Chris Volstad isn’t going to get too many better opportunities to break his winless streak than this.

Though he might not have a chance, as some rains are expected today.

Game Info

Colorado Rockies (51-74) at Chicago Cubs (48-77), 1:20 CT on WGN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Starting Pitchers

Jhoulys Chacin (1-3, 6.16 ERA, 6.16 FIP)


Chris Volstad (0-9, 6.88 ERA, 4.37 FIP)

Colorado Rockies Lineup

1. Charlie Blackmon, RF

2. DJ LeMahieu, 2B

3. Jordan Pacheco, 1B

4. Carlos Gonzalez, LF

5. Wilin Rosario, C

6. Tyler Colvin, CF

7. Chris Nelson, 3B

8. Jonathan Herrera, SS

9. Jhoulys Chacin, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. David DeJesus, RF

2. Luis Valbuena, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Steve Clevenger, C

7. Brett Jackson, CF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Chris Volstad, P

  • Joepoe321

    1st comment ……going to game today…was hoping to see vitters!!

    • Featherstone

      I’m taking my son to the game as well, was also hoping to see vitters. Grumble

  • LouCub

    I’m friggin getting sick of Valbuena..lay Vtters everday, cut the crap…he’s aways started out slow at very level of th minors..he need to play

    • MikeL

      Valbuena is at a .313/.431/.521 line over the last 28 days….we can blame luck on Vitters bad start in the Major leagues, but I think it is really time to stop saying that playing Valbuena is a dumb decision….

  • Spencer

    I refuse to believe that someone with an 0-9 record and an ERA approaching 7 is the best option in the system we have to start for the remainder of the season. Even if he strings together 3-4 good starts for the rest of the year (against September opponents, mind you), does that really cancel out an entire season of futile performances? I’d rather get someone else with some major league experience for the last month. As for the “the Cubs need to see what they have with Volstad” argument, do you really need to see anything else that hasn’t already been seen? Give someone else a shot.

    • Brett

      But that FIP…

      • TonyP

        Isn’t that still a poor/below average FIP?

        • Brett

          Definitely below average, but nobody’s arguing that a guy with an ERA near 7.00 isn’t below average. I was kidding a little with the FIP comment, but it obviously suggests he’s been better than some of his stats say.

          • Flashfire

            Also possible that they’re doing a ton of work with him at the major league level as a final audition for next season. And, hey, if it improves draft position some, what a coincidence. It just sucks for Rusin, though, who clearly has earned a chance to start for this team.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I refuse to believe that someone with an 0-9 record and an ERA approaching 7 is the best option in the system we have to start for the remainder of the season.

      I’ve got more bad news for you: the Earth is round and revolves around the sun, we’re all derived monkeys, there is no Santa Claus, and all of your baby teeth went into the trash (or your mum’s dresser drawer if you were the first kid)…….

      In other words, this farm system is pretty awful, isn’t it?

      • Flashfire

        It’s hard to argue that — all else being equal — Rusin doesn’t give you a better chance of winning any given game.

      • @cubsfantroy

        What a way to find out that Santa Claus isn’t real… :(

  • Jesse

    Im fairly certain Campana can pitch better then Volstad.

  • Diesel

    Didn’t Volstad have a good opportunity to break his winless streak in his last start? Against the astros and still couldn’t get it done?

    • Brett

      Yes and yes.

      • Diesel

        I wish I was in Vegas and could put some money on the Rockies in this one. But at least Volstad is doing his part to get us as good of a pick as possible.

        • calicubsfan007

          @Diesel: Watch, the one time you are able to put money on the team that is playing against Volstad, he will actually win it for the Cubs.

          • Diesel

            I’m eating crow right now and boy does it taste delicious when done in victory.

  • TonyP

    First game I will get to watch in a week and Volstad is pitching. Isn’t that just kick you in the nuggets fantastic.

    • Diesel

      You mean at Wrigley or on tv? If it is on tv it’s not as bad but if you had to pay and end up watching him pitch it makes me want to get drunk for you.

      • TonyP

        TV, I lived about 10 hours from Chicago so I don’t get up there a bunch.

    • Professional_High_A

      Same situation here, well said.

    • Tommy

      That made me laugh out loud.

      I feel sorry for Volstad. He seems like a decent guy. Hopefully he can turn things around and learn to keep the ball down. I’m still happy with the trade – I wouldn’t take Z back for anything.

      • TonyP

        I don’t understand why Volstad can’t put it all together. I haven’t given up hope that he will, but he is tough to watch this year. Hopefully he will learn the ability to keep the ball down and turn into a good pitcher. He is still pretty young.

  • Flashfire

    Chris Volstad is our MVP this season. Pretty much single-handedly lowered our draft position by 2 spots.

