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Paul Maholm Pitches Three-Hitter As Pirates Destroy Cubs, 10-0

This was that rare day when everything went right. The Pirates' starter again had an easy game against an offense that looked totally lifeless. In this case, that starter was Paul Maholm, and the Pirates' offense decided to make up for the total lack of run support with a bunch of power, much of it to the opposite field. 

Maholm allowed three hits - two singles and one double - and no walks, and he never even had a particularly difficult inning, getting through most of them with about 10 pitches. 

The Pirates scored two runs in the fourth on a clutch two-run single by Steve Pearce and then a three-run bomb by Ronny Cedeno. That drove starter Randy Wells from the game, and then the Pirates had some fun against James Russell - Lyle Overbay hit a solo homer to lead off the sixth, and then Chris Snyder hit another later in the inning. Scott Maine then came on to pitch the seventh, and after a Jose Tabata walk, Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run, no-doubt opposite-field homer to make the score 9-0. Tabata and Garrett Jones then had back-to-back doubles to lead off the ninth against John Grabow to make it 10-0. (Nice to see Jones hit the ball hard against a lefty.)

Pearce left the game with right calf soreness. With Pedro Alvarez still on the shelf, Pearce hopefully won't be gone long.

This could well be the worst series the Cubs will have all year, and it's probably not fair to draw any rash conclusions, but ... wow. Last week I wrote about the possibility of them getting back into the NL Central race. Now, it's hard to imagine it. They'll get a bump when Geovany Soto comes back, but their offense has looked lackluster. I know we haven't seen top relievers like Carlos Marmol or Sean Marshall yet, but their bullpen looks horrible. Their rotation is a mess, as the fact that they started Doug Davis yesterday indicates.

UPDATE: Gorillagogo points out in the comments that Maholm threw 91 pitches, 66 of which were strikes. So, in the entire game, he only threw 25 balls. He was in complete control.