The loss dropped Maholm to 9-8 on the season and his ERA rose to 3.98 after allowing four earned runs in just 4.1 innings. He entered the game with just a 4-5 record, 5.18 ERA and 1.41 WHIP on the road so far in the 2013 season.
The root of Maholm’s issues came in the first inning on Wednesday. It started with a leadoff walk to Justin Ruggiano and quickly spiraled out of control. By the end of the inning, he’d walked two hitters and allowed four hits as the Marlins put a four-spot on the board that proved too big of a deficit for the Braves to overcome.
The left-hander struggled with his command all day on Wednesday, issuing a season-high five walks while throwing just 54 strikes out of his 103 pitches. He threw a first-pitch strike to just 14 of the 25 batters he faced. It was one of those games where the starter just looked uncomfortable the entire game.
As a team, the Braves are now 23-26 on the road this season. While the offense has had its inconsistencies on the road, the starting rotation’s struggles have been the root of the problem. Mike Minor is the only starter on the staff to have a lower ERA on the road than home, and both Maholm and Tim Hudson have ERAs above five.
For Maholm, this will be his last start before the All-Star break, barring anything unforeseen. This will be a good time for the left-hander to analyze his road issues and devise a solution moving forward this season.