the stadium lights on the first-base side.

Wednesday is another day game, beginning at 1:20 p.m.

"My only complaint is the split doubleheader," Maddon said. "I don't like it. I don't think it's a good idea to be here for a noon game and then another 7 o'clock game. I think that's wrong. I don't think there's one player, manager, coach who thinks it's a good idea. I'm not opposed to a doubleheader, but just play it concurrently.


"Again, not crying. It's just true. It's tough to do. It works for both sides."

One more day for Yu:

Pitcher Yu Darvish had his simulated game moved from Tuesday to Wednesday as he continues his slow recovery from right-triceps tendinitis.

The Cubs will evaluate Darvish after that and determine if he will throw another sim game or go out on a minor-league rehab assignment. Darvish has been on the 10-day disabled list, effective May 23.

Help wanted for Saturday:

Because the Cubs used starting pitchers Tyler Chatwood and Mike Montgomery on Tuesday, they'll need another starter for Saturday's game at Cincinnati.

"We haven't decided on who that's going to be yet, but that was part of the discussion last night, knowing that this may happen either today or tomorrow," said Joe Maddon.


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