Tag:Paul Maholm
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:51 am

On Deck: Bonifacio looking for 26


By C. Trent Rosecrans

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Emilio BonifacioBonifacio going for 26: Marlins outfielder Emilio Bonifacio extended his hitting streak to 25 games last night.  Bonfifacio is 4 for 12 in his career against Thursday's starter for the Nationals, John Lannan. That may not matter, though, as Bonifacio has picked up a hit in his final at-bat five times during the streak, including Wednesday night when he singled off Nationals' right-hander Ryan Mattheus in the eighth inning of the team's 7-5 victory over the Nationals.Brad Hand is on the mound for the Marlins after three starts in Triple-A. Hand is 1-3 with a 2.77 ERA in five starts for Florida this season. Marlins at Nationals, 12:35 p.m. ET

Carlos BeltranBeltran in Philly: Not only did the Phillies not win the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes, they'll have to see what they missed out on up close, as Beltran is expected to make his debut tonight against Philadelphia. Beltran is 6 for 19 with a homer in his career against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. The Giants are expected to have Tim Lincecum back on the mound today after missing two starts due to sickness. Giants at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET

How about playing 9?: The Braves and Pirates went 19 innings on Tuesday and 10 innings Wednesday. The two teams have combined to use 25 relievers in the first two games of the series, so they certainly hope Paul Maholm and Derek Lowe can go long tonight. Maholm is averaging 6 1/3 innings per putting, Lowe is averaging 5 2/3 inning per start. This is nothing new for Atlanta, though, as the Braves have played 22 extra-inning games this season, the most in the majors. Pirates at Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:50 pm

On Deck: Braves/Pirates meet after blown call

On Deck

By Evan Brunell

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PiratesBravesONE DAY LATER: A day after the Braves essentially stole a win thanks to an umpire's blown call, the two teams will meet up with a nice pitching duel lined up. Jair Jurrjens no longer has an ERA under 2.00, but that can be forgiven as it's still low, with a 2.44 line going up against Paul Maholm and his 3.26 ERA. The Pirates are doing everything they can to stay in the NL Central hunt and must feel a bit of pressure at their backs to make up for the loss Tuesday night, as well as the knowledge the Cardinals just upgraded their pitching by adding Edwin Jackson, Marc Rzepcynzki and Octavio Dotel. Pirates vs. Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

RasmusDONE DEAL: The Blue Jays made yet another smart deal on Wednesday, yet another in a series of trades since Alex Anthopoulous took over as GM. The centerpiece in the three-team deal for Toronto is center fielder Colby Rasmus. Rasmus isn't in the lineup for the game, but it's possible he will arrive in time to make an entrance. More than likely, Rasmus' Blue Jays debut will wait until Thursday. Toronto may also be dealing with a short bullpen, having traded away Dotel and Rzepcynzki. They have Ricky Romero toeing the hill against Alfredo Simon. Romero threw eight innings of one-run ball the last time he faced Baltimore, so the Jays will be hoping for a repeat. Orioles vs. Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. ET

GiantsPhilliesPITCHING DUEL: The Giants added their own outfielder on Wednesday, agreeing to add Carlos Beltran for the Mets. There's no chance Beltran has of making it to San Francisco in time for the game tonight, largely because the deal is not yet completed thanks to some procedural moves. It's OK, though, because we've got a nice pitching matchup to make up for it. The Phillies will toss ace No. 4, Cole Hamels, who deserves much more than that label. Hamels has a sterling 2.62 ERA on the year with a 0.96 WHIP, striking out 134 and walking just 29. Tim Lincecum was supposed to go for the Giants but is ill (Barry Zito started in Lincecum's place as well Tuesday night), so Matt Cain will step in Lincecum's place. No problem: Cain's got a 3.06 ERA in 138 1/3 innings. Giants vs. Phillies, 7:00 p.m. ET

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: June 24, 2011 4:41 pm

Pepper: Oswalt hints he may be done

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Just why did Jim Riggleman ditch his job? CBSSports.com senior writer Danny Knobler joins Lauren Shehadi to discuss Riggleman, Ubaldo Jimenez and more. Check it out.

