Results tagged ‘ Paul Maholm ’
* Paul Maholm has a 1.07 ERA in his last four starts, all wins, and has held batters to a .167 average. He’s given up three earned runs in 25 1/3 innings. The four-game win streak ties his personal best, most recently May 31-July 10, 2008.
“I’m going to have another rough outing at some point, that’s part of baseball,” Maholm said, “but I’m going to ride this as long as I possibly can and hopefully for a good while.”
* Starlin Castro tried to get the Cubs on the board in the fourth when he hit a ball near the right field foul line past a diving Jason Heyward. But Heyward recovered and relayed the ball to second baseman Dan Uggla, who easily threw out Castro at home. Third base coach Pat Listach was waving Castro home.
“It’s one of those things, it still took a good relay throw,” Dale Sveum said of the play. “With two outs there, you’re hoping for a bad skip or bad relay throw. Sometimes as the third base coach, you like pushing the envelope especially in a game when you feel it’ll be a tough time scoring runs, and sure enough it was a game like that.”
* Cubs pitchers have a 2.51 ERA in the last 17 games, and the team is 10-7 in that stretch. They’ve won three straight home series.
* Wednesday’s 2 hour 5 minute game was the shortest of the season.
* Bryan LaHair has reached safely in a team-high 27 straight games. he has 17 RBIs in his last 21 games.
* Next up is a three-game series at Miller Park. It’ll be Matt Garza vs. Randy Wolf on Friday; Chris Volstad vs. Shaun Marcum on Saturday; and Jeff Samardzija vs. Marco Estrada on Sunday.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs were in perfect position on Wednesday to defend against the Braves and took advantage of Atlanta shortstop Jack Wilson to score the game-winning run. In the seventh, David DeJesus singled to lead off and moved up on two groundouts before scoring on Bryan LaHair’s single just past Wilson. LaHair has reached base safely in 27 straight games, and has 17 RBIs in his last 21 games. Paul Maholm saw Wilson move slightly and LaHair adjusted.
“The first at-bat, they didn’t have the big shift on him and Jack was on the shortstop side and when he got the RBI single, I looked out there and saw that Jack had moved a few steps,” Maholm said. “[LaHair] is just taking what they give him. That’s what you want from a power guy. He’s not up there trying to hook everything. If they’re going to pitch him away, he’ll go with it.”
LaHair said the Braves seemed to be making their own adjustments against him each at-bat.
“I haven’t seen a fastball that much the whole series after the first two at-bats of the series,” LaHair said. “I had a feeling maybe [Hudson] would try to get ahead away and before I stepped in the box, I thought about hitting that hole and I got the pitch I was looking for.”
It’s not that easy, folks.
– Carrie Muskat
* Cubs pitching has posted a 2.79 ERA in the last 13 games since April 21. The starters have a 2.80 ERA in that stretch, whlie the bullpen has compiled a 2.75 ERA in the last 13 games.
* Remember the “We stinks” game last June in St. Louis? That’s when Carlos Marmol blew a game and gave up a game-tying RBI double to Ryan Theriot, then with the Cardinals, which resulted in Carlos Zambrano missing a chance for a win. The Cubs eventually lost that game on a walkoff homer by Albert Pujols. Since that game, June 5, Marmol is 1-5 with a 4.68 ERA and 26-for-35 in save situations. He has given up 43 hits and walked 47 over 57 2/3 innings, which is a lot of baserunners. He’s also served up five home runs and five wild pitches. Batters were hitting .204 against Marmol since then.
* Upcoming pitching matchups for the Cubs series vs. the Braves:
Monday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (3-1, 3.41) vs. RHP Tommy Hanson (3-2, 3.74)
Tuesday: RHP Ryan Dempster (0-1, 0.95) vs. RHP Randall Delgado (2-3, 5.14)
Wednesday: LHP Paul Maholm (3-2, 5.13) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (1-0, 6.55)
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs will miss both Ted Lilly (3-0, 1.38 ERA) and Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 1.78 ERA) in the upcoming weekend series against the Dodgers. Here are the pitching matchups:
Friday: LHP Paul Maholm (2-2, 6.20) vs. RHP Chad Billingsley (2-1, 2.64)
Saturday: RHP Matt Garza (2-1, 2.67) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (3-0, 2.73)
Sunday: RHP Chris Volstad (0-3, 6.11) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (1-2, 5.72)
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs open a four-game series Friday against the Phillies. Cubs pitchers have compiled a 2.35 ERA in the last five games. The starters have a combined 2.64 ERA and the bullpen has a 1.76 ERA. This follows a stretch in which Cubs pitchers had a 6.67 ERA in seven games from April 13-20.
