Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 05/26/12

Game Forty-Six: Cubs (15-30) vs. Pirates (21-24)
Game Time – 6:15pm CDT
Coverage – TV: FOX Saturday Baseball – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 185/914
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Paul Maholm (4-3, 4.73/1.20) vs. Kevin Correia (1-5, 4.50/1.24)

The last time the Cubs posted a victory was May 14. The Cubs topped the Cardinals 6-4 with Shawn Camp getting the win for the second day in a row and Rafael Dolis picking up his fourth save. The Cubs improved to 15-20 with the win … but that was then and tonight the Cubs will shoot to end their 10-game skid behind Paul Maholm.

Paul Maholm will face the team that selected him in the first round of the 2003 draft (eighth overall pick) for the first time. Maholm pitched six full seasons for the Pirates after making his debut in 2005. Maholm said he is looking forward to pitching against the Bucs … and one thing is for sure, his new team needs him to step up and beat his old team tonight.

Not only does Dale Sveum need a solid start from Paul Maholm, he could also use a couple of crooked numbers from his offense, and not just in the hit column. The Cubs have scored runs in only four of the last 56 innings … but have outhit their opponents in each of the last four games. Injuries have not helped but most of the struggles are due to not making adjustments and simply taking what the pitcher is giving them. Following Friday’s loss, Alfonso Soriano said they are “trying” too much … and he’s right.

Ian Stewart’s status is unknown for tonight’s game. After receiving three days off, Stewart was in Friday’s starting lineup but was scratched after feeling discomfort in his left wrist. Stewart injured the same wrist last season and has been dealing with soreness in the wrist all year. If Stewart cannot go tonight, it would be better for the team for Joe Mather to fill in at third.

The last time the Cubs had a double-digit losing streak was when the ’97 team began the year 0-14.

Tonight it all begins with Paul Maholm

Paul Maholm has dropped off in his last two starts following a string of four straight that he was just about as good as it gets. Maholm is coming off a loss to the White Sox in which he allowed five runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. The first three runs he allowed were on three long, solo home runs. Maholm started running out of gas in the seventh and the Sox took advantage.

Even with struggling in his last two starts (nine runs on 16 hits with three walks and ten strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings, 6.57 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP) Maholm is 2-1 in his last four starts with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP.

Maholm has struggled mightily outside of Wrigley Field this season (1-1 in three starts with a 6.06 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP) but should feel right at home tonight at PNC Park. Maholm posted a 35-31 record in 96 starts at PNC with a 3.80 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP.

Pirates Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Rod Barajas – 3-for-5 with a double and a walk
  • Clint Barmes – 13-for-27 with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and three walks
  • Kevin Correia – 1-for-5
  • Casey McGehee – 6-for-20 with a triple, a home run and four walks

Kevin Correia is in the middle of a rough stretch of outings. Correia has not posted a win since April 15 (in San Francisco) and has lost his last five games. The Tigers scored three runs on four hits with no walks and two strikeouts in six innings against Correia in his last start.

In his last four outings, Correia is 0-4 with a 6.46 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP … he started the year 1-1 in his first four starts with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP.

Kevin Correia has continued to struggle at PNC Park this season. Correia was 2-8 in 13 home starts last season with a 7.71 ERA and a 1.71 WHIP (10-3 in 14 away games with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP) and is 0-2 in three home starts already this year with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.

Kevin Correia is 3-4 in 12 career games, eight starts, against the Cubs with a 6.28 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP … last season, 2-2 in four starts with a 7.11 ERA and a 1.79 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Kevin Correia

  • Jeff Baker – 2-for-6 with a home run
  • Darwin Barney – 6-for-13 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-3
  • Starlin Castro – 6-for-11 with a double
  • David DeJesus – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-7
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-1
  • Paul Maholm – 1-for-3
  • Alfonso Soriano – 4-for-16 with a home run
  • Ian Stewart – 2-for-9 with a double, a home run and three walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver