9/8 Cubs notebook
* Right-hander Daniel Bard, whom the Cubs claimed off waivers from the Red Sox, threw a second bullpen on Sunday. There is no timetable for him to get into a game, and he may not in the Cubs’ remaining 20 games.
“It’d be nice to see but it’s his timetable and we’ll evaluate and we’ll find out how he’s doing and how he’s feeling,” Sveum said.
Bard was sidelined most of the season with a strained abdominal muscle, and struggled with his consistency.
* Darwin Barney got a rare day off Sunday.
“His numbers against [Yovani] Gallardo aren’t staggering, so I figured it’d be a good day to give him a day going into the long road trip,” Sveum said. “We’ll get [Donnie] Murphy’s bat in there as well as [Luis] Valbuena’s left-handed bat.”
* The Cubs have a tough trip ahead as the Reds and Pirates are battling for position in the playoffs.
“You never want to be a spoiler, and not that there’s really any spoiling going on,” Sveum said since the Reds and Pirates appear set for posteason baseball. “Cincinnati is getting hot, and they’ve put themselves in the division race as well. It’ll be fun, the atmosphere in Pittsburgh as well as Cincinnati. You’re getting in that playoff type atmosphere when you’re trying to win a division, and later, it’ll be the same when we get to St. Louis. It’s good for everybody to see that and play in those atmospheres. It’s different.”
* The Cubs are one win away from matching their win total last year.
“Obviously, the difference between this year and last year is coming down the stretch, we have a lot better pitching going out there every day,” Sveum said. “Our starting pitching has been pretty good. There’s satisfaction but we’re still a long way away from where we want to be.”
— Carrie Muskat