After a forgettable second half last season and a disappointing
start to 2012, Jhoulys Chacin – following more than three months on
the shelf – returned to the mound in impressive fashion earlier
Chris Volstad, meanwhile, hasn’t been able to take many
positives away from his recent efforts on the hill.
Chacin squares off against Volstad – winless in his last 24
starts – as the Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs conclude a
three-game set Sunday at Wrigley Field.
While Chacin (1-3, 6.16 ERA) appeared headed for stardom after
going 8-4 with a 2.71 ERA in his first 15 starts of 2011, he
finished the year with an 11-14 record. The right-hander saw his
woes carry into this season, going 0-3 with a 7.30 ERA over five
starts through May 1 before landing on the disabled list with right
If Tuesday’s display is any indication, though, Chacin may have
found his form. He allowed one run and four hits over six innings,
walking none in a 6-2 road win over the New York Mets.
“It was so good to see him back out there, but (especially) to
have him back out there tonight commanding his fastball in the
manner in which he did tonight,” manager Jim Tracy told the
Rockies’ official website. “It’s been quite a while since we’ve
seen Jhoulys Chacin go out and command his fastball in the manner
in which he did.”
Chacin threw his only career shutout April 15, 2011, in a 5-0
home victory over the Cubs (48-77), although he’s been knocked
around in two starts at Wrigley, losing both while compiling a 7.59
Unlike Chacin, Volstad (0-9, 6.88) hasn’t shown any signs of
turning things around. The right-hander gave up four runs and seven
hits over six innings last Sunday, getting a no-decision in a 5-4
loss at Cincinnati.
Volstad is 0-14 with a 5.54 ERA over his 24-start winless
stretch dating to July 17, 2011, while with the Marlins.
“I’m done with that (thinking about the streak),” he said. “If
you win five in a row are you going to worry about winning your
next game? If you lose five in a row are you going to worry about
losing the next one or are going to go out and try to win every
time you go out there? That’s all I’m doing.”
Volstad will do his best to slow down suddenly hot Colorado
(51-74), which improved to 6-1 over its last seven games with
Saturday’s 4-3 victory. Andrew Brown hit his first major league
homer while fellow rookie Josh Rutledge connected on a pinch-hit,
“It’s good for our kids, as young as we are,” Tracy said. “To be
involved in games like this, and the realization we are playing in
this type of game, there is no room for error.”
While Colorado’s bats came up big Saturday, its much-maligned
pitching staff has led the way during the recent run. Rockies
pitchers have compiled a 1.74 ERA over the last seven games,
including a 1.16 mark from the bullpen.
Though Chicago is batting .211 during a 5-19 stretch, Colorado
will need to be wary of rookie Brett Jackson. The promising center
fielder hit a two-run homer Saturday – his second long ball in as
“He had some good swings,” manager Dale Sveum said. “That should
be helping him out confidence-wise.”
Starlin Castro is 1 for 10 lifetime versus Chacin while Anthony
Rizzo is 1 for 5. Rizzo is mired in a 7-for-38 (.184) funk over his
last 10 games.