So, Chris Volstad. This was not a great Rockies lineup he was facing, to be sure, but that was a great performance. It simply was. Six base runners in 6.2 innings? You’ll take that every time, and you’ll usually win. Which Volstad finally did for the first time in over a year. Wins and losses, as a stat, are utterly meaningless … unless you’ve gone over a year without a win. Then it matters a little. Good for you, Chris.

Brett Jackson also had a strikeout-less game, which is something to celebrate (he’s on quite the hot streak, actually).

Today’s enhancement might not mean much to you if you weren’t watching the game, but, man, it’s just ridiculous that Carlos Gonzalez got an error on one of the best throws I’ve ever seen on a tag-up from third.

  • scorecardpaul

    Since its been so long at least put a W by Volstads name in the box score ????

    • Brett

      Don’t blame me. I even told The Wife that was the first thing that someone was going to say. Blame the MLB box score immediately after the game. I’m sure they’ll fix it, but I have a schedule to keep.

      • scorecardpaul

        nothing personal, just making a joke.

  • Diesel

    I like the more walks than strike outs by cubs hitters

  • ColoCubFan

    Congrats to Volstad. Finally, a game without a bad inning! That error is one of those errors I absolutely abhor! Somebody has to get an error on the play, but none is really deserved.
    Need a new stat like no-fault error or something similar.

    • MoneyBoy

      perhaps, as in the NBA, team error, like “Team Rebounds” ???

  • Diesel

    Just watched the video and I don’t see how that is an error. Hopefully mlb fixes the error by the cubs score keeper today.

    • Austin

      where did you did you see the video?I looked but had no success

    • Spencer

      What happened?

      • hcs

        If it’s what I am thinking of, Rosario let the ball get away at home as Castro crossed the plate on a tag-up.

        • Brett

          On a throw from deep left, in hard rain, with a good runner going, and it was a no-hop rope to home.

  • Tommy

    WAY TO GO, CHRIS! Now it’s time to turn it around, baby!

  • Carmelo

    Really liked the fact that Rizzo, Castro, and Jackson were on base 10 out of 12 at bats today. Also, plus defensive by Rizzo, Jackson late in game. With Castro/Barney in the middle, Castillo behind the plate, Jackson in CF, and Rizzo at 1st could be the making of a very good defensive team.

    • John

      Not trying to be negative here, but i wouldn’t put castillo in the plus range defensively yet. Good arm, but his receiving/framing skills need some work.

      • The Show

        That stuff he can work on, that arm however is a gift that can not be taught.

        • John

          He can–I think Geo showed some massive improvement in receiving skills by the time he left.I hope he does make the necessary improvements; but until he does, it might be a bit premature to label him as a defensive plus. And while castillo’s arm is fine, I’m not sure it grades as plus either. I do, of course, have high hopes for him, and certainly think he can be an above average overall (offensive and defensive) player.

      • hardtop

        he’s been night and day better since his early season appearances. i think he helped raley tremendously in the early parts of the game saturday, the umps missed some calls but wellington made a few balls strikes and got some borderline pitches to go our way. if he keeps working, ill be happy.

  • Dan

    Can someone put up the link to the error? Didn’t catch most of the game…

    • Joepoe321

      Ya same here

  • Daniel

    The throw was up the line a little, but still a tough call on Gonzales. If it wasn’t up the line, then it would have been on the catcher.

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    Love the way Rizzo approaches an AB. Jackson looked comfortable again today. We definitely will look far from this every day, but hopefully they take this into next year. We don’t have impact talent expected from the minors until 2014, which sucks, but the guys up there should have a better understanding of expectations going into next year.

  • Flashfire

    That error play needs to be reviewed and reversed. In a season of bad calls that may have been the worst.

  • Featherstone

    I too am loving the walks from Rizzo, Jackson, and Castro. This is a gripe that has been said before, but I went to the game today and I hate how Batting Avg. is the only stat displayed besides HR and RBIs. You hear the casual fan grumble about the low BA without a second clue that the OBP would be a far more telling story.

  • Tim

    does anybody get a bit worried that people are constantly saying with castro and barney up the middle, rizzo at first castillo behind the plate and bjax in center, were going to have talent for a long time? the 5 of them are all on the team now.. and we suck.

    • Flashfire

      You noticed that part, huh?

    • LEO L

      well, i do think they will get better. we should go from suck to bad. (or is bad worse than suck?)

