The good news is the Braves scored 6 runs again. The bad news is the other team scored 10 runs. The bad news outweighs the good, sadly.
Things started well, as Atlanta jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Dan Uggla provided the big blow – a 2-run homer in the 2nd. An inning latter, Justin Upton singled in a run while Freddie Freeman scored another on a sac fly. Yay big early leads.
Paul Maholm, however, had absolutely nothing. In a disastrous home half of the 3rd, the soft-tossing lefty surrendered 5 runs and, with them, the lead, largely on the back of an Alex Rios grand slam. Not content to go yet to the pen, Fredi stuck with Maholm to start the 4th. That was a mistake. Maholm surrendered a double and an RBI single, and then left the game anyway with what they’re calling a sprained wrist. David Carpenter then allowed a Grybo to score, and then two of his own runs, and before the 4th inning was over the White Sox had opened up a 9-4 lead. And yeah, that was basically the ballgame.
Maholm’s injury may well render the whole Kris Medlen-to-the-pen thing moot, or perhaps it just allows Brandon Beachy to come back with only Medlen going to the pen – for Alex Wood is down in AAA stretching out as well. I really don’t know what will happen next. What I do know is that Paul Maholm has not been very good since the nice start to his season. He has a 5.33 ERA since his April 14th masterpiece against Washington, and things are only deteriorating: he has now surrendered 15 runs in just over 13 July innings. He’s not striking guys out, he’s walking too many, and he has given up too many home runs lately. Something has to give. Perhaps it already has.
Rubber match tomorrow.