By Connor McKnight-
WRIGLEY FIELD (CBS) There’s no disguising it. Paul Maholm’s Wrigley debut was ugly.
Whether it was walking the leadoff man, allowing the Brewers to bat around in the first inning or hitting a pair of batters, it might be better to forget this one.
“To put it blunt, I sucked,” Maholm said after the 7-4 loss to the Brewers. “[The first] was a bad inning. I didn’t throw like I normally do. To put the team down 5-0. To even go in the dugout… it’s not what you want to do.
“I don’t know if it was just my first game or just trying to do different things. I didn’t establish my sinker. I didn’t do what I normally do.”
While Maholm’s first inning certainly was rough, he did manage to pitch his way through the fourth allowing just one more run.
The Cubs bullpen finally threw a decent game in relief with Rodrigo Lopez hurling a scoreless fifth and sixth. Although Rafael Dolis worked into a jam by walking the first two batters he faced and coughing up an RBI single to Jonathan Lucroy, Lendy Castillo made his second Major League appearance, and while his control may still have been less than perfect, his scoreless inning dropped his ERA to 5.40.
The Cubs nearly got themselves right back in the ball game in the third. After Alfonso Soriano singled with the bases loaded, the Cubs were poised to strike again when Geovany Soto stepped in with two on.
A diving play by Rickie Weeks, however, kept the ball from the outfield and ended the hopes of an extended rally.
After a 1-4 start to the season it’s been clear that this Cubs team needs quality starts to scratch out wins. The offense has chipped into bullpens and strung together a few base hits, but there is no consistent power and that keeps them from being a real threat late in ball games.