Last night I wrote about the Pirates being in contention in the NL Central. Heck, they even pulled off a trade for a starting pitcher (Wandy Rodriguez), trying to boost their rotation for the playoff race. But the Cubs are enjoying their role as spoilers, and did what they can to start the Pirates’ playoff ship sinking. Paul Maholm led the way to a 5-1 Cubs victory.
“He’s been coming out with all four pitches every night,” manager Dale Sveum said. “He’s staying with the game plan, he’s not shaking off, he’s not doing anything that he shouldn’t be doing. He’s making all the pitches and getting ground-ball double plays and strikeouts. He’s really prepared and doing obviously a great job. It’s something you don’t see too often after five or six starts.”
He became the first Cub lefty starter to have five consecutive starts of at least 6 innings pitched and 1 or fewer runs allowed since 1918. Any chance Maholm gets traded this week?
“Paulie is just one of those guys that’s been around for a long time and I think he’s somewhat coming into his own too,” Sveum said. We forget he had a 3.6 ERA last year even if the wins and losses aren’t there. You have a 3.6 ERA and you have a pretty good year. You take his first start away and maybe one other one and he’s been pretty good for most of the year.”
Is that Dale Sveum’s sales pitch?
Speaking of trades, what’s going on with Ryan Dempster these days?
“I want to look everything over before I make a decision, and I’ve got time to do that,” Dempster said Tuesday. “There’s a week before the Trade Deadline.”
“I’m just trying to look over everything and make the best decision for me and for my family and what I need to do,” he said.
Which is all well and good, and probably what you should have said last week.