Just as the Cubs finished taking batting practice this morning, the rains came and the tarp went on the field, washing out BP for the Rockies. We’ll see if we get this one in. We’ve got a few things in the Sunday Brunch Blog, including the Class A Boise Hawks making the playoffs in the Northwest League.
Chris Volstad goes for the Cubs today. His consecutive-starts streak without a win is at 24, dating to July 10, 2011, when he was with the Marlins. Back then, they were still the Florida Marlins, Jim Hendry was still GM of the Cubs and Ozzie Guillen was manager of the White Sox.
The record is 28, held by Jo-Jo Reyes (2008-11), Matt Keough (1978-79) and Cliff Curtis (1911-12). Volstad told reporters after his last start that he’s done talking about the streak.
“I think he’s handled it about as good as anybody could handle it, the stretch and the situation he’s in,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said this morning. “He’s pretty much calm and collected most of the time. He doesn’t show a lot of emotion, good or bad. He just goes about his business and works. He’s trying to make adjustments. It’s just a matter of one of those things. We haven’t got a lot of run support for him either. He’s handled everything extremely well for the adversity he’s had to go through.”
“It’s hard not to be aware of various stuff like that. It’s talked about. Hopefully it doesn’t happen. We all know that it’s getting closer and closer to that. Hopefully today we can just take care of it, score some runs. We’ve got to score early and keep adding on. We have a very difficult time of doing that.”
Darwin Barney is 1-for-19 over his last seven games. For August, his line is .205/.247/.288. His BABIP for August is .233, and Sveum mentioned that Barney has hit some balls hard lately.
“He’s not feeling very good at the plate,” Sveum said. “Barney’s one of those guys, he was here on his day off hitting. I saw him here on his day off. He’s just one of those guys that’s a grinder and going to do everything he can to make himself a better player.
“Sometimes you want to use a lot of excuses for slumps. The bottom line is they happen. Also, the last two or three days, he’s lined out about four times, to center field, and hit the ball hard, too. You can look too far into some things and get a little confused of slumps and pitch selection and when to be aggressive and when not to be, too. Sometimes it’s not just mechanical.”
With the Cubs in a streak of playing 20 games in 20 days, Barney will get at least one day off, Sveum said.
From the game notes: Reliever Shawn Camp leads the major leagues with 64 relief appearances. He’s on pace for 83, which would far surpass his career high of 75, set in 2006 with Tampa Bay … Lefty James Russell is fourth with 62 appearances. He’s on pace for 80, which would be 2 shy of the franchise record for a lefty, set by Jeff Fassero in 2001. (Fassero did a heck of a job that year, filling in as closer when Flash Gordon was hurt. Jeff was a big reason the Cubs were in first place for four months that season.)
The Boise Hawks of the Class A Northwest League clinched a second postseason appearance in as many years with an 8-6 victory Saturday over Vancouver. Ian Dickson started and worked 4.1 innings, giving up 7 hits and four runs. Stephen Bruno extended a hit streak to 16 games, going 2-for-4. He’s hitting .345. Jeimer Candelario was 3-for-5 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. Big Dan Vogelbach was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI. He’s at .331.
Mesa (Rookie), the other success story in the minors, improved to 35-18 with an 8-7 victory over the Giants. Paul Blackburn worked 3 innings, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs. Shawon Dunston Jr. was 1-for-4 with 3 RBI, on a double and a sacrifice.
Up at Class AAA Iowa, the I-Cubs beat Oklahoma City on 3 RBI by third baseman Diory Hernandez. Ty’Relle Harris got the win, working 6 innings and giving up 4 hits and 1 run while walking one and striking out six. He’s 2-3 with a 4.88 ERA.
Tennessee (AA) fell in 10, 4-3 to Mobile. Nick Struck pitched well but got no decision. He worked 7 innings, giving up six hits and two runs while walking two and striking out six. Struck is 13-10 with a 3.30 ERA. Logan Watkins hit his sixth homer. Rubi Silva was 2-for-4 with a triple. Jae-Hoon Ha was 3-for-5.
In another doubleheader, Daytona (A) split with Tampa, losing 3-2 and winning 4-1. In Game 1, Eduardo Figueroa worked 4 shutout innings, giving up 5 hits while walking one and striking out six. In the second game, Ryan Searle got the win, working 5 innings and giving up 3 hits and 1 run while walking none and striking out five. He’s 6-3 with a 4.61. John Andreoli was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and 2 runs. Roni Torreyes was 2-for-4 with a triple, and Rebel Ridling was 2-for-3.
Peoria (A) picked up 3 in the fourth to beat Wisconsin 3-2. Joseph Zeller got the win, working 6 innings and giving up 7 hits and 1 run. He’s 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA. Chadd Krist hit his fourth homer, and Tim Saunders went 2-for-4 with his second homer. Saunders is at .357.