Maholm and Cubs Back in the Win Column

I’m sure that’s a huge relief for Paul Maholm, probably for the Cubs too.  After two rough, well, bad outings the newly acquired Paul Maholm showed his employer and fans that he isn’t a complete disaster by going a strong six innings to tally his first win of the year and put a halt to the Cubs six game losing streak.  The Cubs got to Reds starter Mike Leake early as they put up five runs in the first two innings, and that was all that Maholm and the Cubs needed for the victory. Full Recap and box score after the jump.

FULL BOX SCORE

Another day and another ominous start for Maholm and the Cubs as the Reds jumped out in front in the top of the first.  Brandon Phillips roped a one out single to left field to score Zack Cozart and put runners at first and second.  That’s when Maholm went to work and probably got the two biggest outs of the game considering how yesterday’s game went.  After falling behind 4-0 in the first yesterday, the Cubs did not want to find themselves in a big hole again today, and Maholm avoided that by getting Ludwick and Rolen to strike out.  The Cubs were quick to answer in the bottom of the first.  DeJesus and Barney started the inning with base hits, giving the Cubs 1st and 3rd with nobody out.  After Castro couldn’t get the job done, LaHair put a good swing on a ball up in the zone to record a sacrifice fly and tie the game at one.

The second inning is where the Cubs really did the damage.  Steve Clevenger led the inning of with a base hit to right field, and advanced to second on a Blake DeWitt ground out.  Joe Mather who was getting the start for the much maligned Marlon Byrd followed with a ringing double to left center scoring Clevenger to give the Cubs a 2-1 lead.  For the first time maybe all year the Cubs came up clutch with two outs after Maholm struck out.  DeJesus, Barney, and Castro all followed with hits.  DeJesus knocked in Mather with a single to center, Barney knocked in DeJesus with a double to left, and Castro knocked in Barney with a triple to left, and just like that it was 5-1 Cubs.  What’s more impressive is the Cubs actually scored some runs by using the gaps, something that we mentioned yesterday that was really lacking.  The Reds looked like they were going to try to make a game of it in the 7th inning when Tony Campana lost a fly ball in the sun, and then couldn’t come up with a sinking liner to put Reds at 2nd and 3rd with no one out.  James Russell who could have easily folded with some bad breaks behind him, didn’t.  He got a lineout from Stubbs, struck out Votto, and got Brandon Phillips to fly out to end the Reds rally with no damage done.  Carlos Marmol came in and nailed down the victory for the Cubs, much-needed for both the Cubs and Marmol.

Born on Third’s Thoughts:
While it might not have been pretty, two more errors from Castro, it was a win, and I will take that any day.  Really like the effort from Maholm on the day, he has been trying hard, maybe a little too hard to prove to the Cubs and the Cubs fans that he was worth being signed in the off-season, this start should make him feel good.  It was nice to see the Cubs get some big two-out hits, extra base hits no less.  It’s amazing the amount of runs a team can score when they aren’t just going station to station.  All I can ask for at this point is to be in a position to win the series, and the Cubs are in that position now, let’s take care of business tomorrow, go Cubs!

Highlights:
Castro’s RBI Triple
Clevenger’s RBI Single
Great Play by Castro
Barney’s RBI Double
DeJesus RBI Single
Mather’s RBI Double

Thanks for reading,
– George

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