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MLB Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves Starter Paul Maholm Is Club’s Unlikely Ace

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Paul Maholm is absolutely dealing. Thus far, the left-hander has posted a 3-0 record while allowing a grand total of zero runs in 20 1/3 innings. While rotation mates Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen and Mike Minor have all been great as well, Maholm, who most fans would probably choose as the fourth or fifth most likely member of the staff to be its ace, has been just that.

Maholm isn’t flashy, preferring to go about his business quietly. He doesn’t have a 90-mph fastball or overpowering stuff. In fact, there really isn’t anything about him that makes him stand out. For the 30-year-old former Mississippi State Bulldog, the name of the game is consistency.

During a Braves telecast last week, I saw that Maholm ranks in the top six in the National League in ERA since last year’s All-Star break, along with Medlen and Minor. If he keeps up his amazing work, he may find himself in the top spot sooner than later. Heck, if he continues at his current pace, it’s possible he could sniff Orel Hershisher‘s record 59-inning scoreless streak, set in 1988.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Well, so does the notion that an unheralded hurler like Maholm could lead a staff such as Atlanta’s. And we all know how that has gone through the first two weeks of the season. At the moment, Maholm is arguably the hottest pitcher in Major League Baseball and he’s definitely the best hurler in the NL East.

Josh McKinney is an Atlanta Braves writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SuperJMac32, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.