Jul 20, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcherPaul Maholm
reacts after giving up a grand slam to Chicago White Sox right fielderAlex Rios
(not pictured) during the third inning at US Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
With the Braves jumping out to an early 4-0 lead after three innings it seemed like they would be locking up another win and a series victory against the lowly Chicago White Sox. However, as is the Braves way, things went in a completely different direction.
Paul Maholm let up five runs in the third inning and then two more in the fourth before being pulled out of the game with a sprained wrist (what did we all say about the injury free starting rotation?). The Braves would only score two more runs in the eighth inning and end up losing 10-6.
According to Brian Hedger of MLB.com, Maholm is expected to make his next start. Either way this isn’t good for Maholm’s hopes of staying in the rotation. With both Brandon Beachy and Alex Wood itching to get a spot at any time, Maholm is quickly looking like the odd man out. Rough outings recently, as well as an injury to his throwing hand (er, wrist) means he’s certainly my pick to go to the DL/bullpen when the time is right.
Offensively, it was still a good night for the team. Each player in the lineup got a hit and Freddie Freeman had an encouraging return from his injury, hitting a two-run homer in the eight inning. Dan Uggla also homered and Andrelton Simmons was in the bottom of the lineup for the second game in a row (eight tonight). Whether this is his new spot in the lineup going forward (fingers crossed) or whether he is hitting here simply because Jose Constanza is faster remains to be seen.
Either way my predictions for the second half are off the charts at this point so I’ll take it all–except for the loss of course. Mike Minor will try and put the team in a position to take the series tomorrow at 2:10 ET tomorrow.