    • TonyP

      According to Fangraphs, Volstad has a positive WAR and Twood has a negative WAR. I found this very odd as I have thought Wood has been much better than Volstad this year. I have never been much of a Saber guy so I don’t really understand how this can be. The big thing that jumped out to me was the huge difference in BABIP. Volstad is .318 and Wood is .246. Volstads FIP is 1.20 lower than Woods. To the eye Wood is much better than Volstad but is that really the case? Could one of you Stat heads clear this up for me?

      • TonyP

        PS This is one of the reason that I love this site, it makes me look and think differently about things. Before I would have looked at W/L and ERA and been done. I’m growing as a baseball fan. :-)

      • Brett

        That dichotomy would suggest that Wood’s been lucky and Volstad’s been unlucky (looking at nothing else, their BABIP’s certainly tell that story, with Wood’s under .250 and Volstad’s almost .320). Volstad also walks fewer guys than Wood this year, which is a piece. Our eyes probably tell us Wood has been better because he’s had more “good” starts – Wood has a quality start in 56% of his starts this year, while Volstad has had a quality start in just 23%. So, when Wood’s been bad, he’s been REALLY bad. But that’s been less frequent than Volstad being bad. But when Volstad’s bad, he’s only sort of bad.

        • TonyP

          thanks that make sense.

          • Brett

            This might make for a nice post.

            • TonyP

              I’m sure that there are a lot of readers that really haven’t gotten into a lot of advanced stats that could benefit from it.

              • Diesel

                The only stat that means anything to me is team W-L

                • Njriv

                  Really? Not even ERA? ERA is more useful than W-L. If someone was pitching like Dempster at the beginning of the season, and started the year with a 0-3 record and his ERA was under 2, then you realize it is not his fault for the loses but more of his teammates for lack of run support.

  • abe


    think the sox will go for soriano lackyey trade? the will need a dh next and maybe an outfielder to replace Crawford. Lackey will be great for us (like burnett is for the Pirates?

    • Brett

      The contracts are similar (Lackey’s is more favorable), but Soriano is MUCH more likely to actually provide value next year. I don’t see the Cubs dealing Soriano unless it’s for prospects or salary relief. No reason to create a hole in the outfield otherwise just to add a question mark to the rotation.

    • JR

      I would go for a Sori for Lackey trade at this point. Obviously trading Sori is very difficult because of his NTC, and his contract. If Lackey can come back and be decent, the Cubs could flip him for more than they could get for Soriano. I think that’s the type of creative move the FO may have to do.

      • Brett

        If it was a straight up swap, money and all, the $6 million saved might make it worth it. But I just don’t have a lot of hope for Lackey’s future (the league minimum option in 2015 is a nice potential bonus, though).

        • JR

          I hear ya Brett. Lackey has completely sucked in Boston for whatever reason.. But I think the Cubs may have to take some garbage back in a Sori trade if they really want to move him before he breaks down. And Lackey does offer some upside, he use to be really good. I think Sori would mash in Boston while dh’ing some with the green monster.

  • calicubsfan007

    Any Sori trade rumors? Or has that ship sailed as of now?

    • Brett

      Nothing new. Not likely to be anything.

  • IndyCubsFan

    Everyone can now *sigh with relief and disbelief! Koyie Hill got picked up by the Rangers! lol

  • ramy16

    Volstad…my all star daughter in softball is better! I serious think the Marlins got the better of this trade!

  • Dan

    Volstad’s pitching? Well, we just lost the series…

  • Tommy

    Is it too early to get excited about Volstad pitching a shutout through 4.2 innings and BJax having a hit, a walk, and no strikeouts?

    • TonyP

      No, take it will you can get it.

  • ColoCubFan

    Cubs win! Volstad wins! Holy Crap!

  • Is 2012 Season over yet

    The Cubs need to just keep Soriano and Marmol and ricketts needs to step up and tell Epstien enough is enough……….Miami got the way better deal and spending 49 Million for people to go away and to only get prospects is crazy…….If you think a team of Vitters,Rizzio,Jackson,Castro,and Soler ever beat the Nationals,Braves,Dodgers you smoke crack and you need to get help…………….Getting prosepects is fine and all,but at some time you have to sign big name free agents and player the cubs need is locked up on there team for a long time……………The Dodgers are showing what it takes to win a series,when does Ricketts say enough is enough and when do you cubs fans that have been losing for so long wake up and see you’ve been sold a lie…………….

    • Drew7

      Don’t you have school in the morning? Pay attention in English class if you do – I hear you’re teacher is giving a lesson on the use of ellipses.

    • DCF

      Fear not, “that time” to sign big name free agents is gonna come, probably 2 or 3 yrs down the road.

    • baldtaxguy

      “and player the cubs need is locked up on there team for a long time……………”

      Damn – All day (“…long time…”) I’m going to wonder who this could be….