Paul Maholm Very Shaky In First Start For Chicago Cubs

By Randy Holt

On Tuesday evening, we saw the last of the Chicago Cubs‘ new look rotation make his debut, much to the chagrin of Cub fans everywhere.

The result was another loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, this one of the 7-4 variety. It drops the Cubs down to 1-4 on the season, which is only frustrating when you consider the fact that two games got away from them, and they nearly had another.

Alright, so it’s very frustrating. And we’re only five games in. Tuesday’s game was just another dose of it.

After watching Chris Volstad come out a bit shaky, but eventually figure it out, on Monday, we were all hoping that the no. 5 starter in the rotation, Paul Maholm would look much like his four predecessors in the rotation, who all pitched well in their respective season debuts.

Maholm wasn’t so fortunate. On a cold night at Wrigley Field, Maholm surrendered five runs in the first inning. Alex Gonzalez did most of the damage with a three-run home run. Ten hitters made their way to the plate to face Maholm in that ugly opening frame.

He did settle down a bit, with his night ending after four innings. He allowed a pair of home runs, surrendered a couple of walks, and allowed six earned on the night. Pretty much the opposite of the first three starters in the Cubs’ rotation.

Not that anyone was expecting much from Maholm. He’s very similar to Volstad, but with less upside. He’s typically a groundball pitcher, but can give up the long ball, especially when he can’t locate his pitches. There you go.

Though it wasn’t positive, Tuesday’s loss was a change in pace, with the starting pitching failing, rather than the bullpen. Three Cub relievers combined to allow just one earned in five innings after Maholm came out.

I won’t rush to judgement on Maholm, especially with his first starting coming in such questionable weather conditions. But with the bullpen this bad already, the Cubs can’t afford to have guys going five or four innings, as we’ve seen in the past couple of days.

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