Results tagged ‘ Paul Maholm ’

July 17 – 19, 2012; vs. Marlins – Series Preview

Florida Marlins Logo - Marlin leaping over black F with silver & black outlines

The hottest team in the majors since June 25th?  That’s right, the Cubs.  The record says so, the Cubs are 12-4 since June 25th and are clicking on all cylinders as they welcome the Miami Marlins to town.  Or should I say they welcome the circus to town as Tuesday will mark the return of Ozzie Guillen, Mark Buehrle, and Carlos Zambrano to Chicago.  Guillen had an opportunity to set his rotation for this series and he chose to have Zambrano watch all three games from the bench.  Of course I guess that could be good for all parties involved.  The Cubs only care about one thing, and that’s winning, which is what they have been doing as they come into this series on the heels of a three game sweep over the Diamondbacks.  A big reason for the success has been the Cubs starters who have had an ERA under two over the last five games and have the opportunity to continue that dominance as they face a scuffling Marlins offense (14th in runs scored in the NL).  The improved lineup has been another big reason for the Cubs turnaround, and there’s no reason to expect them to slow down against a Marlins staff that is ranked 11th in the NL in team ERA.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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Rain Can’t Cool Off Cubs

Judging by today’s performance I’m going out on a limb and saying the four-day all-star break was the most beneficial for Alfonso Soriano.  Soriano led the charge for the Cubs as they opened the second half much like they finished the first half, blowing out an opponent.  The Diamondbacks jumped on top of the Cubs in the first inning after a three-hour and forty minute rain delay, plating a single run on two hits off of Maholm, that was the only run Maholm would surrender as he was stellar again.  After the Cubs tied the game at one in the second they went off against starter Ian Kennedy while dodging rain drops.  The Cubs scored in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh inning on their way to an 8-1 blow out.  As I mentioned, Soriano led the way, he finished the day 4-for-4 with two doubles, two home runs, five RBI’s and three runs scored, probably Soriano’s best game since the 2007-2008 seasons.  He wasn’t alone in his destruction of D-Backs pitching as Anthony Rizzo also had a good day finishing 2-for-4 with two runs scored.  The offense didn’t need eight runs, though it was nice to see, because Maholm was on top of his game.  Maholm secured his seventh victory of the season by going seven strong innings giving up one run on six hits while walking one and striking out five.  After today’s effort Maholm’s ERA dropped to 4.33 on the season.  The Cubs are putting it all together right now, they are 7-3 in their last ten, and have raised their home record to .500 on the season.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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July 13 – 15, 2012; vs. Diamondbacks – Series Preview

 Arizona Diamondbacks Logo - Turquoise, purple and copper A above Diamond Backs in purple and copper

Finally Cubs baseball is back on Friday, and with the way the Cubs have been playing that is actually a good thing.  The Cubs are red-hot, winning nine of their last fourteen games which has moved them out of last place in the Central Division.  The Diamondbacks have taken a step back this season after being one of the surprise teams last year.  Sub par years from Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy have contributed to that fall from the top of the West.  Mediocre is a word that should be used in describing the D-Backs season to this point, they are 6th in runs scored, and 10th in ERA in the National League respectively.  The Cubs still sit near the bottom of the league in both runs scored and ERA but this has been a different team since Anthony Rizzo got the call near the end of June.  In order for the Cubs to be successful this weekend they are going to have to get a lead early against the D-Backs starters as they rank near the bottom of the NL, 14th to be exact, in starter ERA with a 4.26.  While the pen for Arizona is 6th best in the National League, full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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Maholm Strong Again as Cubs Beat Braves

It’s a winning formula, solid defense, great pitching, and home runs, the Cubs did all of that to celebrate the Fourth of July and beat the Braves 5-1.  The Cubs are now 4-2 against the Braves this year, and they will look to win the four game series tomorrow night.  Paul Maholm was stellar for the second straight start, he went six innings allowing one run on eight hits while walking one and striking out five to earn his sixth win of the season.  The Cubs jumped on top in the first inning after hits from Castro and Rizzo put men at first and third with Soriano up.  The Cubs almost executed a delayed double steal perfectly however Rizzo was caught stealing second, but it did allow Castro to score to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.  The Braves tied the game at one in the third on a single by Martin Prado after a Michael Bourn triple, that was all Maholm surrendered.  Recently named all-star Bryan LaHair put the Cubs on top for good in the fourth inning with his 14th home run of the season.  The turning point of the game might have come in the bottom of the sixth when Alfonso Soriano made a spectacular throw to gun down Chipper Jones at the plate to keep the Cubs ahead by one.  The Cubs tacked on in the seventh when Darwin Barney scored on a wild pitch, and Jeff Baker followed with a pinch hit solo home run off of Jonny Venters.  Anthony Rizzo continues to impress as he closed out the scoring with his 3rd home run of the season, a line drive that got out in a hurry, both Rizzo and LaHair finished the night with two hits.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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July 4, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Braves

The Cubs will look to get back in the win column sending Paul Maholm to the mound to face Randall Delgado and the Braves.  Here’s a look at the rest of the Cubs lineup.  The game can be seen on WGN starting at 6:10 CT.

