If I would have told you that Chris Volstad would only give up two runs tonight you would probably think that the Cubs would win, who am I kidding, I mean lose by less than you originally thought. That’s exactly what happened as Volstad was outstanding, unfortunately the Cubs could not get anything going against Kershaw and fell to the Dodgers 3-1. Volstad who is trying to make a great third impression on the Cubs organization tossed seven strong innings giving up two runs on six hits while walking one and striking out three. The loss is Volstad’s eighth of the season and extends his winless streak to 21 straight starts. For the fourth straight game the Cubs offense was listless at best, resembling the May and June Cubs offense. Kershaw held the Cubs to three hits over his seven stellar innings of work, and the Dodgers bullpen was spotless. Darwin Barney, Alfsonso Soriano, and Welington Castillo were the only Cubs to get hits in the loss. The Cubs look to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon against newly acquired Joe Blanton, something tells me he will resemble Cy Young more than Joe Blanton. Full box score and highlights after the jump.
Some slight changes to the lineup tonight as Dale Sveum searches for a combination that can put some runs on the board. Hint: Don’t let Baker, Mather, and Valbuena play. Regardless of who is playing it will be hard to find runs agains Clayton Kershaw, here’s how the Cubs will line up behind Chris Volstad, oh right, Volstad is pitching.
1. Castro – SS
2. Barney – 2B
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Soriano – LF
5. Baker – 2B
6. Castillo – C
7. Mather – CF
8. Valbuena – 3B
9. Volstad – P
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
On paper this matchup looks, well, horrible for the Cubs. Luckily for the Cubs they don’t play these games on paper, that could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on how you look at it. Given the matchups this weekend the Cubs are at a severe disadvantage when it comes to pitching. This could be said for the whole season, but it hasn’t ever been as bad as this, with Dempster gone, and Garza shelved it could be a long series for Samardzija, Germano, and Coleman. If the Cubs want any shot at winning this series they are going to need to get outstanding performances from said starters as the offense will be hard pressed to put up very many runs. The Dodgers rank third in the National League with a 3.38 ERA, compared to the Cubs who have a 4.31 ERA good for 14th in the NL. The only good news for the Cubs right now is that the Dodgers come into this series reeling despite acquiring Shane Victorino and Hanley Ramirez before the trade deadline. They were just swept by the Diamondbacks and currently sit .5 game out of first with the D-Backs hot on their tail for second. It will be interesting to see which Cubs team finishes this series as Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson have both been rumored to be getting the call very soon.
Thanks for reading, go Cubs!
Around the League: February 6, 2012-February 12, 2012
Monday, February 6
- Pitcher Anibail Sanchez won his arbitration case against the Marlins (1 yr. 8MM).
- Orioles designate former Cub Clay Rapada for assignment
- Rockies acquire RHP Jeremy Guthrie for Pitchers Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom.
- Nationals sign Mark Teahen to a minor league deal.
- Rangers sign Conor Jackson and Joe Beimel to minor league deals.
- Cardinals sign Alex Cora to minor league deal with a spring invite.
- Astros sign OF Justin Ruggiano to minor league deal with spring invite.