    • Tony S

      They are all quite young and yet to enter their peak performance years. Hopefully as they play together and adjust to the MLB level of play the consistency will come.
      They’ve all shown they can cut it at the MLB level and beyond that, can perform very well. Consistency of results will hopefully come with experience.

      • Drew7

        That, and they make up 20% of the roster

        • Flashfire

          But 56% of the starting rotation, and 63% of the starting position players.

          Now, to be fair, of the 5 only Castillo and Barney are close to what they’re likely to become offensively. Castro — probably the most important of the 5 — is the furthest away. He still needs to develop some power to be a middle of the lineup presence. Until he does, he’s really not that huge an offensive force. Rizzo, in addition, is struggling to adjust. (He scares me the most at the moment.) Even on days like today when he goes 2-for-2, they’re both singles. The criticism that Castro was getting at the beginning of the season for hitting singles and not walking much — that applies to Rizzo in early August. And B-Jax, well, even in a good lineup he’s a 7 hitter. He’s a plus defender, with pop, so he has a place on a ML roster, but he isn’t the guy you count on to drive in runs on a big league roster.

          So, what you really have is three guys who at their peak will hit at the bottom of the lineup, and two middle of the lineup guys struggling to adjust. You could say that part of the problem is that Baez is missing from the middle of the lineup, but it will take a while for him to match Soriano’s production from this year.

          This gives us the biggest problem with these five: pretty much best case here is:

          3. Castro
          4. [Big massive power hitter]
          5. Rizzo
          6. Castillo
          7. BJax
          8. Barney
          9. Pitcher

          6-9 in that lineup is really not going to produce enough offense to be competitive. Which suggests that at least one of those 3 has to be upgraded to provide more offense. Almora in center is an obvious one — but he is a while away.

          • Drew7

            Well, they do currently make up that much of the starting lineup, but I doubt thats the case in a year or two for Barney and/or Castillo. They also make up 0% of the pitching staff, which is a big reason (not THE reason) why this team is so bad.

            Who was criticizing Castro for singles early on? His power has been pretty steady all year if memory serves. Even if that was the case, Rizzo going 2-2 with 2 singles and 2 walks is gonna happen, and I see no reason to worry about him at all (even w his recent struggles, he’s still been avg offensively and above-average defensively).

            And where these guys bat in the order will make very little difference. What’s going to matter is whether or not each of them can out-produce their positional-counterpart. I’m confident that, out of those 5, at least 3 of them can – a pretty good start to a rebuild if you ask me.

            • Flashfire

              The entire point he was making was that those 5 are being praised as talent that will help us for a long time — that is, implicitly, starters for a long time. I was simply reacting to that.

              Rizzo is far worse than one bad day. He’s had 23 hits in August. 20 of them have been singles. One was a home run: on August 5. The power has simply disappeared as he’s been adjusting tot he off-speed pitches he’s seen. If he can’t learn to pull them, he’s worthless. I think (read: hope) he can, but he certainly hasn’t shown that yet. On Castro: when Sveum said that, on a good team, he was a 6 or 7 hitter, that’s because he was a guy who got a lot of hits with minimal power. That same criticism can now, fairly, be directed at Rizzo.

              And batting order does matter. Jackson is a solid contributor in the 7 hole. He’s all but worthless 3. Ditto Castillo. Though I’m starting to question whether he’s going to make it at all, Matt Szczur has a lot of value as a leadoff guy, but none in the 4 slot. Alfonso Soriano has honestly exceeded expectations cleanup this year, but would have much less value hitting second. Thinking about lineup roles for guys tells us what we have, what we need, and who is going to fit in.

              • Drew7

                “The entire point he was making was that those 5 are being praised as talent that will help us for a long time — that is, implicitly, starters for a long time.”

                I guess I didn’t read it that way. I read it as, “should we be worried that these five guys are considered to be talent we will have for a long time, but we suck with them on the team now.”

                My reaction to that is, while I think Barney and Castillo’s talents will be around for a while, I don’t think it will be as starters. That, coupled with the fact that they make up 0% of the pitching staff (which will need a big overhaul in order for the Cubs to be competitive), is the reason I’m not worried – which was the entire point of his post.

                “On Castro: when Sveum said that, on a good team, he was a 6 or 7 hitter, that’s because he was a guy who got a lot of hits with minimal power”

                I don’t think so. From Brett’s post on August 14th:

                “He’s kind of a ‘cut and slasher’ [type hitter] so no matter where he is in the lineup, it won’t change his approach anyway …. What makes sense, the way he hits, not really working counts and working walks, probably in a real world, in a prolific offense, it would probably be more the sixth or seventh spots really.”

