Cubs, Volstad continue skidding

April, 20, 2012
4/20/12
6:22
PM CT
Levine By Bruce Levine
ESPNChicago.com
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CHICAGO -- Moving from the Miami Marlins to the Chicago Cubs has not changed Chris Volstad’s luck.

[+] EnlargeChris Volstad
Brian Kersey/Getty ImagesChris Volstad remains winless as a Cub after Friday's loss.

The right-hander was the losing pitcher in the Cubs’ sixth straight defeat -- a 9-4 blowout -- on Friday against Cincinnati.

Going back to July 10, 2011, Volstad has made 14 starts without a victory; since last season’s All-Star break, he’s the only big league pitcher to have made 10 or more starts without registering a win.

Even the elements were against Volstad on Friday. Cold temperatures and poor defense led to an ineffective first inning in which he allowed four runs, walking two hitters while giving up four hits. Volstad had to work around two errors, throwing 41 pitches in the frame.

One bad inning in each of the last two starts and this one happened to be in the first inning, put me in a huge hole and the team in a big hole to start the game off ,” Volstad said. “That’s not the momentum that you want right off the bat.

The Cubs hit the ball hard off of Reds starter Homer Bailey and Cincinnati’s bullpen. However, even the ball was scalded, it seemed to end up in a glove. That lack of offense has become a theme -- the Cubs have been limited to just 14 runs in their six-game losing streak .

“It was unbelievable,” said Bryan LaHair, who had two hits on the day. “I think everybody hit at least two balls hard. It’s a tough break and a tough game we just have to keep doing it.”

LaHair extended his hitting streak to nine games. He is hitting .387 (12-for-31) in that span.

Chicago’s losing streak -- and the possible losses of both Kerry Wood and Ryan Dempster due to injuries -- have the Cubs reeling in the early part of the season.

”You can’t ignore it, they are big parts of our team, but each player on this team works hard,” LaHair said. “Someone is going to have to step up in their place and hopefully that guy will [get it done].”



Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Jason Hammel
WINS ERA SO IP
8 2.98 104 108
OTHER LEADERS
BAA. Rizzo .286
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 59
RA. Rizzo 72
OPSA. Rizzo .910
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOT. Wood 108