Chris Volstad is having a crummy year. He entered Sunday with 24 consecutive starts without a win (dating back to last year) and was 4 away from tying the MLB record. He took matters into his own hands on Sunday, allowing no runs in 6.2 innings on his way to his first victory since July of 2011.
“It was only fitting that the day took so long,” Volstad said. “(A delay) before the game, I’m used to that. It’s happened to me couple of times already this year and in Florida obviously. But the tarp being pulled in the ninth inning it was like, ‘Come on, let’s just get this over with.’”
And when the game was called after 8 innings, Volstad was feted like it was his bachelor party. To his credit, he only gave up two hits in his 6.2 shutout innings.
“I guess it was a little bit of a relief but like I’ve been saying I just want to throw well, keep the team there and have the team win the game,” Volstad said. “The streak, that’s just for you guys more than it is for me. But it is a little sense of relief to get it over with.”
And Dale Sveum is just so gosh darn proud of him.
“He pitched one heck of a game, keeping the ball on the ground and was actually getting some weak contact on that sinker,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He had his offspeed pitches working. He was pitching down and away. He had a great day and it was nice for him. I know that’s a huge monkey off his back.”
Now that Volstad is off the schneid, Dale Sveum can get back to concentrating on molding Darwin Barney into the hitter he thinks he can be.
“He knows some of the adjustments he has to make to get some things working on the backside where he can get some length through the strike zone with his bat,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘His hand-eye coordination, the strength, the hand speed, it should play into a .290-to-.310 hitter someday.”
To round things out today, Bob Brenly’s contract with the Cubs ends after this season. That, coupled with Mark Grace’s leave of absence following his second DUI has many speculating that Brenly might be headed west after this season. Bob isn’t going to fuel that fire.
Brenly said he’s not worried, adding talks with the Cubs are going well.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I have every confidence that we’ll get something done.”
Brenly said media speculation he would leave for the Arizona job was simply “rain delay filler.” Diamondbacks analyst Mark Grace has taken a leave of absence after being arrested on a DUI charge in Scottsdale.
I’m able to watch so few games that this is of little consequence to me. But if Brenly bails, is Kerry Wood ready to step in as his replacement?