* The Cubs have gone 4-1 in five games against Phillies ace Roy Halladay since facing him in 2005 in Interleague play when he was with the Blue Jays. The Cubs are the only NL team to hand Halladay four career losses.
* Carlos Marmol needs four saves to reach 100 with the Cubs.
* Bryan LaHair has homered in his last two games. He also homered in consecutive games July 28-29, 2008, while with the Mariners. He has reached base safely in a team-high 15 straight games.
* Congrats to Cubs assistant athletic trainer Ed Halbur and wife Sara on the birth of son, Gabriel, on Friday.
* Here are the pitching matchups for the Phillies series:
Friday: Paul Maholm vs. Roy Halladay
Saturday: Randy Wells vs. Joe Blanton
Sunday: Matt Garza vs. Kyle Kendrick
Monday: Chris Volstad vs. Vance Worley
Note: Jeff Samardzija was to have started Monday, but is being given an extra day. Because of the off day Thursday, Volstad will be pitching on normal rest.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs missed a chance to sweep the Cardinals on Wednesday. Chris Volstad took the loss, extending his winless streak to 15 starts. He has not celebrated a victory since last July 10. The right-hander cruised through five innings and then missed his spots in the sixth. With the game tied at 1, Rafael Furcal singled and scored two outs later on Carlos Beltran’s double. David Freese followed with his fourth home run of the season and 22nd by the team off a 2-2 pitch.
“Two outs, you’ve got to be able to close those innings out,” Volstad said. “One swing of the bat put us in a big hole. I had been working him in the entire game and that one [pitch] wasn’t in as much as the other ones. He did a great job.”
Said Dale Sveum: ”He threw the ball really well up to that point. He got the sinker in on Freese all day long and tried to come in and left it out over the plate and that was a backbreaker in that inning. … For the most part, it was a much more improved outing and he pitched more aggressively and used his sinker and did a good job.”
Rookie catcher Steve Clevenger noticed Volstad’s pitches started to trend up in the sixth. Sveum and pitching coach Chris Bosio want the Cubs catchers to monitor the pitchers to reduce visits to the mound.
“If [the pitchers] aren’t executing, we can go out and tell them,” Clevenger said.
Which is what he did in the sixth.
“[Volstad] pitched really good — just one bad inning, and I wouldn’t even say it was a bad inning,” Clevenger said. “The ball to Freese was in and Freese did a good job of getting to it. Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe we went in there too much. Maybe we should have gone with something different. That was the game plan, we stuck with it, and Freese did a good job.”
* Cubs pitching has combined for a 2.35 ERA in the last five games. That includes a 1.76 ERA by the bullpen.
* Bryan LaHair has hit four of the Cubs seven home runs this season, and connected in back to back games.
“The first at-bat, [Lance Lynn] threw me a fastball away, fastball in and I fouled it back,” LaHair said. “My second at-bat, he threw me a fastball away and I hit that one. I made the adjustment.”
Sveum wants to see more home runs.
“Coming in, [LaHair] was one guy we needed to hit home runs,” Sveum said. “We definitely need those two corner guys [LaHair and Ian Stewart] to drive the ball out of the ballpark.”
Stewart is batting .175 for the season.
“I think sometimes when you don’t get results, guys start pressing a little and swinging out of the zone,” Sveum said. “We’ll get him going. He’s got too much bat speed. For the most part, he’s getting good pitches to hit. We just have to get him going swinging the bat.”
* The Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position Wednesday.
* After a day off Thursday, the Cubs travel to Philadelphia for a four-game series against the Phillies. Paul Maholm will get things started on Friday against Roy Halladay.
– Carrie Muskat
Matt Carpenter had four hits and five RBIs and Yadier Molina added a three-run homer to lift the Pujols-less Cardinals to victory over the Cubs. Paul Maholm (0-2) was looking for his first win since last July 10. Instead, the lefty now is winless in his last nine starts.
“It’d be nice to break that streak,” Dale Sveum said. “I think sometimes it does weigh on you. It’s almost like a hitting slump — when am I going to get that next hit? You do things or maybe you’re pressing.”
But Maholm denied losing sleep over it.
“I couldn’t tell you when the last time I won,” he said. “My goal is to go out there and go seven innings and win the game no matter how the outing before went, whether it was good or bad. That’s what I’ll get straight next week when I take it. I’m going to go deep in the game and we’re going to win.”
He failed for the second time to go long enough to be considered for a “W,” getting pulled after four innings. In both of his Cubs starts, he’s given up six runs and six hits.
