Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Astros – 08/14/12

Game One Hundred Fifteen: Cubs (45-69) vs. Astros (38-79)
Game Time – 7:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Chris Volstad (0-8, 6.94/1.54) vs. Lucas Harrell (9-8, 3.97/1.35)

The Cubs have not won back-to-back games since they posted three straight at the end of July (July 28 – July 30) and will look to end that streak tonight behind Chris Volstad. The Cubs finally won a game started by Chris Volstad (1-10) and now it’s time for him to end his winless streak. Volstad has not posted a win at the big league level in his last 22 starts. The last team he beat was the Houston Astros on July 10 of last season.

Darwin Barney enters play tonight 13 games short of the single-season National League record for the most games by a second baseman without being charged with an error. David Eckstein did not commit an error in 113 straight for the Padres in 2010. Ryne Sandberg holds the Cubs’ record for consecutive games without an error at second base. Sandberg went 123 games (June 21, 1989 – May 17, 1990) without committing an error.

In other newsPat Hughes has the next two days off and will rejoin the team on Friday in Cincinnati. Dave Eanet will call the next two games with Keith Moreland and Judd Sirott.

Tonight all starts with Chris Volstad

Chris Volstad has nothing to show for his best two starts of the season but at least the Cubs finally won a game he started. Volstad allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts over seven innings in Los Angeles on August 4. Volstad gave his team a chance to win the game but the offense faltered and Volstad was hung with the loss.

Chris Volstad put together his second straight quality start against the Reds last Thursday night. Volstad allowed three runs on six hits to Cincinnati with a pair of walks and four strikeouts in six innings. After giving up two runs in the first innings, Volstad settled down and ended up with a no decision.

Since being recalled from Triple-A Iowa, Volstad is 0-1 in his last two starts with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.

Tonight will be Volstad’s seventh start of the season at Wrigley. Volstad is 0-4 in the first six with a 7.45 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP.

Chris Volstad has not faced Houston this season and is 3-0 in five career starts against the Astros with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP.

Astros Career Numbers against Chris Volstad

  • Brian Bogusevic – 0-for-2
  • Jason Castro – 0-for-2 with a walk
  • Ben Francisco – 1-for-2 with two walks
  • Tyler Greene – 2-for-8 with a double
  • Fernando Martinez – 1-for-3 with a double
  • Justin Maxwell – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Chris Snyder – 2-for-8 with a home run
  • Brett Wallace – 2-for-6 with a double

Lucas Harrell has been one of the few bright spots for the Astros this season. Harrell has pitched betters than his numbers indicate and has won two of his last three starts. Harrell is coming off a loss to the Nationals in which he allowed two runs on five hits in five innings … but the Astros were shutout.

After posting a 1-1 record in five starts last month with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP, Harrell is 1-1 in his last two starts with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP. Since the break, Harrell is a solid 2-2 in six starts with a 2.27 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.

Like many of his teammates, Harrell has been much better at home (6-2 in 10 starts with a 2.14 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP) than on the road (3-6 in 13 starts with a 5.50 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP).

Lucas Harrell has made two appearances against the Cubs for a total of 1 2/3 innings. Harrell allowed just two hits, did not walk a batter and struck out two. Harrell has pitched one perfect inning at Wrigley and tonight’s outing will be his first start against the Cubs.

Alfonso Soriano (1-for-1) and Luis Valbuena (0-for-1) are the only two Cubs on the active roster that have faced Lucas Harrell at the big league level.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter." – E.E. Cummings

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  • Neil

    Albert Almora headed to Class A Boise on Wednesday.

    • John_CC

      Good for Albert. May your dreams come true, kid…and the sooner the better!

    • Tom U

      Albert Almora led all hitters in last night’s 17-7 victory over the AZL Reds by going
      5-for-6 with a triple, a stolen base, and three RBI.

  • Neil

    Tonight’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Vitters – 3B
    Rizzo – 1B
    Soriano – LF
    Castro – SS
    Castillo – C
    Jackson – CF
    Barney – 2B
    Volstad – P

    • SuzyS

      With the exception of Volstad and Soriano….this is exactly the type of lineup we’ve been talking about for the last couple of years…mostly young kids…to see what they’ve got. The results might not be pretty right now…but we are on our way….On our way to what…I’m not sure…but I still have a good feeling about the direction this organization is going in.
      I have absolutely no Pollyanna ideas about guarantees to the world series…and we will indeed have to mix in some expensive free agents at some point…but I’m content with what’s happening right now in terms of a new direction…and giving the kids an opportunity to play.

      The key is going to be if the new management team is any better at developing talent…and drafting smartly…Go Cubs!!!

      • Tony_Hall

        This team didn’t get to this state in one year, nor will it come out of it one year.

  • Neil

    From Kaplan: Dale Sveum on WGN Radio Cubs Corner today: I’d be surprised if Garza pitches again this season.

