Bears

Volstad cant close out the Cardinals

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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.

Washington QB Jacob Eason has the confidence Bears need

Washington QB Jacob Eason has the confidence Bears need

General manager Ryan Pace made it clear Tuesday from the NFL Combine that the Chicago Bears will add competition to the quarterback room this offseason. They'll have a chance to accomplish that goal in the 2020 NFL Draft, especially in the second round where Washington's strong-armed gunslinger Jacob Eason is expected to come off the board.

Eason is considered one of the more naturally gifted passers in the 2020 class with an arm that ranks alongside Oregon's Justin Herbert, who's projected to be picked in the first seven selections. So why is Eason more likely to be a second-rounder?

“There are little nitpickers here and there," Eason said Tuesday from Indianapolis. "They nitpick about [my] speed and the pocket awareness, footwork, all of those things. There are things [I] need to work on and there’s always room to improve.”

One thing about Eason's game that there's no debate on is his right arm, which will instantly be one of the strongest in the NFL in 2020. He models his game after another big-armed quarterback who spent nearly two decades haunting Bears fans.

“A guy like Brett Favre. A guy like Peyton Manning. They are both big inspirations,” Eason said. “I like the way they play the game. Their toughness and competitiveness; those are the guys I modeled my game after.”

There's no doubt Eason would offer the Bears more of a pure passer's skill set; there's no comparing his arm talent to Mitch Trubisky, who routinely struggled to place the ball on target on deep throws in 2019. Eason would instantly expand Matt Nagy's playbook and make downfield chunk plays more realistic.

Confidence is important too. Eason, who said he's stressing the confidence he has in his arm during team meetings at the Combine, isn't afraid to take shots downfield. Trubisky, on the other hand, doesn't play with that killer's instinct. And as we saw last season, it impacts the overall effectiveness of Nagy's system.

This Eason discussion assumes, of course, that he's on the board at No. 43 overall. A big week in Indianapolis could skyrocket his draft stock into the first round; there's been some speculation that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could even take him at No. 14.

Adding a player like Eason would create one heck of a storyline for training camp and a quarterback battle that would likely end with the rookie as the victor.

Fan captures exhilarating view of Alex DeBrincat's game-winning goal against Nashville

Fan captures exhilarating view of Alex DeBrincat's game-winning goal against Nashville

Ever sit rinkside for an NHL game? Ever sit behind a goal? Ever get to see a game-winning goal with the goal-scorer rushing right toward you on a breakaway?

A fan captured such a moment on video and put it on Reddit. User nhammer11 had exhilarating footage of Alex DeBrincat’s breakaway game-winning overtime goal against Nashville on Friday.

I know it's a couple of days late but we had some good seats the other night and the gf got an amazing video of Cat's ot goal. from r/hawks

The Blackhawks have lost twice since DeBrincat beat Pekka Rinne on this play, but it is a fun clip to watch.