“It was kind of the same thing as the first start — you give them base runners and they took advantage of it,” Maholm said. “It’s frustrating but I’m going to bust it this week and make sure I get through it and I get back to where I was.”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs close their three-game series against the Cardinals on Sunday at Busch Stadium, sending Paul Maholm to the mound. It’s Jackie Robinson Day, and all of the players will wear No. 42 in honor of the former Dodgers great who broke baseball’s color barrier. A Chicago win on Sunday would equal the total number of wins at Busch Stadium a year ago (the Cubs were 2-7 in St. Louis last year).
* Starlin Castro is one of 14 Cubs to record at least six stolen bases in April since 1921. He leads the Major Leagues in steals. The Cubs have swiped eight bases this year. Last year, they did not record their eighth stolen base until May 17, which was Game No. 40.
* Castro also has 22 games with three or more hits since the start of 2011. That’s the most in the National League in that stretch.
* Mahom is looking for his first win in his last eight starts. He has not celebrated a “W” since last July 10.
* Looking ahead to the Cubs series in Miami:
Tuesday: Ryan Dempster vs. Josh Johnson
Wednesday: Matt Garza vs. Mark Buehrle
Thursday: Jeff Samardzija vs. Ricky Nolasco
– Carrie Muskat
Ryan Dempster takes the mound Wednesday and will try to continue his success against the Brewers. Dempster is 15-5 with 10 saves and a 2.75 ERA in 47 career games against Milwaukee. That’s the most career wins vs. the Brewers among all active pitchers. From the start of 2008 to June 13 last year, Dempster was 11-1 with a 2.52 ERA against them. He lost his last two starts last season against Milwaukee. Matt Garza will close the homestand on Thursday and then the Cubs leave for their first road trip, beginning in St. Louis and followed by three games next week in Miami at the Marlins new ballpark. It won’t get any easier.
“It’s a tough schedule, but hey, its Major League Baseball,” Dale Sveum said. “A lot of teams have really good starting pitching now. It’s part of the game and you have to find a way to scratch runs out and have good at-bats and get leads, which is what we need to do. We have to get leads to be able to do things, run the bases, hit and run and all that kind of stuff.”
Looking ahead to the upcoming series against the Cardinals:
Friday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-0, 1.04) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (0-1, 4.76), 2:15 p.m. CT
Saturday: RHP Chris Volstad (0-0, 5.40) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (1-0, 1.35), 12:05 p.m. CT
Sunday: LHP Paul Maholm (0-1, 13.50) vs. RHP Jake Westbrook (1-0, 0.00), 1:15 p.m. CT
– Carrie Muskat
Paul Maholm never had a chance to feel at home at Wrigley Field. Alex Gonzalez belted a three-run homer to highlight a five-run first inning and Jonathan Lucroy added a solo shot to power the Brewers to victory.
“Obviously, it’s cold and windy but the first inning, it is what it is,” Maholm said. “To put it bluntly, I [stunk]. To put the team down 5-0, it’s not what you want to do.”
The Brewers took a 5-0 lead in the first, sending 10 batters to the plate. Maholm walked two, hit two batters, served up a homer and a double and a sacrifice fly. He needed 41 pitches to get through th einning.
“The pitches they hit out were brutal,” Maholm said. “The pitch Gonzalez hit out — obviously, in the first inning, I hit two guys, walk two guys, so it’s a weird inning. The pitch Gonzalez hit out was a bad cutter so it pretty much turns into a [batting practice] fastball. The pitch Lucroy hit out [in the third] was a changeup that cut right back into his bat so it was almost the same, another B.P. fastball. If you make your pitch, I think different results. Bad pitches and they did what they were supposed to.”
* The Cubs need their starting pitchers to go deep if they’re going to have success this season. Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza and Jeff Samardzija each posted quality starts, and Chris Volstad lasted five innings on Monday. Maholm’s was the shortest outing so far and his briefest appearance since 3 2/3 innings last April 19 against the Marlins.
* Alfonso Soriano hit a RBI single, extending his hitting streak to five games. He’s batting .353. Soriano also made a nice catch of Aramis Ramirez’s ball in the second.
* Geovany Soto hit his first home run of the season leading off the ninth. He was busy trying to get Maholm through the game as well as Rafael Dolis and Lendy Castillo.
* The Cubs first five games have been decided by three or fewer runs. Last season, they opened the year with seven straight games decided by three runs or less for the first time since 1950.
* Ryan Dempster, who is 15-5 in his career against the Brewers, will try to get the Cubs on track Wednesday in Game 3 of this four-game series. Milwaukee will counter with Yovani Gallardo.
– Carrie Muskat