Nine things to know about Greg Maddux
BY BILL CHUCK firstname.lastname@example.org | @billyball July 24, 2014 9:02PM
Updated: July 24, 2014 10:14PM
1 — On Sept. 7, 1986, Greg Maddux earned his first win — an 11-hit, complete-game victory over the Reds. Maddux went 24-16 (.600) in his career against Cincinnati. Putting aside interleague action, the National League team that Maddux had the most success against was . . . wait for it . . . the Cubs, going 12-4 (.750) with a 2.65 ERA. He picked up 35 wins against the Mets, the most against any club.
2 — Maddux made only one Opening Day start for the Cubs, beating the Phillies 4-3 on April 7, 1992. He made seven for the Braves, with the most memorable coming on April 5, 1995, in his Braves debut. He went 81⁄3 innings, allowed no runs and picked up a 1-0 win against (you guessed it) the Cubs.
3 — Arguably the best game Maddux pitched for the Cubs was on May 1, 1988, when he blanked the Padres 1-0 in 10 innings. Maddux, who went the distance, allowed three hits, struck out eight and walked none. Of his 134 pitches, 91 were strikes. His 94 Game Score was the second-highest of his career only exceeded by a 96 when he pitched for the Braves in 2001 and tossed a two-hit shutout, striking out 14 and walking one.
4 — Starting in 1992 with the Cubs and then for the next three seasons with the Braves, Maddux was the NL Cy Young Award winner. Over those four seasons, he was 75-29 (.721) with a 1.98 ERA. He struck out 733 batters and walked 176 in 9462⁄3 innings.5 — Clayton Kershaw, baseball’s best pitcher, had a 1.83 ERA last season, and he has a 1.92 ERA this season. But these two great seasons can’t replicate Maddux in 1994 and 1995, when his ERAs were 1.56 and 1.63, respectively, enabling him to be the first pitcher since Walter Johnson to have successive seasons with ERAs under 1.80. Johnson had a 1.27 ERA in 1918 and a 1.49 ERA in 1919.
6— In 1994, Maddux made 25 starts and 24 quality starts. That 96 percent QS rate is the highest of any starter since 1914.
7 — From 1988 to 2004, Maddux won 15-plus games every season. That’s a record 17 consecutive seasons. During that span, he won 297 games, 29 more than runner-up Roger Clemens. Fellow 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Tom Glavine had 260 victories over that stretch.
8 — On Aug. 7, 2004, in San Francisco, Maddux won his 300th career game, the 22nd pitcher to reach that magic mark. Grover “Pete” Alexander is the only other pitcher to win his 300th in a Cubs uniform.
9 — On July 26, 2005, Maddux struck out Omar Vizquel to end the third inning. It was the 3,000th strikeout of his career. The Cubs are the only major-league franchise to have two pitchers surpass 3,000 K’s in their uniform, both No. 31s: Maddux and Ferguson Jenkins.