The last time Chicago Cubs pitcher Chris Volstad won a big league game, Theo Epstein was the General Manager of the powerful Boston Red Sox, Rick Perry was mulling a run for President and Muammar Gaddafi was the leader of Libya.
In other words, it was a long time ago.
Since winning a game against Houston on July 10, 2011, Volstad, 25, has gone 23 starts without claiming another victory, a tally that spans two teams. Volstad was traded from the newly-minted Miami Marlins to the Cubs following the 2011 season in a deal that netted the Marlins pitcher Carlos Zambrano.
During those 23 starts, Volstad has pitched to a 5.51 ERA and posted a 0-14 record. His teams are 4-19 when he pitches.
Should his bad luck continue, Volstad will soon be in line to match the all-time record of 28 straight games started without a win. That mark was set by Cliff Curtis (1911-1912) and tied by Matt Keough (1978-1979) and Jo-Jo Reyes (2008-2011).
Volstad’s next attempt at breaking the maddening streak comes Sunday, when he takes on Mat Latos and the Cincinnati Reds. He’s already faced the Reds twice this season with mixed results. Volstad allowed five earned runs in five innings on April 20, picking up the loss, and three earned runs in six innings on Aug. 9, which was only good enough for a no-decision.
After a strong rookie campaign in Florida, Volstad was underwhelming with the Marlins the past three seasons (26-35, 4.88 ERA). But he’s fallen off a cliff since being shipped to the North side, going 0-9 with a 6.96 ERA for the lowly Cubs. That ERA is the third-worst in the majors entering Saturday (minimum 60 innings pitched).