FriarBall: Flashback Friday: Greg Maddux

Friday, May 11, 2007

Flashback Friday: Greg Maddux

I'm tired of complaining about the latest losing streak so I thought I would introduce a regular segment that looks back at the beginnings of some of the more "seasoned" veterans on the team (Note: I realize this post finally made it up after the Padres won Friday night but I did start this before the game).

Inspired by Wednesday's matchup between two future Hall-of-Famers, I decided to look back to the first appearance of Greg Maddux back on September 2, 1986 when his Chicago Cubs lost to the Houston Astros 8-7 in 18 innings.

Maddux, a 20-year-old end of season call up, actually entered the game as a pinch runner in the bottom of the 17th for catcher Jody Davis - moving to pitcher at the top of the 18th. After getting Craig Reynolds to groundout to second to lead off the inning Maddux gave up the game-winning run to Billy Hatcher on a home run. Maddux settled down and got the last two outs but the damage had been done. Maddux picked up the loss and ended the game with an ERA of 9.00. Quite the forgettable beginning.

By the way, one other player from that game is still active, current Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, who started for Chicago and faced off against Nolan Ryan. Future MLB manages Davey Lopes, Phil Garner and Terry Francona all were players in that game and current Padres outfield Jose Cruz Jr's father was in the outfield for the Astros.

Maddux finished his shortened '86 season 2-4 with a 5.52 ERA and '87 wasn't much better (6-14, 5.61). But in his second full season he turned things around, going 18-8 with a 3.18 ERA and after 21 seasons (plus seven appearances in 2007), Maddux is 335-205 with a 3.07 lifetime ERA and 3,195 strikeouts in 4,658 innings pitched - future Hall of Fame numbers.

Not bad for a guy who was 8-18 in his first 36 games.

(One final note: Game and career information was obtained from

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