                – At least in this quote, Sveum makes no mention of Castro’s lack of power. He is spot-on in the sense that, in a PROLIFIC offense, Castro is a 6 or 7 hitter. I see that as him saying, since he doesn’t really work counts, he isnt a top-of-the-order hitter. Castro, being 22 and owning a career .421 SLG%, isn’t a guy you classify as having “minimal power”, especially in 2012.

                • Flashfire

                  If that’s what Brett was saying, then I disagree with him. Miguel Tejada was also a guy who didn’t take a lot of walks and swung at everything. But, for the early part of his career, anyway, he had prolific power and would have hit third on just about every lineup in the country. Castro — at the moment — doesn’t have that power, so he hits 6 or 7.

                  • Drew7

                    “Castro — at the moment — doesn’t have that power, so he hits 6 or 7.”

                    Right – at the moment (age 22), Castro doesn’t have the kind of middle-of-the-order power. He also doesn’t have the on-base skills to hit leadoff.

                    Given the fact that Castro has shown a good increase in power through age-22, I feel he will eventually hit for enough power to be a great #2 hitter. That’s all I’m saying.

                    • Flashfire

                      Which sounds remarkably similar to this: ” Castro — probably the most important of the 5 — is the furthest away [from what he’s likely to become offensively]. He still needs to develop some power to be a middle of the lineup presence.”

                  • Drew7

                    Yes. To be honest, I’m not really sure what we are debating anymore…:)

                    • TWC

                      This: What was Ryne Sandberg’s batting average for his first two major league seasons?

                    • Drew7

                      Now THAT is funny…

  • cub2014

    we will need power hitters in the corner outfields and 3rd base: then jackson,castro,barney or (other prospects),rizzo and castillo sounds pretty good.

    • The Show

      Soler, Baez and Almora

      • scorecardpaul

        I was at the rain soaked Chiefs game today.
        Sler looked very good.

      • cub2014

        so next year we have solid 2&3 starters and many decent choices for a 4&5(woods,raley,rusin,germano,volstad,wells,coleman) the problem is there is no number 1 starter. so that will keep us under .500 next year.

        As far as young lineup if Jackson isnt a lead off hitter then you need someone in centerfield that can be. (Almora,Ha, or FA) maybe young 2B could be.
        Past that if you can get major production in next 2 years from a couple of these:
        3B Baez,Villanueva,Lake. 2B Torreyes,Amaya,Sanders OF Solar,Almora,Vogelbach
        then you are a FA or two from being a steady contender for next 5 years.

        • The Show

          Don’t forget Vizciano should be in a battle for a rotation spot next year.

          • cub2014

            if he can be a starter that makes a big difference. alot of talk of him being a reliever. maybe they limit his innings and use him as a starter.

            • Njriv

              Yeah he has the stuff to be a pretty good starter or a solid closer.

              • Crockett

                Are you guys talking Vizcaino for the MLB club? There is absolutely no way that Vizcaino cracks the major league roster until Sept. 1st at the earliest. Coming back from TJ and financial clock already started in Atlanta. Not going to happen.

                • Njriv

                  The remark I made was just about him in general.

    • art

      you got it

  • Josh Z

    Is it a coincidence that the Cubs win games in which Castro and Rizzo do well?

  • calicubsfan007

    Nice job Rizzo, Volstad and Jackson! Was Volstad’s winless streak some sort of MLB record?

  • willis

    We’ve all messed around this year about Volstad and his pretty terrible year. But, his movement looked all kinds of awesome today. Seemed to be in command the whole game. God the kid has talent.

  • Leroy

    Nice to see Barney had 2 RBI’s. Good job Chris!

  • KyleNovak

    Volstad: Did you hear I finally got my first win?
    Theo: Yeah, and just a shade earlier than the start of September, alright!
    Volstad: You know, a lot of pitchers take a long time to get their first win.
    Theo: I know. They’re called relievers.

    • Leroy

      Love this….laughed out loud at work…

    • Brett

      Made me think of ‘Tommy Boy.’

      (“You know, a lot of guys take seven years to get their degree.”

      “I know. They’re called doctors.”)

  • cubsin

    Congratulations to Chris Volstad on his first win of 2012. Now that the 500 pound gorilla is off his back, perhaps he will win more frequently.

  • BD

    Not sure if I missed it, but nobody mentioned that Jackson didn’t have a K this game!