National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, May 26th
(All times Eastern)
Chicago Cubs (15-30) at Pittsburgh Pirates (21-24), 7:15 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Chicago - Paul Maholm (4-3, 4.73)
Pittsburgh - Kevin Correia (1-5, 4.50)
(Sports Network) - A first-round draft choice by the Pirates in 2003, Paul
Maholm became a fixture in Pittsburgh's rotation. Tonight, he'll face his
former team for the first time when the Chicago Cubs try to break a 10-game
skid by playing the middle contest of a three-game series at PNC Park.
Maholm compiled a 53-73 with a 4.36 ERA in 185 career major league starts with
the Pirates from 2005-11 before he was signed this past offseason as a free
agent to a one-year, $4.75 million contract by the Cubs.
After winning four straight starts, Maholm has fallen on hard times recently,
going 0-1 over a two-game stretch. That includes a 6-0 loss to the White Sox
on Sunday, when he allowed nine hits, including a trio of homers, and five
runs over 6 1/3 innings.
Run support has been a problem all season for Kevin Correia. The veteran
right-hander will try to snap a five-start losing streak tonight.
Correia hasn't broken into the win column since his lone victory of the
season, April 15 in San Francisco. He has not received more than two runs of
support in any of his first eight starts and is winless in his last six
appearances overall. He's 3-4 with a 6.28 ERA in 12 games (8 starts) when
facing the Cubs.
Last night, A.J. Burnett worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings and the Pittsburgh
bullpen took care of the rest as the Pirates slipped past the Cubs, 1-0.
It's longest streak of futility for the Cubs since they lost the first 14
games of the 1997 season.
Burnett (3-2) scattered six hits and walked two while striking out six to earn
the victory in the opener of this three-game set.
Jared Hughes, Jason Grilli, Juan Cruz and Joel Hanrahan combined to complete
the shutout for the Pirates, who had lost three of their last four coming in.
"The guys are going out there and doing the best they can. Our job (as
pitchers) is go out there and throw up more zeros," Burnett said. "So when we
do strike, whether it's one or two runs, we'll be alright."
Rod Barajas finished 2-for-4 and knocked in the only run of the game.
Ryan Dempster (0-3) pitched well in defeat, allowing just the one run on seven
hits and one walk over 7 1/3 innings. He struck out six in the loss, which
extended his personal winless streak to 17 games.
Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and Joe Mather all had two hits for the Cubs,
who did manage 10 hits overall, but failed to produce in the clutch by going
0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen has reached base safely in 32 straight
games against the Cubs and in 38 of his 41 career games against Chicago...
The Cubs and Pirates are meeting for the first time since splitting 16
meetings last year. Chicago went 5-2 in Pittsburgh in that span.
05/26 10:27:53 ET