Wins haven’t come any easier for Paul Maholm since he joined Atlanta. Similar to his Cubs tenure, the lefty’s been short on run support with the Braves plating just 2.6 runs behind him.
But that hasn’t stopped Maholm (2-3) from achieving a quality outing in four of his five starts, including a superb 2.45 ERA and a complete game shutout against the Mets on August 10.
Maholm has, however, been plagued by the long-ball, which has accounted for all 10 earned-runs against him. He’s served up six home runs with Atlanta: a stark contrast to the three home runs he issued over his final 12 starts with Chicago.
A CAREER YEAR FOR PREACHER PAUL
Maholm’s 11-wins this season are already a career-high (10), and it’s possible he could end the season with anywhere from 13-15 victories despite the lack of run support–an impressive improvement for a guy who entered the season with a career record 20-games below .500 (53-73).
Numbers aside, the best change for Maholm has been his place in the standings. For the first time in his career he’s in the thick of the postseason race with the Braves (74-56) who lead the NL wild card race and trail the division leading Nats by only 4.0 games.
So it seems Maholm will get his first taste of postseason baseball this October joining Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson as the top three starters in Atlanta’s rotation.
Late comer, Ben Sheets (4-4, 3.54) could challenge Maholm for the coveted third spot in the rotation. But he’s since fallen back to earth after beginning his comeback (4-1) by losing his last three games.
As disappointing as it was to see Maholm depart Chicago via trade, the returns were strong and much needed for the Cubs rebuilding efforts. Not to mention, I couldn’t be more pleased for a guy whose professionalism alone has always been deserving of a chance to play for a ring.