So, when I think of a pitchers’ duel, the names “Paul Maholm” and “Tim Hudson” probably fall in positions 8,437 and 8,438 on the list of pitchers potentially involved. Respectively.
But today, as he has been for the last four starts, Maholm was downright excellent. He gave up only three hits, and while he did walk three, he worked his way out of the jams. The bullpen hung on to close out a 1-0 victory over the Braves, giving the Cubs their second series win in a row.
For all that Maholm shut down Atlanta’s bats, the Cubs didn’t do much on offense either. In fact, the only time we had runners in scoring position was in the seventh, when David DeJesus singled and then advanced to third on a pair of groundouts. Bryan LaHair played the hero yet again, driving him in with an opposite-field single.
The box score will show a Starlin Castro triple. In reality, it was very nearly a two-out inside-the-parker. Castro lined a hit into deep right field that bounced past a diving Jason Heyward and right off of the foul line.
Pat Listach waved Castro (second questionably aggressive send in the past week or so…) and Dan Uggla made an excellent relay throw to nail Starlin at the plate. It was the third out of the inning, and to be honest, I don’t see why you wouldn’t play it safe and hold Castro up with LaHair coming to the plate.
Fortunately, the Cubs didn’t actually need any insurance. Jeff Russell threw the eighth and managed two quick outs, but got into a little trouble when he gave up a single and a walk. He escaped unscathed when Dan Uggla flied out. Rafael Dolis earned the save with a perfect ninth.
We get the day off tomorrow. Matt Garza, hopefully all rested from his flu, will take on Randy Wolf at Miller Park on Friday. Gametime is 7:10 pm on WGN. See you there!