Game Eighty-One: Cubs (30-50) vs. Braves (42-38)
Game Time – 6:10pm CDT
Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 184/914
Location – Turner Field, Atlanta
Paul Maholm (5-6, 4.84/1.34) vs. Randall Delgado (4-8, 4.52/1.44)
Happy 4th of July from the CCO!
Weather permitting … The Cubs will look to put Tuesday night’s embarrassing loss behind them tonight. Dale Sveum’s team has won six of their last eight games. In the six wins the Cubs have outscored their opponent 25-7. In their two losses, the Cubs have been outscored 27-4. Paul Maholm started the Cubs’ four-game winning streak with an impressive outing against Houston and will look to get his team back in the win column tonight.
Dale Sveum needs a long, effective outing from Paul Maholm. Rafael Dolis looked horrible Tuesday (16 pitches, three strikes) and forced Sveum to stick with Jairo Asencio for the remainder of the game (64 pitches over 2 2/3 innings). Asencio does not figure to be available again before the Mets series. Without a long man in the pen, if Maholm gets in trouble early he could end up taking one for the team.
Today marks the half-way point of the Cubs season … after tonight, the Cubs have 81 games and a lot of changes ahead of them.
Tonight all begins with Paul Maholm … Paul Maholm has said in recent days that he is looking forward to his start in Atlanta against the Braves. Maholm likes pitching at Turner Field due to the weather conditions and what he is able to do with his breaking stuff in Hotlanta. Maholm is coming off his best start of the season (no runs on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings against the Astros) and is looking to build off last outing after posting a 1-3 record in six starts in June with a 5.18 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP.
Maholm has struggled on the road this season (1-4 in seven starts with a 7.15 ERA and a 1.76 WHIP). Teams have hit more than 100 points higher against Maholm on the road (.328) than at Wrigley (.223) … his last win outside of the Friendly Confines came against Roy Holliday and the Phillies on April 27.
Tonight will be Maholm’s eighth career start against the Braves. Maholm owns a 2-1 mark in the first seven with a 1.34 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Maholm beat the Braves at Wrigley back on May 9 (no runs on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts in seven innings) and is 0-1 in four starts at Turner Field with a 1.73 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.
Braves Career Numbers against Paul Maholm
- Michael Bourn – 7-for-32 with a double and three walks
- Matt Diaz – 3-for-12 with a home run
- Juan Francisco – 0-for-1
- Freddie Freeman – 2-for-5 with a double and a walk
- Jason Heyward – 1-for-6 with a walk
- Chipper Jones – 0-for-9
- Brian McCann – 0-for-1
- Martin Prado – 6-for-14 with two doubles
- David Ross – 8-for-26 with two home runs and four walks
- Dan Uggla – 7-for-24 with a double, two home runs and three walks
- Jack Wilson – 0-for-3
The Braves have not gotten what they expected out of Randall Delgado this season … and he is one of the reasons Atlanta is interested in Matt Garza. Delgado struggled out of the gate with a 2-2 record in his first four starts with a 6.30 ERA and a 1.75 WHIP. After things appeared to click in May (1-3 in six starts with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP), Delgado is back to struggling again (1-3 in five June starts with a 4.38 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP). Delgado has not posted a win in nearly a month (June 6) but more importantly, the Braves are 3-7 the last 10 times he’s started a game (0-4 in last four).
Randall Delgado is coming off two short outings. Delgado lasted only 1 1/3 innings against the Red Sox on June 23 and allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and one strikeout. Delgado was able to complete only four innings the last time out. The Nationals scored four runs, two earned, on eight hits. Delgado did not walk and batter and struck out three (0-1 in his last two starts with a 10.13 ERA and a 3.00 WHIP).
Delgado has been successful at home this year (2-4 in eight starts with a 3.66 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP) and will face the Cubs for the second time tonight.
Randall Delgado held the Cubs to one run on three hits with three walks and five strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings on May 8 … the only game Atlanta won during the series.
Tony Campana (1-for-3), Starlin Castro (0-for-3), David DeJesus (1-for-2 with a double and a walk), Bryan LaHair (0-for-2 with a walk), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-2 with a double and a walk) and Geovany Soto (0-for-2) have limited at bats against Randall Delgado.
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