One day after he talked about his patience as a manager, Dale Sveum reached his limit with combustible closer ­Carlos Marmol.

The Cubs manager appears on the verge of demoting his $20 million closer after another walk-filled ninth inning that blew a three-run lead and cost a chance at their first winning road trip in a year.

"There's definitely a thought of it now, I can't lie to you,'' Sveum said after Marmol failed to retire any of the five batters he faced Thursday to ruin the dominant return from the disabled list by Ryan Dempster.