Cubs starter Chris Volstad wasn’t as bad as he’s been at times on Sunday, but his winless streak was extended to 24 games yesterday. That’s only four short of the major league record.
‘‘I’m done with that,’’ said Volstad, who pitched six innings with a slider manager Dale Sveum said was his best of the year. ‘‘If you’ve won five in a row, are you going to worry about not winning your next game? Or if you’ve lost five in a row or whatever, are you going to worry about losing [the next one]? Or are you going to go out and compete and try to win each individual time you run out there?
‘‘That’s all I’m doing.’’
I know wins are a meaningless stat, so I really hope he doesn’t end up with that record. Yesterday’s big news is that lefty Chris Rusin might be called up to start Tuesday in Milwaukee. With a double header having been played Saturday, the team doesn’t have a starter that will be ready to go on more than three days rest. Rusin is only 8-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 24 starts at Iowa, so don’t expect the second coming of Randy Johnson. If he pitches well Tuesday, will we see him for the rest of the year?
‘‘If he’s going to get a longer look, he’s going to have to replace somebody,’’ Sveum said of Rusin, ‘‘or go with six guys or something like that in September.’’
Oh, and Rusin has 113.1 innings pitched with 87 strikeouts and 52 walks. Not exactly overpowering numbers.
As the Cubs look to do anything to improve their pitching staff, another reliever was dragged in off the scrap heap yesterday.
The former 15th-round draft pick by the San Francisco Giants in 2005 was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA with the Padres this season in 31 outings. He was first brought up to the major leagues on May 8 and was designated for assignment on Aug. 14.
Finally, we’ve got Theo talking Starlin’s contract extension.
Epstein reiterated some of the virtues he and his staff have seen in Castro that teammates have seen since he broke into the big leagues in 2010: a strong work ethic, a drive to improve and a commitment to a team-first approach.
‘‘If you’re going to give long term to a player, you want to make sure you have very few reservations about the talent and about the character,’’ Epstein said. ‘‘You want to make sure it’s for the right years, the right ages, and in my opinion, you want to try to wrap up as many prime-age years as you can. You want to maybe let somebody else pay for the decline.’’
Have a super Monday!