Samba in the rain. Cubs 5 Rockies zilch

Chris Volstad finally had his moment in the sun. And it happened on a dark, depressing rainy day. Volstad got his first win of the year as the Cubs defeated the hapless Rockies 5-0 in 8 rain-shortened innings. Starlin Castro scored the Cubs first three runs of the game; on a Darwin Barney Sac fly in the 2nd, a Barney single in the 6th, and a Joe Mather sac fly in the 8th. The Rockies defense would insist on giving the Cubs two more runs. Lots of good things, you know, if it wasn’t for the disjointed starting and stopping caused by the rain and the fact that the Rockies played the game with their cleats tied together.  Let’s go through the looking glass.


All props to Chris Volstad. 6 2/3 dominate innings. Yes, it was against a Colorado Springs-like lineup. But this guy’s been through hell this year and it was nice to see him pitch well. Only 3 hits and 3 walks during Big V’s 6.2, but the only one runner made it to second base (Tyler Colvin’s only hit of the series- a double.) And again, body language was evident. Volstad would confidently stomp after one of his strikeouts (he had 3.) He glared at the ump when he missed an obvious strike 3. He was simply better today. Supposedly Manny Corpas came in and ended the 7th. Didn’t really see it as WGN preferred to promote some awful food show. Shawn Camp got a default save for pitching a scoreless 8th.


It was a good day if you believe in Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo, and others being cornerstones in the Cubs rebuild. Rizzo, who has had a sluggish August, had our great at bats, drawing 2 walks and getting two hits. Castro was everywhere, 2 hits, 3 runs scored, even a walk. The ‘purple Evolutionist” Darwin barney snapped his O-fer streak with a hit and 2 RBI. And Brett Jackson drew two walks, scored a run, showed immense plate discipline and had two very nice outfield plays. More, More, More, how do you like it? How do you like it?


Not really wrap related but has been a topic among Cub fans and I wanted to address it. Bob Brenly’s contract is up at the end of the year and there are some rumblings he might leave for somewhere else. I hope not. Len and Bob get better each year. I love when they get analytical, I love when they get silly, I love the music they play, I love when Bob gets angry, and I love when they eat food. They’re the best team going today. If Bob has personal reasons for making a move, I can live with it. (Certainly now that Mark Grace has more pressing concerns and wouldn’t flock to be his replacement.) But if it’s simply a financial thing, then Tom Ricketts, Theo and the rest have to know what a value play he is. Retaining Bob Brenly is a no-brainer.

So a series win. As happy as I was to see it, I’m really glad to take a respite from the Rockies. Wow.  That was… that was something. The Brew crew comes a rambling down for 4 games starting Monday. Can the Cubs build off this series win? It would be nice to think so. Hopefully Justin Germano is up to the task. I’ll be sealing Tom Loxas’ 16 weeks of pain as I draft my fantasy football team when he does. Hopefully a double dose of happiness.

Almost time for Breaking Bad.



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Tags: Chris Volstad, Cubs, rain


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  • Nice job Felz.... but that trophy is coming south to Florida. Isaac & the hurricane gods are upset Louisiana. The good news is that the FSL may be back in business by Wednesday.

    I'm happy for Volstad. Just when everyone (including myself) was ready to give up on him..... He was (dare I say it) great today. Even the double by Colvin wasn't a bad pitch. low & away, out of the zone even.... he just slapped it through a shifted infield.

    Barney had some great AB's too. That last one where he started 0-2, ended up walking which moved Castro to 3rd was EPIC! Seemed like a buzz kill when Mather came up swinging at air next though. Don't understand Sveums' man-crush with lower tier platoon players sometimes... Fortunately, he made contact and he was a productive out.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Happy you guys are looking forward to the league its a pretty good one.

  • I hope that we can extend Bob too, and I completely agree with you, Felzz. Len and Bob are a good, knowledgeable combo, but are entertaining when the product on the field is hard to watch. However, I get the feeling that he might want to take one more chance at managing. I wouldn't be shocked to see him test those waters before making a decision on whether to return to the booth.

  • This better not be a financial move for Brenly. This is outside Theo's jurisdiction. Who is going to save us then? Well here's how it goes: It's a bird, it's a plane, it's...Crane Kenney?????? Uh oh.

    But considering how much Ricketts values the team's PR, he may have a say in this one. Since when has Brenly been bad PR for this team? Why take a risk on some guy who has a much higher chance of running into Mark Grace-like issues? It's seems like a no brainer to me.

  • In reply to elusivekarp:

    The broadcasting stuff usually falls on Wally I do believe and I think BB will be back, but I will dig.

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    Breaking bad is my shit!!

  • In reply to Colman Conneely:

    Tonight should be good.

  • I sure hope Brenly is back. Len and Bob are easily the most enjoyable announcing team that I hear in these parts. Also funny how his hatred for CB Bucknor goes completely under the radar. I guess MLB can't censor moan, groans, and phlegm.

