MILWAUKEE -- Not long after dropping a heartbreaker late Friday, the Cubs were dashed again 8-2 by the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday afternoon.
How it happened: Cubs starter Chris Volstad looked like he might be able to avoid that one blow-up inning that has haunted him this season, until the Brewers’ Edwin Maysonet hit a sixth-inning grand slam. The Cubs started fast with a run three batters into the game, but the offense then went stagnant much like it did in extra innings Friday night. Casey Coleman made his season debut in the seventh inning.
What it means: With the bullpen overworked Friday night, the Cubs had to live or die with around 100 pitches from the struggling Volstad (he made 99). He got past the 80-pitch mark before trouble arrived. With the six runs he allowed Saturday, his ERA rose to 6.92. He has yet to give up less than four runs in any of his last four outings and has not left any of his starts this season with a lead.
Outside the box: Volstad’s inability to win a game isn’t just an issue in a Cubs uniform. Victories are out of the hands of a starter sometimes, but Volstad’s winless streak dates back to July 10 of last season when he was a member of the Marlins. He is now winless in his last 18 starts (10 losses, eight no decisions). Volstad did enter with just 2.74 runs of support over his last 17 starts, the second lowest in baseball over that stretch (minimum 15 starts) to the Giants’ Tim Lincecum.
Off beat: Whether they meant to do it or not, the Cubs weren’t going to get away with hitting three Brewers with pitches over a stretch of seven batters going back to the 13th inning Friday night. The Brewers Ryan Braun was hit in both the 13th inning Friday and the first inning Saturday. In the bottom of the first inning the Brewers hit Alfonso Soriano with a pitch out what appeared to be obvious revenge. Both benches were warned and there were no further incidents.
Up next: The Cubs will send right-hander Jeff Samardzija (4-1, 3.03 ERA) to the mound against the Brewers on Saturday. Milwaukee will counter with right-hander Marco Estrada (0-2, 4.50) in the 1:10 p.m. start from Miller Park.