DeJesus – CF
Castro – SS
Rizzo – 1B
Soriano – LF
LaHair – RF
Soto – C
Barney – 2B
Valbuena – 3B
Maholm – P

Go Cubs!
Mark

 

July 2 – 5; @ Braves – Series Preview

 

Atlanta Braves Logo - Crossed tomahawks on a blue circle with Atlanta Braves 1876 inside.  Worn on the sleeves of home alternate / throwback uniform.

The Cubs are riding quite possibly their best streak of the 2012 season as they roll into Atlanta for a four game series.  Winning five of their last six, the Cubs have been getting solid pitching and clutch hitting, the timely hits have mostly come from Anthony Rizzo.  Rizzo has played five major league games for the Cubs, the Cubs are 4-1 in those games with Rizzo getting the game winning hit in three of them.  The Braves have actually been better on the road then at home where they have an 18-20 record.  In order for the Cubs to keep rolling they are going to have to shut down a rather potent Atlanta offense, the Braves have scored the 4th most runs in the National League.  As long as the Cubs stay patient they should have a pretty good look at the Braves pitching staff, as they have walked the 5th most guys in the National League.  Finally some exciting baseball, let’s hope the Cubs can continue their strong play and at worst earn a split in Atlanta.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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Cubs Use The Long Ball to Back Stellar Maholm

Break up the Cubs, okay not really but after today’s win they have now won three out of four and for a team with 49 losses before July that’s something worth noting.  Fans at Wrigley Field got the best of both Worlds today as they witnessed home runs and stellar pitching from Paul Maholm.  Maholm was outstanding, as he had everything working and kept the Astros hitters off-balance all day.  Unfortunately Maholm put two guys on in the ninth before he was lifted for Carlos Marmol, falling just short of his first complete game as a Cub.  The final line for Maholm, 8.1 innings giving up no runs on four hits while walking one and striking out six to earn his 5th win of the season.  As I mentioned, the fans were treated to the long ball today, three of them in fact.  Luis Valbuena who has shown some solid power since getting recalled to the Cubs hit his third home run of the season to put the Cubs up 1-0 in the bottom of the second.  Steve Clevenger joined the fun in the fourth inning launching his first major league home run, a two run shot to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.  Alfonso Soriano rounded out the scoring with his team leading 15th home run of the season to give the Cubs a 4-0 lead, Soriano finished the day 2-for-4.  It was nice to see Bryan LaHair get back on track as he went 3-for-4 in the win, and Carlos Marmol continued his strong stretch since being plugged back into the closer role by earning his 6th save.  Full box score and highlights after the jump.

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June 29, 2012 – Cubs Lineup vs. Astros

The Cubs look to build off of a solid series against Mets when they welcome the Astros to Wrigley today.  Paul Maholm will be tasked with stopping the Astros in game one.  Here’s how the Cubs will line up today at a soggy Wrigley Field.

1. DeJesus – CF
2. Castro – SS
3. Rizzo – 1B
4. Soriano – LF
5. LaHair – RF
6. Clevenger – C
7. Barney – 2B
8. Valbuena – 3B
9. Maholm – P

Thanks for reading, Go Cubs!
– George

June 28 – 30; vs. Astros – Series Preview

Houston Astros Logo - Shooting gold star with Houston Astros script

The Cubs are slowly becoming fun to watch thanks to the promotion of Anthony Rizzo.  Finally something to watch and look forward to in an otherwise lost season for the Cubs.  The Astros have the fewest road wins in all of major league baseball(9) so that bodes well for the Cubs this weekend.  Nothing really jumps off the page that impresses you about the Astros, but they have been able to score some runs as they sit 9th in the NL.  Where they struggle is on the mound as their team ERA is good for 14th in the NL, just ahead of the Cubs.  The Cubs are going to have to take advantage of the poor Astros staff because you know the Astros hitters are going to score some runs as its projected to be in the mid 90’s all weekend, which usually means the ball with be flying all over the park.  The Cubs should have some extra incentive to stick it to the Astros as they swept the Cubs earlier this season in Houston.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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June 22 – 24; @ Diamondbacks – Series Preview

Arizona Diamondbacks Logo - Turquoise, purple and copper A above Diamond Backs in purple and copper

Finally a new team!  The Cubs head to Arizona to take on the D-Backs over the weekend, and the Cubs are riding high coming off of a series win at US Cellular Field over the White Sox.  Sure it’s just a series win, but considering it happened on the road it’s a big deal as the Cubs have a lot of trouble away from Wrigley.  The Cubs will battle a D-Backs team that is trying to find their way after being a pleasant surprise last season.  The D-Backs currently sit one game below .500 and in third place in the West, 7.5 games behind the Dodgers.  The normally potent Arizona lineup is good but it usually is so much better, a down season so far from Justin Upton, an injury plagued year from Chris Young, and a missing (injured) Stephen Drew all contributed to the less than stellar numbers, up until the last series.  The Cubs need to hit to stay in these games, the last two games against the Sox won’t be good enough in Arizona because I have a feeling they are about to explode, check that, continue their recent pace, as they scored 30 runs in a three game series against the Mariners.  Maybe the addition of one Anthony Rizzo might help, rumor has it that June 23rd is the day Rizzo could be called up and not lose a year of eligibility, nothing confirmed obviously, but stay tuned.  Full preview/breakdown after the jump.

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