Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Chicago Cubs [Print without images]

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Maholm, Cubs' bats missing their marks

By Bruce Levine

Paul Maholm
Paul Maholm hasn't earned a win since early May.

MILWAUKEE -- Cubs starter Paul Maholm, like his team, is in a funk.

The left-hander lost his third straight decision Wednesday night and has not won a game since May 9. Manager Dale Sveum made the decision to take Maholm out after he gave up 4 runs in the 4th inning.

“He just couldn’t keep the ball down in the inning, he gave it up,” Sveum said. “He got the ball up to Braun. His change-up was up, so he just couldn’t get the ball down.”

Maholm was not pleased when Sveum pinch hit for him in the fifth inning.

“I understand it, but I’m never going to agree with it,” Maholm said. “I want to go deeper into the game, but I completely understand the move, but me, I want to be out there.”

Maholm has thrown just 14 1/3rd innings over his past three starts during which he has given up 10 earned runs.

Despite scoring 10 runs on Tuesday night, the Cubs have been swinging and missing at a record pace. Sveum’s club has struck out 29 times in the past two games and had a season-high 15 whiffs against Zack Greinke and two relievers on Wednesday.

“Today we really didn’t put together any good swings or anything,” Sveum said. “(Greinke) kept the ball down, we just didn’t cover the outer part half of the plate.”

Geinke has now run his Miller Park record to 15-0 since being traded by Kansas City before the 2011 season.

“When you have chances and you don’t come through, you start pressing when you have a guy like him on the mound,” said Cubs outfielder Tony Campana, who struck out four times Wednesday. “They are tough guys to hit against out there. It’s not really an excuse because you just can’t chase stuff like I have been doing the last couple days.”

Campana has struck out seven times in his nine at-bats. He has led off the past two contests with strike outs.