The Cubs have gotten some pretty good results from the front end of their rotation.
It’s the back end that is killing them.
I was all for the Paul Maholm signing. I have always liked him, but he has really struggled in his two starts for the Cubs.
Maholm was roughed up again Sunday, giving up six runs on six hits in four innings for the second consecutive start. He now boasts a 13.50 ERA. He really seems to be struggling with his command and is leaving his breaking stuff up. He still could be struggling to find his groove after shoulder issues last season.
The bullpen still looks shaky. Lendy Castillo came in the fifth to serve up a 2 run bomb to star of the game Matt Carpenter. Carpenter went 4-for-4 with five RBIs. Rodrigo Lopez gave up 2 earned runs in his two innings.
Dale Sveum ran most of his bench out there today, giving some players like Alfonso Soriano a rest.
He even had a predominantly right handed hitting line-up that included Joe Mather, Reed Johnson and Jeff Baker, despite a right-hander on the mound, the Cardinals' Jake Westbrook.
"Westbrook's numbers against right-handers are far worse than they are against left-handers," Sveum said. "So it's kind of one of those days to get these guys some at-bats."
Johnson was the only one to make any noise with two hits and an RBI. The Cubs scored all their runs meekly on a wild pitch in the fourth, an RBI groundout by Johnson in the fifth and a run-scoring infield hit by Starlin Castro in the eighth.
Defensively Blake DeWitt managed to look really bad without committing an error. DeWitt looked slow to get a single that led to a run and struggled to turn potential double plays that could have helped Maholm out.
This is going to be one of these long days that this club may have to endure until the front office can come up with some answers.
Some of the questions may include does Marlon Byrd and Geovany Soto keep getting the bulk of the playing time? The bullpen may need some new faces soon too, as Shawn Camp and Castillo haven’t looked good at all.
You may also wonder how long the Cubs give Maholm and Chris Volstad before they possibly give Randy Wells and Travis Wood another look?