Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Cardinals – 07/29/12

Game One Hundred: Cubs (41-58) vs. Cardinals (54-47)
Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187/914
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Paul Maholm (9-6, 3.88/1.24) vs. Adam Wainwright (8-10, 4.31/1.28)

The Cubs enter play this afternoon with the second best mark in the National League since June 25 (17-10) and Dale Sveum’s team has a shot to win another series (6-1-1 in last eight series) behind Paul Maholm. The Cubs finally figured out how to keep the Cardinals from crossing the plate multiple times in the same inning on Saturday afternoon. After being outscored 32-7 in the previous four games, Sveum’s staff held the high-flying Cardinals offense to just two runs.

Paul Maholm could be making his final start as a Cub this afternoon. Rumors have suggested that several teams are interested in trading for Maholm. Maholm’s old team scouted him before trading for Wandy Rodriguez. The Royals and White Sox have also been mentioned as possible destinations for the veteran southpaw.

From the Rumor Mill … With the non-waiver trade deadline looming (Tuesday at 3:00pm CDT), the Cubs could still make several trades. While the Ryan Dempster saga continues to make the headlines, teams are looking at several players on the Cubs active roster. Geovany Soto (Nationals, Angels) is drawing interest as well as Reed Johnson (Tigers, White Sox) and Jeff Baker (Tigers). According to Bruce Levine, teams have also scouted Shawn Camp and James Russell.

Today is game number 100 of the Cubs’ 2012 season … and this afternoon it all starts with Paul Maholm.

Paul Maholm is in the middle of one of the best runs of his career. Maholm has completed at least eight innings of work in his last two starts and three of his last five dating back to June 29. Maholm has not allowed more than one earned run in a start since his clunker in Arizona on June 23. Maholm is 4-0 in his last five games, four starts, with a 1.20 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP … just four walks, 25 hits, 21 strikeouts and one home run allowed in 30 innings.

Maholm was in the middle of a solid stretch (four wins in a row) from the end of April through the first two starts in May. Maholm ran into the lefty killing Cardinals’ machine, had a rough outing (four runs on seven hits with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings) and it took him nearly a month to get back on track. Whatever game plan the Cubs have given Maholm in his first two starts of the season against the Cardinals (0-1 in two starts with a 9.00 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP) they must throw it out the window for today’s start.

St. Louis has pounded the Cubs’ lefty starters this season and they must change how they are pitching Matt Holliday and company or it will continue this afternoon.

Paul Maholm is 4-7 in 17 career starts against the Cardinals with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP.

Cardinals Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Carlos Beltran – 9-for-21 with two doubles, two home runs and two walks
  • Lance Berkman – 7-for-34 with a double and four walks
  • Matt Carpenter – 2-for-5
  • Allen Craig – 6-for-11 with three doubles, a home run and a walk
  • Daniel Descalso – 0-for-1
  • David Freese – 2-for-11 with a home run and a walk
  • Tyler Greene – 4-for-11 with two doubles and a walk
  • Matt Holliday – 6-for-29 with three home runs and three walks
  • Jon Jay – 1-for-8 with a triple
  • Yadier Molina – 10-for-32 with a double, a home run and six walks
  • Skip Schumaker – 1-for-6
  • Adam Wainwright – 3-for-10 with a double

Adam Wainwright is not the same pitcher the Cubs faced back on April 13 in St. Louis and is much closer to the one that shut them down over six innings at Wrigley on April 24. Wainwright is still having trouble with consistency but for the most part is back to being a dominant starter.

Wainwright has allowed more than two earned runs once in his last four starts and only three times in his last ten. Wainwright is coming off an impressive 7 1/3 innings start against the Dodgers in which he allowed two runs on seven hits with one walk and seven strikeouts … in Wainwright’s last two starts just one walk to go along with 16 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings.

Adam Wainwright is 2-2 in his last four starts with a 2.70 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Wainwright is 0-1 in two starts against the Cubs this season with a 9.00 ERA and a 1.78 WHIP. For his career, Wainwright owns a 6-5 record in 25 games, 16 starts, against the Cubs with a 4.50 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP … at Wrigley Field, a perfect 5-0 in 12 games, seven starts, with a 3.67 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Adam Wainwright

  • Jeff Baker – 1-for-6 with a walk
  • Darwin Barney – 4-for-9 with a double
  • Tony Campana – 1-for-2
  • Starlin Castro – 4-for-9 with a walk
  • David DeJesus – 7-for-16 with three doubles and a home run
  • Reed Johnson – 2-for-3
  • Bryan LaHair – 2-for-5 with a home run
  • Paul Maholm – 2-for-8 with a walk
  • Alfonso Soriano – 8-for-33 with three doubles, a triple and five walks
  • Geovany Soto – 5-for-23 with two doubles, a home run and three walks

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"Build up your weaknesses until they become your strong points." – Knute Rockne