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Notes: Maholm starting to draw trade interest

CHICAGO – Cubs starter Paul Maholm would like to stay in Chicago, and manager Dale Sveum is looking forward to Wednesday – or 3 p.m. Tuesday as he put it.

“It is what it is,” Sveum said of possible trades as the [Tuesday] deadline nears. “If it happens, you’re curious to see the guys you get in a trade. Sometimes, they’re two to three years away or a year away. Maybe, they’re ready.”

While starters Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza have been the subject of trade rumors for weeks now, Paul Maholm’s name has recently surfaced as he has been the hottest pitcher in baseball, according to Sveum.

“There’s a reason I signed here. I’ve always enjoyed playing here throughout my career,” Maholm said after the game in response to a question about him being part of the rebuilding. “There’s an option [for next year]. I finished the year last year hurt. They gave me a chance to come in and prove that I was healthy, and I am.”

“Hopefully, we can turn this into a long-term thing. We’ll see how everything unfolds and go from there.”

Maholm bolstered his value Sunday after pitching 62⁄3 innings, allowing only one run on four hits. In his past six games, the 30-year-old left-hander is 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA.

“People forget that the won-loss record wasn’t all that great last year, but he had a 3.6 ERA, which, if you throw a 3.6 up there, you are in the top of the class with starting pitchers,” the first-year manager said of Maholm. “He’s a bona fide starter, and this year you take away two starts, and it’s a pretty impressive resume this year as well.”

With Sunday’s start, he becomes the first Cubs left-handed pitcher in the modern era to allow one or fewer runs in six consecutive starts while pitching at least six innings in those starts. This comes after Maholm started this year on a rough stretch where his ERA has consistently been in the high-4s and low-5s.

His ERA dipped below 4.00 for the first time after Sunday’s outing.

Today’s starter: Justin Germano will start against the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight, Sveum said after Sunday’s game.

The 29-year-old right-hander, who was acquired July 19 from the Boston Red Sox for cash considerations, would make his first start after being traded. 

“He’s not going to light up the radar gun or anything. He’s got great arm speed on all of his off speed pitches, He changes speeds on a slow curveball anywhere from 69 to 75 mph.” Sveum said. “He’s just crafty more than anything.”

His only outing with the Cubs came against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. He took the loss July 21 after allowing the first run during the 12-run seventh inning for the Cardinals.

Sveum will limit Germano to between 80 and 90 pitches.

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