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.

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Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne