Volstad cant close out the Cardinals


Volstad cant close out the Cardinals

The Cubs certainly enjoyed jumping around Wrigley Field after back-to-back walk-off wins over the Cardinals. That hadnt happened in almost 51 years.

But the Cubs (6-13) know that everything is built around starting pitching. Without it, this will be a very long summer.

Yes, the Cubs won their first series of the season, against the defending World Series champs. But any ideas about a sweep vanished in the sixth inning of Wednesdays 5-1 loss to the Cardinals (12-7).

With two outs, Chris Volstad threw a high fastball that Carlos Beltran smacked off the ivy in left for an RBI double that snapped a 1-1 tie.

The next batter, World Series hero David Freese, crushed a sinker left out over the plate. It landed halfway up the bleachers in left-center for a two-run homer.

You got to be able to close those innings out, Volstad said. One swing of the bat put us in a big hole.

Volstad who gave up four runs in six innings hasnt notched a victory since July 10, 2011, when he was pitching for the Marlins, in the football stadium they couldnt wait to exit.

The guy traded for Carlos Zambrano has gone winless in his last 15 big-league starts. Hes 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA in his first four games with the Cubs.

The organization likes Volstads age (25), size (6-foot-8) and first-round pedigree, so he will be given a very long look this season.

But even manager Dale Sveum acknowledged a streak like that will weigh on your mind, whether Volstad admits it or not.

I really dont think of my own personal wins and losses, Volstad said. If I go out there and pitch well and the team wins, thats all that really matters.

Thats not even a concern for me. Its just (keeping) the team in a position to win. Thats the only thing I can really do and I havent done that.

Blackhawks sign goalie with no NHL experience to serve as emergency backup

Blackhawks sign goalie with no NHL experience to serve as emergency backup

The Blackhawks were put in a rough spot on Saturday afternoon when goaltender Corey Crawford had to undergo an emergency appendectomy before their matinee matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers.

With Scott Darling as the lone goaltender on the active roster the Blackhawks signed Eric Semborski to an amateur tryout to serve as Darling's backup for Saturday's game against the Flyers.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Semborski, 23, has no NHL experience and last played club hockey at Temple University and for the Empire Junior Hockey Jersey Wildcats.

According to EliteProspects.com, Semborski had a 4.98 GAA and .844 save percentage in 29 games with the Wildcats.

Both the Blackhawks and NHL Twitter accounts had some fun at the expense of Semborski.

Blackhawks: Corey Crawford to undergo appendectomy, out indefinitely

Blackhawks: Corey Crawford to undergo appendectomy, out indefinitely

The Blackhawks announced Saturday afternoon that Corey Crawford is undergoing an appendectomy at a Philadelphia hospital and will be out indefinitely.

Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry released this statement regarding Crawford:

"Corey presented this morning with acute appendicitis. He is undergoing an appendectomy today at a Philadelphia hospital. We are anticipating a full recovery and return to play. We will provide details regarding the timeline of his return after we have more information about the surgery.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Scott Darling got the start against the Flyers, and the Blackhawks signed 23-year-old Eric Semborski to an amateur tryout to serve as an emergency backup goalie. He played club hockey at Temple University and for the Empire Junior Hockey Jersey's Wildcats.

Crawford has been lights out for the Blackhawks this season, owning a 12-6-1 record with a 2.27 goals against average and .927 save percentage, including two shutouts.