If there was ever a spokesman for the word "futility" in baseball, allow me to nominate Cubs pitcher Chris Volstad as the leading candidate. Volstad remains winless on the season (0-9) and stretching his winless streak to a staggering 23 starts. The last time he posted a number in the 'W' column was July 17, 2011. Going in to the game it seemed that if the streak would end against any opponent it would be against one of the few that has been worse than the Cubs this season. However, the Astros bats were alive and kicking as they racked up 10 runs overall and punching up 8 hits on Volstad, who only lasted through five innings and saw his ERA balloon to almost 7.00.
That made way for rookie relief pitcher Lendy Castillo who got labeled in a horrendous sixth inning outing. Castillo allowed five runs on five hits, including a three run homer from outfielder Fernando Martinez, his first in over a year. The lone Cubs run didn't come across the plate until the bottom of the 7th when Darwin Barney hit into a force out that allowed Starlin Castro to score. The offense was relatively quiet as Astros' pitcher Lucas Harrell was outstanding, going eight innings and giving up only one run while striking out seven.
The Cubs will look to win the rubber match tomorrow when they send Justin Germano(1-2, 3.28) to the mound to take on Astros' righty Bud Norris(5-9, 4.93).
QUICK CUBS NOTES: Call ups Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters continued their early struggles combining for 1-8 at the plate. Jackson is batting .143 through 8 games while Vitters is batting a lowly .083 through the same amount of games.
Manager Dale Sveum told reporters that the clock is ticking on SP Matt Garza and his hopes to return before the end of the season. According to Sveum, "it’ll take a lot of hard work and some things to happen in the healing process for him to get back”. Garza has been sidelined by arm issues and has been on the disabled list since July 21st. The Cubs would like him to rehab and throw side sessions before returning to the starting rotation.
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