7/29 Maholm’s milestone

Paul Maholm is the first Cubs pitcher in modern day history to post six consecutive starts of at least six innings with one or no runs allowed.  Lefty Rube Kroh did put together a five-game stretch of at least six innings with one or no runs allowed in 1909. In his last six starts, Maholm has given up five earned runs over 44 innings for a 1.02 ERA.

“Paulie is arguably the best pitcher the last month in all of baseball,” Dale Sveum said.

He didn’t get a win Sunday, as the Cardinals rallied.

“He kept us off balance,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “We had the one opportunity in the seventh to really make something happen but we couldn’t get that big hit we’ve been talking about. He did a nice job pitching. He kept us off-balance and mixed up everything. We just couldn’t get a lot going.”

Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger said Maholm had everything working.

“They’ve got a tough lineup, one through eight,” Clevenger said. “Paulie did a good job mixing the ball in and out of the strike zone and made them hit his pitch.”

Travis Wood, another lefty, served up five home runs on Friday to the Cardinals.

“That’s the best lineup in the National League, and by far the best right-handed hitting lineup, too, and he did a heck of a job against the best,” Sveum said of Maholm. “That’s when you know [he’s good], when you can do it against the best right-handed hitting lineup in the National League.”

Will Maholm still be on the Cubs after Tuesday’s Trade Deadline? Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney will be — they’re players the Cubs will build around. They need pitching, too.

“There was a reason I signed here,” Maholm said. “I’ve always enjoyed playing here throughout my career. There’s an option [for next year]. I finished last year hurt, and they gave me a chance to come in and prove I’m healthy and I am. Hopefully, we can turn this into a long term thing. We’ll see how everything unfolds and go from there.”

— Carrie Muskat

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