OSWALT END?: It's not just that Roy Oswalt is hurt -- leaving Thursday's start with the Cardinals after just two innings -- but that he may have pitched his last game ever.

Oswalt will not only likely miss his next start, he could also be done. He's already hinted at retirement and with a back injury, it may not be worth it for Oswalt to come back.

After Thursday's outing, Oswalt sounded anything but confident in his return. David Hale of the News Journal has a full transcript of Oswalt's postgame comments, and they don't sound like the comments of someone who is confident it'll be an easy road back.

Heres' the question and answer that says it all to me:

Q: Do you allow yourself to think about your career at this point?

A: I've had a pretty good one.

That sounds like someone who is content with walking away if he gets bad news soon.

We may know more Monday after his scheduled MRI.

HOT SEAT: Edwin Rodriguez didn't last a full calendar year as the Marlins manager and the Cubs' Mike Quade could follow that lead. Quade's on the hot seat (even if general manager Jim Hendry's seat should be hotter). [Chicago Tribune]

LI'L' GOOSE: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle compared closer Joel Hanrahan to Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, and after stifling a laugh, John Perrotto of the Beaver County Times takes a look at the comparison and sees some parallels.

SCOUTING DARVISH: Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was scheduled to see Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish's start on Friday. Darvish may be the top free-agent pitcher this season if he comes to the United States, as expected. The Braves and Twins reportedly had scouts at his last start, when he picked up just his second loss of the season. It was one of his worst starts of the season and he still gave up just one earned run, allowing nine hits and striking out 10 in eight innings. [YakyuBaka.com]

A'S OPEN TO DEAL: The sharks are circling in Oakland, as scouts have been checking out outfielder Josh Willingham, infielder Mark Ellis and left-handed relievers Craig Breslow and Brian Fuentes. [San Francisco Chronicle]

ANOTHER LOOK: Diamondbacks pitcher Josh Collmenter, he of the tomahawk motion, looks forward to facing teams another time so he can prove he's more than a gimmick pitcher. We'll see. [MLB.com]

NICE RIDE: The Toledo Mud Hens players are going to miss Brandon Inge, who was activated by the Tigers on Thursday. During his rehab trip with Detroit's Triple-A team, Inge sprung for a limo for several players to take them from Louisville, Ky., to Columbus, Ohio, skipping the planned bus ride. [Detroit News]

DEJA VU: A St. Louis ace 1-7 through June? (Well, now 2-7 after Thursday night's 2-7) It's been done before. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Dispatch  compares Chris Carpenter's 1-7 start to that of John Tudor's 26 years ago. 

CABRERA'S CASE POSTPONED: The hearing for Detroit first baseman Miguel Cabrera's DUI arrest has been postponed again and rescheduled for July 12. That's the day of the All-Star Game. Cabrera, however, isn't required to be present for this hearing, though, so he can still go to the All-Star Game. [Detroit News]

NO DECISION: Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said he'd prefer not to negotiate during the season (and that doesn't make Jim Riggleman happy), but said it's not a rule. Pittsburgh starter Paul Maholm has said he'd like to sign an extension to stay in Pittsburgh. [MLB.com]

GARDNER'S D: A cool story here from ESPNNewYork.com's Mark Simon looking at the defense of Brett Gardner by talking to scouts, players and stats folks. 

BUCCO FEVER: If you haven't noticed, the Pirates (yes, the team in Pittsburgh) are in a pennant race. Sure, it's not even July yet, but we're talking the Pirates. The folks in Pittsburgh are beginning to take notice. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review]

LAWRIE DELAYED: Blue Jays prospect Brett Lawrie was all but set to be called up at the beginning of the month, but before he could get the call, he was hit by a pitch and broke his left hand. Now he's having trouble gripping the bat and may not be ready until August. [CBCSports.ca]

FIGGINS DILEMMA: If you're following the Mariners, there's plenty of positives around the team -- including a record just a game under .500. But there's one big concern, Chone Figgins. The question for the Mariners is what to do with Figgins, who has two years and $17 million left on his contract. [Seattle Times]

BROXTON'S RETURN: Even when Jonathan Broxton comes off the disabled list, he won't automatically return to closing for the Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly said. [Los Angeles Times]

RETURN OF THE SPITTER: Here's an interesting theory (that I'm pretty sure I don't buy, but still interesting to think about) from Mat Kovach of the Hardball Times -- is the rise of pitching because of the return of the spitball?