    • cubtex

      And he also added in the Real World provided you have a solid starting rotation…. that Garza would be a #4 starter :)

      • John_CC

        What are you saying with your little smiley face? You’ve been the biggest Garza cheerleader since the day the trade was made.

        • cubtex

          I was hoping you and others would pick up it was a joke. That is why I inserted :) :) :) Did you not see what Sveum said about Castro and where he should bat in the lineup?

          • John_CC

            Oh, I get it now … Funny!!!

            So you don’t what he said about Castro is true? You think that Castro would be hitting at the top of the Yankees, Rangers, Dodgers lineups?

            Now that is funny. ;)))

          • cubtex

            ???? Even if it is true….why say that about your best young player? Will Anthony Rizzo bat 3rd on many teams? No….but why single out Castro? Judging by all the tweets from yesterday…..I am not the only one who feels that way!

  • paulcatanese

    Sveum saying that he would be surprised if Garza pitches the rest of this year, should be the word, as he’s the one that makes the lineup out,
    But dosent that throw things a little out of wack with the Cubs plans with Garza?

  • Sonate

    One issue about the “rookies” is that Q-Ball didn’t play them. He had Lahair in for 59 ABs last year. We were supposed to find out if he could play. 59 ABs? If Vitters and Jackson have fewer than 59 ABs, then let’s complain.

    • Neil

      That was not a cheap shot off Wallace’s bat … right down main and he got all of it.

      • cubtex

        I wonder if there has ever been a player in mlb history who was an all star and then became a bench player the same year?

        • J Daniel

          fuko almost accomplished that – Lou was done with him

          • cubtex

            I bet it has happened before. I am curious if anyone knows. Anyone?

          • Zonk

            Cesar Izturis, 2005. He lost his starting job toward the end of the year, permanently, with the Dodgers, before bouncing all over the league (including here, of course)

          • cubtex

            Thanks Zonk. I bet there were some old timers as well.

  • John G

    Looks like the Volstad act is continuing tonight. There should be a prohibition against it.

  • Aaron

    Not sure if this was reported anywhere already…sorry if it’s old news, but Rubi Silva was promoted to AA. Congrats to him…he deserved it with his hitting….already has a triple to his credit tonight.

    I’m out of here….Volstad is dreadful, and should be non-tendered

    • Tom U

      Aaron, Rubi Silva and Austin Kirk up from Daytona to Tennesse. RHP Yoannis Negrin from Tennessee to Iowa. OF Nelson Perez down to Daytona.

  • Neil

    Another good play from Vitters

    • Zonk

      I haven’t been watching, but it’s encouraging that he’s making plays.

      I know he’s batting .087, but don’t worry about it, small sample size, and he’s putting the ball in play. Hits will come.

  • brent carmona

    I really wanted lendy castillo to do well. Had some bad luck but wow that home run he allowed was a blast….hope to see him finish strong this year

  • Ripsnorter1

    Scott Moore taking Michael Bowden downtown.

    Hey, that’s six taters for Scott Moore. Not bad… He’s slugging .446….

  • Tom U

    Hello to everyone at the CCO. I’m currently at the Schaumburg Boomers game, and they are in rain delay.

    I was just interviewed by Terry Bonnadonna of WXAV radio, home of the Windy City Thunderbolts, on the state of the Cubs’ minor league system.

    Incidentally, former Cubs prospect Ryan Cuneo is now playing first for Windy City.

  • Neil

    Cubs lost 10-1 to Astros Tuesday night – Chris Volstad:
    4R,8H,0BB,3K,5IP; Lendy Castillo: 5R,3ER,5H,0BB,2K,.2IP; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4, R; Cubs:
    1R, 6H, 3BB

    • Zonk

      Volstad is pitching just well enough that we’ll probably run him out there the rest of the year, regardless…and bad enough that he’ll be non-tendered. As he should. Really bad year for him.

      Regardless of what happens, I think we will be active for FA starting pitching in the offseason. Not necessarily Greinke or someone high-end, but a couple OK Maholm-types. We just need arms.

      • BosephHeyden

        If it weren’t for the fact Greinke has the anxiety issues and likely wouldn’t perform well as a result in Chicago (or even want to come here), I’d say THAT is the guy to go after to get the ace we need, since, anxiety aside, he is very much an ace pitcher for the right team.

        As it is, I just don’t have any idea what they can do next season to even pretend they might be competitive.

  • Neil

    Rangers announce Koyie Hill signed to minor league contract

  • Vivid_Reality
  • paulcatanese

    Wow, the Rangers sign Koyie Hill to a minor league contract?
    With Soto now doing the catching and now Koyie, do they see
    something that the Cubs didn’t?
    Doubt it, but it does say how thin catching prospects are.
    Thanks for posting that Neil about Hill.

  • Zonk

    That is….and the unfortunate thing is that in terms of young, impact pitching, Shark is pretty much it for us. We need more. Shark projects as a solid top of the rotation piece if he keeps improving, but we need more than that. Obviously.

    Hopefully Vizcaino comes back and establishes himself as piece #2.

  • Neil

    You’re welcome.