‘Big V’ looks to break an unwelcome streak on Sunday
Big V? It’s catchy, no? Reminiscent of a former Cubs’ hurler, Carlos Zambrano. Thankfully, Chris Volstad has not brought the antics Zambrano did to the Chicago clubhouse. However, the right-hander has, perhaps, an even bigger weight on his shoulders – a winless streak that spans 24 starts. His last win came on July 10, 2011 in a home start against Houston as a member of the Marlins – still known that time as the Florida Marlins.
On Sunday, Volstad takes the mound for the Cubs in the rubber match of a three-game series with Colorado. He enters this start having his lowest earned run average by month in August at 4.88 ERA – which in and of itself, is disheartening. This is is first start against the Rockies as a member of the Cubs, and he has not faced Colorado since 2010, when he made one start and lasted only 4 1/3 innings, allowed seven runs – all earned – on seven hits, while walking three and striking out four.
Neither team has been potent offensively in the series, with the Cubs managing a .180 average and the Rockies fairing hardly better at .224. However, former Cub DJ LaMahieu has been hot in the first two games of the series, hitting .375 with a run scored. Volstad is coming off a no-decision, in which he pitched six innings against the Reds. The Cubs eventually lost the game in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the ninth.
Key to the Game
Paint the corners: Volstad has not had control problems this season; as a matter of fact, it’s been quite the contrary. The right-hander has been sitting in the zone too often, especially with his fastball, and has left the breaking ball out over the plate. If he can get hitters to chase, and keep that fastball in on the hands of hitters, he stands a fair chance of earning the allusive win Sunday.
Cubs fans can listen to tomorrow’s game on 720 WGN, with Pat Hughes and Keith Moreland bring you all the action, or watch it on WGN. Bob Brenly and Len Kasper will bring you all the action. First pitch is scheduled for 1:20 p.m.