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 4:41 pm

10th win proves elusive

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Max ScherzerSometimes you just keep seeing the same phrase over and over and don't notice until you realize it's not just deja vu. The phrase I heard a couple of times in the last week was "attempting to become the majors' first 10-game winner."

Detroit's Max Scherzer was the last pitcher to attempt to win his 10th game of the season -- and like the three other guys to try, he failed. So far, a total of four pitchers -- Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester and Scherzer -- have had a chance at picking up their 10th win of the season. Halladay hasn't lost in his two tries, but he doesn't have a decision in either start.

As a whole, pitchers going for their 10th win of the season are 0-3 with a 4.59 ERA -- that ERA is skewed a bit by Scherzer's stinker last night against the Dodgers in which he gave up six runs on nine hits in six innings in Los Angeles.

The next pitcher "attempting to become the majors' first 10-game winner' is Lester, who goes to the hill for the Red Sox against Pittsburgh's Paul Maholm on Friday.

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Posted on: June 18, 2011 5:17 pm
Edited on: June 18, 2011 5:48 pm

On Deck: Scoreless streakers face off

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Paul MaholmCarlos CarrascoSomething has to give: Pittsburgh's Paul Maholm and Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco enter Saturday's matchup with scoreless innings streaks -- 15 1/3 for Carrasco and 13 for Maholm. Maholm hasn't allowed a run in three of his last four starts, including seven scoreless against the Mets on Monday and a shutout against the Cubs on May 28. Carrasco has been a good omen for the Indians during a rough streak, winning his last two starts as the team has struggled. He's won five of his last six starts, allowing two runs or fewer in four of those starts. Pirates at Indians, 7:05 p.m. ET (Follow live here)

Dan HarenHaren ready to hit: Much of the time when interleague play comes around, the thought of American League pitchers getting their chance at the plate is a joke. Maybe not so much for the Angels, as Dan Haren takes the mound -- and his spot in the lineup -- on Saturday at Citi Field in New York. When Haren was traded from the Diamondbacks to the A's last season, he was hitting .364/.375/.527 -- good for an OPS+ of 136, including a homer in 57 plate appearances. Oh, and he's also 6-4 with a 2.54 ERA this season. Haren's gone at least six innings in all of his starts, but has been burned by poor run support. Since improving to 4-0 on April 17, Haren has allowed two rearmed runs or fewer (going at least 6 2/3 innings each time) five times with just an 0-1 record to show for it. That's something Mets starter Mike Pelfrey can identify with. He's allowed two or fewer earned runs in four of his last six starts, going 0-1 in those games. Angels at Mets, 7:10 p.m. ET (Follow live here)

Rubby De La RosaWandy RodriguezRubby vs. Wandy: While most will remember Rubby De La Rosa and Wandy Rodriguez for their unusual first names, the two add up for a pretty strong pitching matchup. Rodriguez, the Astros' lefty, came off the disabled list on Monday to pitch six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and four walks in a victory against Atlanta. The Dodgers rookie right-hander left his last outing after five innings with a forearm cramp, but still picked up the victory over the Rockies. In two starts, De La Rosa is 2-0 with a 3.60 ERA, striking out 10 and walking eight in 10 innings, while allowing seven hits and four earned runs. Astros at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m. ET (Follow live here)

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Posted on: June 14, 2011 1:25 pm
Edited on: June 14, 2011 2:13 pm

Pirates should keep Paul Maholm


By Evan Brunell

Paul Maholm was supposed to be one of the last players jettisoned from Pittsburgh before the Pirates went on their run of success. While he could still be, there is a groundswell of support for the lefty to stay in town and it all starts with his career-best 3.21 ERA (discounting his six-start season as a rookie in 2005) along with a strong 3.89 xFIP. Maholm, who showed signs of breaking out back in 2008, took a couple steps back the previous two years, in no small part due to luck. But things are breaking his way this year.

OK, the win-loss record isn't, as Maholm is just 3-7, but he's inched his strikeout rate back to just under six whiffs per nine. While his BB/9 is 3.22 which leads to a middling 1.81 K/BB ratio, he's been able to keep his home runs allowed down and induce batters into weak contact on ground balls.

