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Chris Volstad, Cubs relievers take it on the chin in 10-3 loss to Braves

Cubs starter Chris Volstad hasn’t wgame since last July. | David Tulis~AP

Cubs starter Chris Volstad hasn’t won a game since last July. | David Tulis~AP

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Updated: August 5, 2012 6:31AM



ATLANTA — You could sense the drama of the history building in the warm, damp air throughout the game Tuesday at Turner Field.

No, not Chipper Jones’ first five-hit game in 10 years, all his RBI that helped bury the Cubs or the curtain call he got from Atlanta Braves fans in the eighth inning.

Chris Volstad is chasing his own history, the wrong kind of history — Jo-Jo Reyes history — every time he takes the mound.

And even after six weeks of confidence-building, perspective-seeking work at Class AAA Iowa, Volstad returned to the Cubs’
rotation the same way he left it: with another loss. This one was
10-3, thanks to another big inning that got away.

‘‘Not much has changed, obviously,’’ manager Dale Sveum said.

History? Volstad (0-7) is up to 20 consecutive starts without a victory, and he will get one more shot Sunday against the New York Mets to avoid going a full calendar year without winning.

‘‘That’s pretty hard to do,’’
Sveum said of the streak. ‘‘You’ve got to run into a win once in a while. Sometimes you can’t explain certain things.’’

Reyes, a left-hander now pitching in the minors, had the longest drought in recent years when he went 28 starts without a victory from 2008 into 2011.

Sveum blamed lack of quality stuff, lack of good command and lack of sticking to a game plan with catcher Steve Clevenger for Volstad’s results Tuesday. Volstad blamed himself for trying to be too perfect — ‘‘Nobody’s perfect. How can I expect myself to be?’’ he said — and said he didn’t remember shaking off Clevenger much.

The bottom line is, the biggest reason streaks like his are hard to come by is because few pitchers get the chance to extend them this far.

And Sveum didn’t seem in a particularly generous mood about the subject, promising only that Vol-
stad would start Sunday.

‘‘We don’t have any options,’’ Sveum said. ‘‘We’ll run him out there again, as of now. We don’t
really have another option.’’



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