Cubs

Volstad rocked again as winless streak hits 20

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Volstad rocked again as winless streak hits 20

ATLANTA It was getting loud here on Tuesday night, the fans doing their tomahawk chop at Turner Field, and you could tell this would be a pivotal moment for Chris Volstad.

When the Cubs demoted Volstad to Triple-A Iowa in the middle of May, Dale Sveum sat with him in the managers office and talked about the confidence and body language you need at this level.

Volstad stands 6-foot-8, and had gotten the benefit of the doubt because hes a former first-round pick and still only 25 years old. But its been almost a full calendar year since hes won a game in the big leagues.

This time it all unraveled in the fifth inning of a 10-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves, moments after pitching coach Chris Bosio and his teammates had surrounded Volstad on the mound.

Given a 3-1 lead, Volstad loaded the bases before Michael Bourn sliced a three-run triple that stayed just inside the right-field line. Bourn scored on a sacrifice fly and moments later Jason Heyward hammered a ball over the center-field fence.

Sveum had seen enough and walked out there to take the ball back. Volstad lasted only 4 13 innings and gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks.

Volstad has now gone 20 starts without a win. During that time, hes posted a 5.68 ERA. The Cubs have lost each of the nine games hes started this season.

Atlanta is where Carlos Zambrano cleaned out his locker last August and the Cubs called his bluff on retirement.

When the new executives in charge at Clark and Addison traded Zambrano last winter, and transferred more than 15 million to the Miami Marlins, they highlighted Volstads upside and tried to frame it as more than just addition by subtraction.

Volstad whos making 2.655 million this season went 2-3 with a 4.44 ERA in eight starts at Iowa and hoped the time away from the spotlight would help him.

Now it looks like Volstad will get one more spot start in place of Ryan Dempster, on Sunday against the New York Mets, the final game before the All-Star break.

Volstads last win remains July 17, 2011, an anniversary he no doubt wants to avoid, but he appears to be running out of chances.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Do the Cubs need to make a deal?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Do the Cubs need to make a deal?

On this episode of SportsTalk Live, Fred Mitchell, Seth Gruen and Jason Goch join David Kaplan on the panel.

The Cubs bats come alive against the Giants while Theo says there have been plenty of trade rumors but no trade talks. Do the Cubs need to make a deal?

Plus, Ray Ratto joins Kap to talk about the Warriors struggles and the guys debate if LeBron is playing his final game in a Cavaliers uniform.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

91 Days to Kickoff: Joliet Catholic

91 Days to Kickoff: Joliet Catholic

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Joliet Catholic Academy

Head coach: Jake Jaworski

Assistant coaches: Dave Douglas, Cory McLaughlin, Chris Kinsella, Mark Mettille, Jake Ziesmer, Zach Dolph, Josh Greenback and Craig Slowik

How they fared in 2017: 3-6 (2-5 East Suburban Catholic Conference). JCA failed to make the 2017 IHSA state playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs. St. Rita

Aug. 31 @ IC Catholic Prep

Sept. 7 @ St. Viator

Sept. 14 vs. Carmel

Sept. 21 @ Marist

Sept. 28 vs. Benet Academy

Oct. 5 vs. Marian Catholic

Oct. 12 @ Nazareth Academy

Oct. 19 @ Notre Dame

Biggest storyline: Can Joliet Catholic snap a two-year hiatus from the state football playoffs?

Names to watch this season: OT Dave Monnot and RB Kenyetta Williams

Biggest holes to fill: The Hilltoppers will need to reload at the quarterback and wide receiver positions. 

EDGY's Early Take: It's been a rough few seasons at one of the state's best football programs. That said, 2018 has the potential to be the turnaround year the Hilltoppers have been looking for. Second-year head coach Jake Jaworski will feature four big and experienced offensive linemen, led by senior OT Dave Monnot (6-foot-6, 287 pounds). They also have a name to watch in junior-to-be RB Kenyetta Williams. If Joliet Catholic can survive another challenging early season non-conference schedule, they will compete in the always-tough ESCC.