5/26 Extra bases
Paul Maholm is the perfect pitcher to have on the mound Saturday night for the Cubs as they try to end a 10-game losing streak. Maholm faces his former team, the Pirates, for the first time, and returns to the ballpark where he is the all-time winningest pitcher with 35 W’s. He has more strikeouts (361) and games started (96) at PNC park than any other pitcher. In the last 75 years, only five lefty pitchers have more wins with the Pirates than Maholm (53 total wins): John Candelaria (124 wins), Bob Veale (116), Jim Rooker (82), Jerry Reuss (61) and John Smiley (60).
* The Cubs’ 10-game skid is the 15th double-digit losing streak in club history, and the first since they opened the 1997 season 0-14. The Cubs have posted 10 losing streaks of 11 or more games in team history.
* Why are they losing? They are hitless in their last 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position, going 0-for-4 Tuesday, 0-for-9 on Wednesday, and 0-for-12 Friday. Including a 4-for-15 effort Monday in Houston, the Cubs are batting .100 (4-for-40) with RISP in the last four games and hitting .327 in all other situations during those four contests.
* They’ve lost all four games despite out-hitting the opponent in every game. The last time they lost four straight games when collecting more hits than their opponent was June 20-23, 1991, against the Giants. They’ve only scored in four of the last 56 innings, and the last two runs have come via solo homers.
– Carrie Muskat