Starlin Castro of the Chicago Cubs throws to first on a double play attempt over Drew Stubbs of the Cincinnati Reds during game two of a doubleheader against the at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Cubs won 9-7. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
You saw the Cubs actually win a game on the road Saturday night. This is a rare event, not likely to be repeated Sunday, especially given the fact that Chris Volstad is pitching and he has not won a game all year, with nine defeats.
Only three pitchers in MLB history have had zero wins with more than nine losses in a season.
Russ Miller, 1928 Phillies, 0-12. Team was 43-109.
Steve Gerkin, 1945 Athletics, 0-12. Team was 52-98.
Terry Felton, 1982 Twins, 0-13. Team was 60-102.
I remember Terry Felton well; I own a jersey he once wore for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. He has the most career losses of anyone who never won a game: 0-16. The 1982 Twins, in fact, were headed for historic territory at the end of June -- they were 20-56 at that time, before going a somewhat-better 40-46 from July 1 to the end of the season.
Of all the pitchers who have gone 0-9 or worse, Volstad is the only one (there are nine, all told) who was strictly a starter. All the others both started and relieved.
Two of the other 0-9 pitchers are recent, and familiar names: Rod Beck, 1996 and Heathcliff Slocumb, 1997. It seems pretty likely that Volstad will be 0-10 after Sunday's game.
DeJesus RF, Barney 2B, Valbuena 3B, Soriano LF, Castro SS, LaHair 1B, Jackson CF, Clevenger C, Volstad P
Cozart SS, Stubbs CF, Phillips 2B, Ludwick LF, Bruce RF, Frazier 1B, Valdez 3B, Hanigan C, Latos P
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2012 - Chris Volstad||0-9||12||12||0||0||0||0||63.1||78||51||49||8||20||37||6.96||1.55|
|2012 - Mat Latos||10-3||24||24||2||0||0||0||148.2||130||64||60||21||46||134||3.63||1.18|
Chris Volstad has faced the Reds twice this year, allowing a total of eight earned runs in 11 innings (6.55 ERA, slightly below his season ERA). The last one, August 9 at Wrigley Field, was halfway-decent, although he gave up home runs to Todd Frazier and Zack Cozart. That game is the only one of Volstad's 12 starts that the Cubs actually won, even though he did not get the "win". You might be interested in Rob Neyer's take on Volstad at Baseball Nation.
Mat Latos has not faced the Cubs this year; the last time he did was September 26, 2011, while he was still with the Padres. Seven shutout innings that night, with just two hits allowed, and one of them was by Casey Coleman. Players currently on the Cubs' roster are 3-for-29 (.103) against Latos; two hits by Starlin Castro and a home run by Alfonso Soriano. This has to be high on the "doomed" list.
Today's game is on WGN.
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Discuss amongst yourselves.