The 29-year-old left-hander was drafted by the Pirates in 2003 and spent six-plus years, not counting time in the Minors, pitching for the club before signing with the Cubs in the offseason. He is obviously looking forward to returning to PNC Park -- the place he once called home -- and seeing his old teammates.
But more than anything, he is excited to compete.
"Playing with most of the guys, they haven't faced me," Maholm said on Wednesday. "and I'll try to take advantage of that."
Maholm is 4-3 this season with a 4.73 ERA. After beginning the year 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA, he rattled off a four-game winning streak. That streak, however, was snapped in his most recent outing, against the White Sox, in which he yielded five runs on nine hits -- three home runs -- in 6 1/3 innings.
Kevin Correia takes the hill for the Pirates looking to snap a streak of his own. The 31-year-old is 1-5 with a 4.50 ERA this season and has lost five straight games, but a good deal of that can be credited to matchups.
In those five losses, Correia faced Tim Hudson, Johnny Cueto, Stephen Strasburg, Josh Johnson and Max Scherzer. In addition, the Pirates' lineup has struggled, having scored the fewest runs in the Majors so far.
Correia last pitched on Sunday, against the Tigers, firing six innings of four-hit, three-run ball, but he still took the loss.
"I've pitched against some really good pitchers this season," said Correia after he was outpitched by Scherzer, who struck out a career-high 15. "And when they're [at] their best ... There's no room for error. That was probably the best I've felt since my first few starts. They have a tough offense, and I threw it as good as I've thrown this season."
Cubs: Stewart scratched with sore wrist
Third baseman Ian Stewart was scratched from Friday's lineup with soreness in his left wrist, an injury that has nagged him all season. Manager Dale Sveum said that Stewart will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
Entering Friday's game, shortstop Starlin Castro had only hit No. 3 in the lineup this season. However, with the Cubs' offense struggling, Sveum decided to mix things up. As a result, Castro was moved to the two-hole. He entered the game a career .318 hitter in 113 games when batting second, and he went 2-for-5 with a stolen base.
Said Sveum: "I told Castro, 'It's not a demotion, it's more shaking the team up.' He was great about it -- he was like, 'Hey, I just want to win, I don't care where I hit in the lineup.' He took it well and completely understood."
Pirates: Hague called up and pressed into service
With Nate McLouth designated for assignment on Friday, Matt Hague was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis. Hague was immediately placed in the lineup and went 1-for-3 with an infield single.
Correia is 3-4 with a 6.28 ERA in 12 appearances and eight career starts against the Cubs.
Clint Barmes is 13-for-27 with three doubles, a triple, two home runs and nine RBIs in his career against Maholm. Facing Maholm could be good news for Barmes, who is batting .182 this season.
The Bucs and Cubs split the season series, 8-8, in 2011.