|Chi. Cubs «||2||0||1||0||1||0||0||0||x||4||8||0|
CHICAGO -- Greg Maddux's final performance as a 30-something pitcher was like so many others during his long career. Efficient, quick and well-conceived.
Now it's time to move on. To his next start in five days and to another decade of life. He turns 40 in two days. And what's he expecting from that milestone?
"Hopefully the same as the 30s," he said Wednesday after beating the Cincinnati Reds 4-1 for his 320th career win. "I don't know. We'll see. I've never been 40 before."
Using an assortment of pitches and speeds, Maddux (2-0) allowed three hits and a run in six innings against a Cincinnati team that hit six homers the day before when, like Wednesday, the wind was blowing out at Wrigley Field.
"It's a factor, don't kid yourself. You feel fortunate to only give up one run on a day like this. Any fly ball is going to go out," Maddux said. "Luckily today they didn't hit too many too high in the air. ... Sometimes you get lucky and they don't pop it up as high off you."
Not only could the Reds not repeat their homer surge of Tuesday, they had trouble making plays in the field Wednesday. They had five errors, all by the third inning, and third baseman Edwin Encarnacion committed three.
"We played about as bad as we could in the first three innings," said Reds manager Jerry Narron, whose team finished with four hits.
"You make more errors than you get hits and you still feel like you got a chance to win the game. ... But the first three innings made me sick."
Cincinnati has another concern. Center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. left the game in the fourth inning after two plate appearances because of stiffness in the back of his right knee, an injury he said is not serious. It occurred in batting practice when he was chasing fly balls.
"It didn't really bother me. It just tightened up a little bit. That was it," Griffey said, adding he didn't know if he could play Thursday.
Maddux didn't surrender a hit until Encarnacion hit an RBI double after a two-out walk to Adam Dunn in the fourth. The Reds threatened in the sixth after two singles, but Maddux fanned Dunn and got Encarnacion on a fly ball to end the inning. Maddux finished with two walks and seven strikeouts.
"He hit his spots well today. When he struck out Tony Womack it was as good of movement and as hard a fastball as I've seen him throw in my time here. He just looks like he's in great shape. We need him to be that way."
Maddux's offseason conditioning program has helped him to the quick start, but insists that's not why he's 2-0.
"Like I said all along, it's not how you work out, it's how you pitch," he said.
Reds starter Brandon Claussen (0-1) gave up five hits and four runs, three earned, in five innings, but didn't get much help in the field.
"Mistakes happen and there is nothing you can do about it," Claussen said. "Sometimes they happen at the beginning of the year, sometimes at the end of the year."
Cincinnati's fielding woes started immediately.
Juan Pierre bunted for a hit leading off and after Derrek Lee walked with one out, they pulled off a double steal that prompted a wild throw into left field from Reds catcher Javier Valentin for the first error. That allowed Pierre to score and Lee to reach third where he came across on Michael Barrett's sacrifice fly.
First baseman Scott Hatteberg dropped a throw to allow Pierre to reach leading off the third. One out later, Encarnacion made his second error of the game with a poor throw to first on Lee's grounder.
After Pierre and Lee worked their second double steal of the game, Barrett hit a hard grounder to third that Encarnacion fumbled for his third error and the Reds' third of the inning as Pierre scored for a 3-0 lead.
Encarnacion had hit his first career grand slam in Cincinnati's 9-2 win over the Cubs on Tuesday.
Barrett got his third RBI with a run-scoring single in the fifth.
|Greg Maddux, who turns 40 on Friday, allows three hits and a run in six innings for his 320th career win. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Tony Womack, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1|
|Felipe Lopez, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||1|
|Ken Griffey Jr., CF||1||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|Ryan Freel, CF||1||0||1||0||1||0||0|
|Adam Dunn, LF||3||1||0||0||1||2||5|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||0||2|
|Scott Hatteberg, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||0||1|
|Austin Kearns, RF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1|
|Javier Valentin, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||1|
|Brandon Claussen, P||2||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Mike Burns, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|a- Brandon Phillips, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|David Weathers, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|a-singled for Burns in the 8th|
|2B - Edwin Encarnacion (, Maddux)|
|RBI - Edwin Encarnacion ()|
|2-OUT RBI - Edwin Encarnacion ()|
|SB - Felipe Lopez (, 3rd base off Maddux/Barrett), Ryan Freel (, 2nd base off Maddux/Barrett)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Claussen-Hatteberg, Claussen-Womack-Encarnacion-Hatteberg|
|E - Edwin Encarnacion 3 (, misplayed grounder), Scott Hatteberg (, missed catch), Javier Valentin (, Wild throw)|
|Brandon Claussen (L,-)||5||5||4||3||2||3||0|
|WP - Brandon Claussen ()|
|Pitches-Strikes - Brandon Claussen 97-65, Mike Burns 29-19, David Weathers 18-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon Claussen 7-6, Mike Burns 4-1, David Weathers 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Brandon Claussen 23, Mike Burns 8, David Weathers 3|
|Juan Pierre, CF||4||2||1||0||0||0||2|
|Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B||4||1||1||0||0||0||2|
|Derrek Lee, 1B||2||1||1||0||2||0||0|
|Michael Barrett, C||3||0||1||3||0||0||0|
|Angel Pagan, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||4|
|Matt Murton, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||3|
|Neifi Perez, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|Ronny Cedeno, SS||3||0||1||0||0||1||2|
|Greg Maddux, P||2||0||0||0||0||0||1|
|a- Todd Walker, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0|
|Scott Eyre, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Ryan Dempster, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|a-singled for Maddux in the 6th|
|2B - Derrek Lee (, Burns), Angel Pagan (, Claussen)|
|SF - Michael Barrett ()|
|RBI - Michael Barrett 3 ()|
|2-OUT RBI - Michael Barrett ()|
|SB - Juan Pierre 2 (, off Claussen/Valentin, 3rd base off Claussen/Valentin), Derrek Lee 2 (, 3rd base off Claussen/Valentin, 2nd base off Claussen/Valentin)|
|CS - Derrek Lee 2 (, Home by Claussen/Valentin, 3rd base by Burns/Valentin)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Greg Maddux (W,-)||6||3||1||1||2||7||0|
|Scott Eyre (H,)||2||1||0||0||1||1||0|
|Ryan Dempster (S,)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0|
|WP - Scott Eyre ()|
|Pitches-Strikes - Greg Maddux 87-58, Scott Eyre 25-16, Ryan Dempster 14-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Maddux 6-5, Scott Eyre 2-3, Ryan Dempster 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Greg Maddux 23, Scott Eyre 8, Ryan Dempster 4|
|Attendance - 37252|
|Game Time - 2:36|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Rick Reed, Second Base - Tim Tschida, Third Base - Ted Barrett|