    I'm also quite happy for Volstad. It's not like he was on the lucky end of a 10-9 game, he really earned the win. He sure picked the right year to have such poor luck (one bad inning syndrome). I don't see why he can't come back and be a productive member of the rotation moving forward. Would help make the Z trade look like a win for the good guys.

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    Cameron, MLB umpires are full of moans, groans, and worse. Seligsdorf and Watson should be pilloried for a. the piss poor quality of so many and b. the outrageous egos that are being coddled and tolerated. It's a disgrace to the game that some of these ass clowns are allowed to keep their jobs.

    Jed to Chris: Congrats tall boy, we're non-tendering your gutless ass.

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    If there was one guy, above all others, who should've been counted on to help the Cubs secure the #2 overall pick, it was Volstad. Still, I'm glad he got the win.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I have a sneaking suspicion that today is the day that got us #3. And that is going to hurt more than people think.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Right now, we're 2 games ahead of them for the #2. Minn is #4 and only 2.5 back from us. Other than the series @ Colorado, and the two series vs. HOU, our remaining schedule is full of contending teams. Except Milwaukee, but they're playing a lot better than we are lately.

    I don't think there's a big difference between 2 & 3 right now. Lot's can & probably will change by June though.

  • Brenly is a my first choice for the booth. But if we wanted to replace Sveum, he'd be my first choice for that too....

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    In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    I like Bob Brenly. A lot. I think he was wildly underrated as both a player and a manager. But I just can't see he and Theo Epstein getting along all that well. Bob has never struck me as the most comfortable with statistics and sabermetric analysis.

  • I'm still not quite ready to give up on Volstad. At 6' 8", repeating mechanics can become a problem. While they're wildly different pitchers, just look at how long it took Randy Johnson to become a quality starter. He's still a potential mid-rotation worm killer.

    I'm very excited to see his next start. I think we'll see an end to him being so sorry for himself.

  • In reply to Jim Weihofen:

    If you just look at him and watch him pitch today you wonder what the heck is the problem. He really still is tantalizing to think he could turn it around and be at least a great #4.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I wish Volstad had a little more Zambrano in him.... just a little. He needs some attitude/emotion. Did you notice he actually barked at the ref when he didn't get the call for strike 3?.... computer said it was a strike too. I loved to see that proverbial "fire in his belly". It hasn't always been there.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Miami rushed him, and likely did tons of harm to his development. So, now he's something of a reclamation project. If he can command the sinker and develop even just league average secondary stuff, he can still be a useful starter.

    But, when you haven't won in 13 months, it's understandable to get inside your own head.

  • I would be shocked if Brenly would even get a sniff at this point, I think those days are over however he is a top talent as an analyst in the market. I could easily see him go national if he wanted.

  • Sad day for all the Volstad naysayers. Keep it up, Chris.

    And for Den-izens who wish to, please have good thoughts of safety and well-being for all those in the path and swath of Isaac.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    My thoughts definitely go out. I have some family and friends down there.

  • Definitely thinking good thoughts for the people in Isaac's path.Especially the people in New Orleans. Last thing those people need.

    I'm happy for Chris Volstad. He definitely needed a win. But I'm not ready to turn around the ship on him. He still needs to prove it again and again. His 0-9 and ERA over 6 before yesterday was largely on him. I'm not cutting bait. But, unless he does something utterly incredible in these remaining 5 starts, Volstad probably comes to camp as one of 5, maybe 6 starters competing for the final 2 spots. And he'll have to WIN that rotation spot next spring.

  • In reply to felzz:

    I suppose in a perfect world, we sign two FA SP's this off season and have Wood, Volstad, Germano, Rusin, Raley, etc... competing for the final spot and have some depth @ Iowa. But most likely, we'll only sign one SP to go with Shark & Garza, so we'll take the best two out of those in ST. Hopefully, Vizcaino looks fully rehabbed by the 2nd half out of the bull pen and then we can stretch him out for a spot atop our rotation in 2014....

    I'm with you on Volstad, granted he didn't get an abundance of run support - but none of our pitchers have. He has to learn to avoid that one inning which has been his demise all year until yesterday.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Well said on both topics.
    No one I know is giving Volstad a starter's job next year, but if he's in the mix in the spring, it can't hurt to have him compete.
    We need waves and waves of pitching, and he's definitely a "surf's up" physical prospect. Let's continue to look for improvement.

  • Steve Stone was asked at the end of his radio show how much he enjoyed working with Hawk. He basically avoided the question by just saying how much he enjoys being able to be in the broadcast booth. Brenly should go national, he is good enough and has the right edge for it. If his son Michael had a good chance of moving up in the organization, maybe he'd stay. If he doesn't, the Cubs should immediately call Stoney. He'd leave the South Side to broadcast with Len- Len is exactly the type of play-by-play man for him. It would be a good career move for Stone. He gets back into a big market and he probably likes the direction the Cubs organization is going. I think he would really like the opportunity to leave Hawk's side. Not so much leaving the White Sox, but leaving that booth makes sense for him. Does anyone know what his contract status is?

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