My guess is that Chris Volstad is the happiest 1-9 pitcher in baseball. It took 25 starts and 413 days for Volstad to crack that elusive victory column. Take a moment, think back and think how different your life is now than it was 413 days ago. Mine is completely different. Yet, for poor Chris Volstad, a single victory took that long to manifest itself. When you're talking about that long and that many starts, it takes a certain degree of (bad) luck. Normally, by chance or otherwise, your team will drop a 10-spot during one of your starts, or the other team will be "off." When you really think about it, going as long as Volstad did without a win is an impressive feat all in itself. I'm sure he would have preferred a more attractive feat, but I guess you take what you can get.
The strange part about the whole endeavor is that he pitched extremely well to get that win. His team didn't drop a 10-spot. In fact, throughout his 6 and 2/3 innings, Volstad was pitching with a one-run lead. For a man that was sporting an ERA up around seven for the season, the game that he finally got the win would not have been one you would have thought. You'd probably think more along the line of a 12-9 decision or something of the sort. The Cubs ultimately won 5-0, but when Volstad was pitching, the lead was a lot more delicate.
The fates had a little last jab at poor Chris before he cracked that win column --a rain delay in the ninth inning. Ultimately, the rain delay caused the game to be called early. Even in victory, there was an asterisk (albeit a minor one) next to Volstad's win. I doubt he'll object. After all, a win is a win. But come on, really?
Us Cubs fans --for the thousandth time -- are forced to dig a little harder to find reasons to cheer in the midst of a major rebuilding project. Despite Volstad's struggles, we wanted to see him get that win. No one deserves 24 decisions without one, mainly because there is no way all 24 win-less starts were his fault. This last month will be important for Volstad. With the monkey off of his back, if he can put together a strong September, it may give the Cubs a reason to look at him for the future. If this was just a positive blip on the radar, I think he'll be out of luck in a Cubs uniform.
Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan, having lived in Illinois his entire life and having followed Major League Baseball throughout.Sources
- Sports & Recreation
- Chris Volstad