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updated: 9/22/2012 1:18 AM

Tough to say if Volstad will return next season

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  • Chris Volstad is 3-10 on the season with a 6.22 ERA.

      Chris Volstad is 3-10 on the season with a 6.22 ERA.
    Associated Press

  • Chicago Cubs starter Chris Volstad throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012.

      Chicago Cubs starter Chris Volstad throws against the St. Louis Cardinals during the first inning of a baseball game in Chicago, Friday, Sept. 21, 2012.
    Associated Press

 
 

It's hard to say how or even if Chris Volstad fits into the Cubs' pitching plans for next year.

Volstad got a no-decision in Friday's 5-4, 11-inning victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. He ran his pitch count to 37 in the first inning -- when leadoff man John Jay fouled off 8 in a 12-pitch at-bat -- and lasted just 5 innings.

It marked the fifth straight start in which Volstad failed to go 6 innings. His record held at 3-10 and his ERA dipped from 6.26 to 6.22 as he gave up 6 hits and 3 runs.

Volstad will be arbitration-eligible in the off-season, and the Cubs simply could not tender him a contract. He's making $2.655 million this season. The Cubs obtained him from the Marlins last off-season in a trade for Carlos Zambrano.

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said he felt Volstad did OK Friday.

"I thought Volstad battled and did a nice job against one of the best, if not the best, offenses in the National League," Sveum said.

It's another first:

Reliever Alberto Cabrera earned his first major-league victory by pitching a scoreless 11th. He became the sixth Cubs pitcher to earn his first big-league win this year, joining Chris Rusin, Brooks Raley, Jeff Beliveau, Rafael Dolis and Scott Maine, who is no longer with the team.

On this homestand, all 3 Cubs victories have been first wins for the pitcher: Rusin, Beliveau and Cabrera.

Welcome back:

Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter worked 5 innings in his first start of the season. He had been out with a right-shoulder ailment and a nerve issue that affected the right side of his body.

Carpenter gave up 5 hits and 2 runs while walking one and striking out two.

"My stuff wasn't as sharp as I'd like and it wasn't as sharp as it's been in the simulated games," he said. "But I tried to get as many outs as I could and give us a chance. It was fun to get back out there. Hopefully my stuff will get better and sharper as I get out there more often.

"The more you get out there, the more comfortable you get. You get more in time, you get more in rhythm but this is something to build off."

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