Share This Page

Paul Maholm content to stay with Pirates

As loud as the sellout crowd at PNC Park was Friday night, Paul Maholm didn't notice the noise when he was on the mound.

He was concentrating too hard, he said, on making the next pitch and grinding out a close game against the Boston Red Sox in which he didn't have his best command.

But once he came out of the game and started to let the atmosphere seep in, it was fun to take it all in. He thought about the possibility of being in the same situation in October -- if not this year, then soon.

"Even now, we're one game above .500 but it's completely different than it has been my first five years," said Maholm the day after earning the win in the series opener. "To hopefully be on the team that not only breaks the (losing) streak but gets to play postseason baseball, it's what we play for and what we're looking forward to."

Maholm is in his sixth full season with the Pirates. The team has a $9.75 million club option on his contract in 2012, with a $750,000 buyout. If the Pirates decline to pick up his option, Maholm will test free agency for the first time.

Citing a policy of not commenting on specific trade or contract situations, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington declined to comment on Maholm's situation.

But the 29-year-old left-hander has not kept secret the fact that he would like to remain with the Pirates, a desire he reiterated Friday.

"Now that we've gone through the rough times and it's starting to get good, it'd be tough to not be here whenever it turns over," he said.

Maholm's win Friday improved his record to 4-8, which isn't overwhelming. But Maholm has also had poor run support in a number of his outings, particularly early in the season. The Pirates are scoring an average of 3.3 runs while he's in the game.

His 3.21 ERA is second lowest among starters behind Jeff Karstens' 2.66, and Maholm has won three of his past four decisions.

And while Friday may have been just one game, it was an important one -- kicking off a series in front of a sellout crowd at home against the powerhouse Red Sox.

Whether it was enough to perhaps spark negotiations toward a new deal, Maholm can't say, although he'd certainly welcome the discussions.

"It's just a win," he said. "It was a big win, but we'll see. I'm not going to go beg for it, I'm not going to initiate the talk. If they want me, they want me. If not, there's zero hard feelings. We'll see how the season goes and see where we're at when everything comes down."

Photo Galleries

Pirates vs. Red Sox June 26, 2011

Pirates vs. Red Sox  June 26, 2011

Boston defeats the Pirates, 4-2, at PNC Park. Left fielder Jose Tabata is injured.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.