Now, with the Pirates just one game under .500 and an increasing belief that the organization will seek to snap the .500 skid this season to remove the monkey from Pittsburgh's backs, it's possible Maholm could stay in town, whether his $9.75 million option is picked up or via a contract extension, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

"I'd definitely talk to them," Maholm said. "I said that in the spring. They control everything. They have the option. They have the ability to trade me. They have the ability to wait and see what happens. ...

"I'm not going to beg for [a new deal], but I'd be open to what they have to say. I enjoy the guys here. I enjoy the staff. The fans are great. I like the city. Why wouldn't I talk to them? I haven't heard anything from them yet and I don't know that I will. I just hope they come to me soon if they are going to do it. I don't want them to come to me the week of the trade deadline and hit me with everything right then."

If Maholm hits the free agent market, there's no doubt he would attract plenty of interest, especially given the paucity of free-agent starting pitchers available. Despite a fastball that struggles to hit 89, Maholm has pitched more innings since 2006 than any left-hander except Cole Hamels. That type of durability is a major attraction, especially as a pitcher.

"I think guys know that, no matter what, I'm going to put it all out there," Maholm said. "They know I'm going to battle and expect to win every game. I'm never going to give up."

The Pirates would be wise to extend Maholm, as their rotation is currently comprised of Kevin Correia, who is in the first year of a two-year deal and is best treated as a middle-of-the-rotation starter; Jeff Karstens, who is currently befuddling everyone with his success; Charlie Morton (ditto, but he may last) and James McDonald, who could be better than he is if he could firm up his command. There's also injured starter Ross Ohlendorf, but it's anyone's guess what he can contribute.

The Pirates do have some intriguing pitchers at the high levels of the minors in Brad Lincoln and Rudy Owens (plus Gerrit Cole, drafted with the No. 1 overall pick who could debut next year) but all in all, it's a rather motley crew. Extending Maholm would give the Pirates a long-term piece in the rotation for the next three to five seasons that they can actually count on.

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Posted on: June 13, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 5:39 pm

On Deck: Mets looking to reach .500

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Evening out: The Mets have a chance at improving to .500 with a win over the Pirates tonight. Mike Pelfrey is coming off a good start against the Brewers, but he was battered by the Pirates the last time he faced them, allowing 10 hits and seven runs in five innings. The Mets are 32-33; the Pirates are 31-33 and have Paul Maholm on the bump. Maholm is 2-7 on the season, but has a 3.39 ERA and has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 10 of his 13 starts this season. Mets at Pirates, 7:05 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring)

Anthony BassBass debut: San Diego's Anthony Bass will be making his big-league debut in place of the injured Aaron Harang. Bass is a combined 7-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 12 starts in Double-A and Triple-A. Last season the 22-year-old led the Class A California League in ERA (3.13), WHIP (1.09), opponents average (.248) and walks per nine (1.4). He went to the same high school as J.J. Putz and broke Putz's high school record by striking out 19 batters in a game. Bass faces Aaron Cook, making his second start of the season. He struck out four in 5 2/3 of a no-decision against the Padres last week. Padres at Rockies, 8:40 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring)

Road, sweet road: The Angels kick off their 12-game, four-city road trip tonight in Seattle, while the Mariners will play 15 of their next 18 games at Safeco Field. The Angels are on the road to make room for U2, which will be playing Angel Stadium on Friday and Saturday. The band needed the extra time for setting up and disassembling its massive stage. On the trip, the Angels will visit the Mariners, Mets, Marlins and Dodgers. Angels at Mariners, 10:10 p.m. ET (Follow live scoring)

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Posted on: May 29, 2011 1:19 am
Edited on: May 29, 2011 1:34 am

3 Up, 3 Down: Clutch Corey

By Matt Snyder

Corey Patterson, Blue Jays. Does it get any better than a five-hit game? It does if the fifth one was a walk-off home run in the 14th inning. Patterson went 5-7 with four runs scored and the provided the big blow in the Jays' extra-innings victory over the White Sox Saturday afternoon. Granted, he may have seen a pretty fat pitch with the great Jose Bautista (are we getting used to that yet, or does it still sound weird?) standing in the on-deck circle, but Patterson still had to deliver. He did, in a big way. The Blue Jays, meanwhile, are still lingering in the AL East (3 1/2 games back).

