Big innings causing trouble for Volstad

Big innings causing trouble for Volstad

Big innings causing trouble for Volstad
MILWAUKEE -- Chris Volstad isn't getting any margin for error during his starts. So when he has one bad inning, it hurts him. It's happened each start, including on Saturday, when he gave up five runs in the Brewers' sixth.

"Right now for him, he's not getting any run support and every pitch is magnified," Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio said of the right-hander, who is 0-5 in seven starts. "As a staff, we need to have plays made behind us. Yesterday, he did a poor job of trying to execute the pitch in an 0-1 count [to Edwin Maysonet], and the ball cut a little bit and a light-hitting Triple-A guy hits the ball down the line for a grand slam."

Maysonet's grand slam was his second career home run, and carried the Brewers to an 8-2 victory over the Cubs. Volstad is now winless in his last 18 starts, dating back to last July.

The Cubs won't skip Volstad in the rotation, and he is scheduled to make his next start on Thursday when the team returns home to face the Phillies. One option the Cubs have is to move Casey Coleman into Volstad's spot in the rotation. Coleman was added to the roster on Saturday when Carlos Marmol was placed on the disabled list.

"How do you fix [Volstad] is the million-dollar question," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said on Sunday.

The Cubs have made some changes in Volstad's delivery to try and avoid those big innings.

"He was pitching beautiful baseball again [for five innings] and he's shown flashes of that in every start this year," Bosio said. "That's the hard part about the season, is trying to get that one [win] to get you over the hump. [Ryan] Dempster has been in the same situation, too. We just haven't been able to give him any breathing room at all. Being able to pitch and relax a little bit and get some wiggle room, that's huge."

Dempster is winless in five starts, despite boasting a Major League-leading 1.02 ERA. Bosio knows all about dealing with failure.

"I had nine complete games one season and lost six of them on shutouts," Bosio said. "The best advice I got was from Pete Vukovich, who said you have to learn how to win those 1-0 games. That's the same message I'll give these guys. Don't think you have to throw a shutout, think you have to win every at-bat. If you win every at-bat, the chances of you being successful will be better at the end."