Volstad cant close out the Cardinals

Volstad cant close out the Cardinals
April 26, 2012, 12:39 am
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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.