After only one week of the season, both the Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs abruptly changed course and pulled their closers from their ninth-inning roles.

Milwaukee’s John Axford, who also lost the job last year, allowed four homers in those three games, compiling a 20.25 earned run average and suffering a loss and a blown save. Axford had saved 81 games the last two seasons although he was removed as closer once last year.

The Cubs’ Carlos Marmol, who also was yanked once last year but has had 92 saves over the past three seasons, allowed two homers and five runs in his first three appearances this year, likewise suffering a loss and a blown save.

Oddly, when the teams played each other on Tuesday, they both came into the game in the eighth inning with the score tied. Someone had to give. Axford did, allowing three runs in another Milwaukee loss, the Brewers’ last game before they start a three-game series here tonight.

The Cardinals didn’t have any such issues last year as Jason Motte recorded all 42 of the team’s saves, starting and finishing the season as the team’s closer.

But Motte may not throw a ball during the regular season this year unless his elbow improves dramatically in the next three weeks, so Mitchell Boggs, who had 34 “holds” last year ahead of Motte is the new closer.

Boggs didn’t start out all that well either, blowing a save in the 12th inning in Arizona and giving up seven runs in the ninth inning on Monday night here to Cincinnati. But manager Mike Matheny made sure he used Boggs again in the ninth inning the next night, even though there was no save at stake. So, it appears Boggs will have at least a little more shelf life than Axford or Marmol.

But Boggs said, “It could happen to everybody if you don’t do your job.

“Every game counts and you want to win as many as you can. But it is early (to change) You’re talking about two guys who have done a lot in this game.

“I know nobody wants to be in a situation like that. I know Axford, after what he went through last year, wanted to get off to a better start than that, but at the same time he’s probably going to get it going at some point. He’s just too good.”