For Wade Miley, the story of his season to date has been a tale of two very different months.
The D-backs left-hander was superb in April, going 2-0 with a 2.37 ERA in 30 1/3 innings. Since then, however, the 26-year-old hasn't been the same.
Miley is 1-4 in May so far with a sky-high 6.91 ERA in 27 1/3 innings. More recently, he is 0-3 with a 9.50 ERA over his last three outings.
The 2012 National League Rookie of the Year runner-up will try to change his fortunes Friday when the D-backs open up a three-game set in Chicago against the Cubs, who have won a season-high four consecutive games.
"He's been inconsistent with his command this year," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Miley. "When he has his command, he's great. When he doesn't, he struggles. I think maybe he's overthinking things a little too much. Hopefully, he pitches good in Chicago."
According to his manager, part of the reason for Miley's rough stretch has been is inability to control his emotions on the mound, which has led to even more trouble.
"I think earlier this year, he got upset with himself and it didn't help him," Gibson said. "He's getting better at it. You can go back and evaluate later on film, but during the game, you have to move on from that stuff, whether you make an error, a baserunning mistake or throw the ball to wrong place. You don't want it to snowball. You've got to concentrate on what's ahead of you."
The last time Miley faced the Cubs, he gave up just one run on three hits over eight innings, striking out seven and walking one. He threw 82 of 116 pitches for strikes in a 5-1 win over Chicago in that start on June 24, 2012.
Opposing Miley for the suddenly hot Cubs will be Matt Garza, making his third start since coming off the disabled list.
In his last outing, the 29-year-old struggled with his command, allowing four runs and walking four batters over four innings against the Reds.
"There was no command of anything," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "Once again, when he was in the strike zone, it was foul ball after foul ball, and he got his pitch count up and got tired there."
Cubs: Putnam called up, Burnett sent down
The Cubs shuffled their bullpen Thursday, promoting right-hander Zach Putnam from Triple-A Iowa and optioning right-hander Alex Burnett to the Minor League team.
To make room on the 40-man roster, Kyuji Fujikawa, who needs Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
Putnam was 1-1 with four saves and a 3.26 ERA in 17 games with Iowa. He had 22 strikeouts over 19 1/3 innings. The right-hander tossed one-third of inning on Thursday against the White Sox, retiring the only batter he faced.
"I feel I've been throwing well in Iowa," Putnam said. "I didn't know they were ready to make a move this soon but, obviously, I'm thrilled.
D-backs: Chavez goes down
Eric Chavez left Thursday's game against the Rangers with a strained right oblique after swinging and missing on a pitch from Justin Grimm in the first inning.
Chavez whiffed and immediately took off his helmet before walking to the dugout. Cliff Pennington replaced Chavez during his first at-bat, coming into the game with an 0-2 count before working the count full and grounding out to shortstop to end the inning.
The veteran third baseman will travel back to Phoenix for an MRI. If a trip to the disabled list is needed, Willie Bloomquist, who is currently rehabbing with Triple-A Reno, could be activated earlier than expected.
• The Cubs' four-game winning streak comes after they dropped a season-high six straight from May 19-25.
• In their last 10 games against Chicago, the D-backs are 6-4.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.