Paul Maholm, Pirates. I could have included the entire Pirates team here, as the offense pounded 10 hits and four home runs en route to a 10-0 victory over the Cubs. Here's why I didn't, though: This was the least the offense could do for Maholm. He entered the game with a respectable 3.65 ERA and was just 1-7 because he was receiving an average of 1.42 runs in support per start. Talk about your bad fortune, and because of it, people who still judge pitchers solely on wins and losses -- and there are plenty of them -- would think he sucks. Throw that 3.65 ERA in 61 2/3 innings on high-powered offensive team and Maholm's a pretty solid pitcher. For comparison's sake, Max Scherzer is 6-2 with a 3.86 ERA. Jon Lester is 7-1 with a 3.36 ERA. Anyway, when Maholm got the support Saturday in Wrigley, he made it stand up. He needed only 91 pitches to slice through the Cubs' lineup, allowing only three hits, no walks and no runs. That ERA is now all the way down to 3.18. He deserves respect, so please ignore that unfair 2-7 record.

The Brewers' walk-off win. Jonathan Lucroy stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth Saturday afternoon. He brought a .328 batting average, five homers, 23 RBI and had a 1.110 OPS since May 8. He entered as a pinch-hitter for fellow catcher Wil Nieves. Oh, and Lucroy had zero sacrifice bunts in 423 career plate appearances. So when Ryan Braun broke for home (from third base) and Lucroy put down a suicide squeeze bunt to win the game, it was a thing of beauty. You don't often see a walk-off suicide squeeze, and you definitely don't often see a team take a risk like the Brewers took Saturday. Say the inexperienced bunter Lucroy pops it up? Double play, inning over. What if he whiffs? Braun is dead to rights at home and now a two-out hit is needed. A sacrifice fly, base hit or fielder's choice wins the game for the Brewers, but instead they won with a suicide squeeze from a dude who never bunts. No guts, no glory.

Tony La Russa, Cardinals. After Jaime Garcia allowed six runs in the first inning and one in the second, I was ready to list him here. Then he suffered and suffered and suffered some more in the fourth inning until La Russa finally, mercifully removed his man. At the end of the outing, Garcia had thrown 106 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, having allowed 11 hits, 11 earned runs and four walks. His ERA went from 1.93 to 3.28. I'd really like to understand the rationale for a manager to just leave his best pitcher out there as he's taking a beating like that. There's no reason to tire him out when the game's out of hand -- Garcia told reporters after the game he was cooked -- and now you have to worry about confidence issues heading into the next outing. There's just no reason to leave him hung out to dry like that in his first bad outing of the season.

Sean O'Sullivan, Royals. There was so much bad about this, it's hard to know where to begin. O'Sullivan gave up a whopping 15 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up 10 runs. He allowed back-to-back-to-back home runs in the second inning to Mitch Moreland, Mike Napoli and Endy Chavez. He walked two yet struck out only one. The cherry on top -- via SI.com's Joe Posnanski -- is that O'Sullivan became the first pitcher this season to cough up five home runs in a single game. It has now only happened 87 times in baseball history. That's pretty rare. For some perspective, teams like the Reds, Phillies, Yankees, Cubs and Braves have played more than 15,000 games. So, yeah, rough night for O'Sullivan.

Seattle fans/security. Four times -- FOUR! -- a fan ran onto the playing surface Saturday night in Safeco Field during the Yankees-Mariners game. The third one was stark naked. What an absolute embarrassment for the four morons who think they did something cool, but even more of one for the Mariners organization. I can see how one or even two could slip past the goalie. There are lots more fans than security personnel. But after being beaten twice, you gotta pull out the big guns and start lining up employees along every single section to make sure there are no more. Not only is a field intrusion a nuisance, but it's a severe risk to the players, coaches, managers and umpires. Who knows what these people running on the field are capable of? Lock it up, Safeco Field.

As for any fans who might think it's cool and/or funny to repeat the feat? It's not. If you disagree, you are a loser in major need of a life.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com