May 28, 2011, 4:40 PM EDT
The big surprise here is that neither of his previous shutouts came against the Cubs.
Veteran left-hander Paul Maholm pitched a three-hitter Saturday as the Pirates won 10-0 at Wrigley Field. He struck out four and walked none in the 91-pitch gem.
It was just the second win of the year for Maholm. He leads the NL with seven losses despite an ERA that dropped from 3.65 to 3.18 today.
The Pirates gave some thought to trading Maholm last year, but it would have been a case of selling low. He had his worst year as a big leaguer in 2010, going 9-15 with a 5.10 ERA.
Now that he appears on his way to maybe his best or his second-best season (he had a 3.71 ERA and a nice 1.28 WHIP in 206 1/3 innings in 2008), he could bring a couple of quality prospects in return this summer. The Pirates are also in better position to move him, considering that they’d still have three-fifths of a decent rotation in place with Kevin Correia, Charlie Morton and James McDonald.
But before giving away their players again, we might as well let the Pirates enjoy this one. They’re back up to 24-26 on the season, and they’ll have a chance to go for a sweep in Chicago when Jeff Karstens faces Ryan Dempster on Sunday.
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