Offense Erupts as Chicago Cubs End Slide with 6-1 Win

Ryan NeimanContributor IIIApril 21, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 21: Steve Clevenger #51 of the Chicago Cubs congratulates Darwin Barney #15 and Starlin Castro #13 after the win against the Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field on April 21, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Reds 6-1. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

The Chicago Cubs poured it on the Reds 6-1 today as their bats finally came alive to end their losing streak at six.

Paul Maholm earned his first victory in a Cubs uniform, and the Cubs were finally able to prosper with runners in scoring position.

Here is what we learned from this Cubs win.


Paul Maholm looked great: 

Maholm looked masterful all day as he kept Reds hitters off-balanced as they managed only four hits off of the lefty.  What was impressive with Maholm today is he threw fourteen first pitch strikes to the twenty six hitters he faced as he was able to induce seven ground-ball outs.  

Maholm will never be a power pitcher, which is evident by his low strikeout total in in this outing with five, but with his change in pitch speed to keep hitters guessing, he can continue to have outings like this more often. 


Steve Clevenger should start:   

Clevenger is taking full advantage of his playing time and even though he had not played a game since April 17th, he looked extremely comfortable behind the plate and with the bat in his hand.  

He provided an offensive spark the Cubs desperately needed as he went 3-for-4 while driving in a run to boost his batting average to a whooping .588.  It is time for Sveum to take a closer look at who should be starting as his catcher.


Cubs were 5 for 15 with Runners in Scoring Position: 

The Cubs were finally able to drive runners in scoring position including four two-out RBIs.  Hopefully, this trend continues.


Starin Castro committed his seventh error: 

You can hear the moaning all across Chicago as Castro had two errors in today's contest.  In spring training, we were told about the improvements the Cubs made on Castro's defense, but we are still very eager to see where this hard work is at.  

If it was not for the Cubs atrocious record overshadowing his poor fielding performance, he would be sitting on the hot seat everyday.