The Cubs led the National League in quality starts last year with 95. It's been quite a different story in the early going of this season.
When Ryan Dempster gave up four runs in the first inning of Sunday's 9-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies, it ensured the Cubs would not get a quality start for the 11th straight game.
So far, Dempster is 1-2 with a 6.84 ERA. Zambrano is 2-0 with a 6.11 ERA, and Garza is 0-2 with a 6.27 ERA. Nos. 4 and 5 starters, Randy Wells and Andrew Cashner, are on the disabled list and will be for at least a couple more weeks. Righty Casey Coleman has slid into one of the vacant spots and has pitched reasonably well. The Cubs are trying to get a few more pitches from left-hander James Russell, who made his first major league start last Tuesday and lasted only 55 pitches.
Still, the focus remains on Dempster, Zambrano and Garza.
"None of them has hit their best stride yet," said manager Mike Quade. "And we've seen them when they've hit their best stride. Now, Garza, I haven't seen, but I've heard and read about it, so we know it's there. Start putting it together now."
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