Maddux is attempting to become the first pitcher in major league history to win at least 15 games in 16 straight seasons. Cy Young is the only other pitcher to do it 15 years in a row.
Maddux lost in his first try at the amazing feat, allowing seven runs over 3 2-3 innings in an 8-3 loss to Philadelphia on Thursday.
“I’ll try to get ready for my next start,” Maddux said. “I’ll try to put myself in a position to have success. That’s it. It’s really that simple.
“If it doesn’t work, try it again five days later. If it does work, you still try it again five days later.”
Maddux, the first pitcher to win four straight Cy Young Awards, began his streak in 1988, when he went 18-8 for the Chicago Cubs. He has maintained it despite a strike that wiped out parts of the 1994 and ’95 seasons.
“I will think about what kind of pitcher I’ve been when I’ve retired,” said Maddux, who has 287 career wins. “It does me no good to think about what I’ve accomplished to this point.”
Robert Fick hit his first home run in six weeks as Atlanta reduced its magic number for clinching a record 12th straight division title to three with a 10-6 victory over the Expos on Monday.
Horacio Ramirez won his third straight decision for Atlanta, which got its major league-leading 94th win and moved 10 games ahead of Florida in the NL East.
The teams combined to make five errors, including three by Montreal. Vladimir Guerrero hit his team-leading 25th home run for the Expos.
Montreal, which has lost five of its last nine, trails Florida by eight games for the NL wild-card spot.
STANDINGS: Braves - 1st place, NL East. Expos - 4th place, 18 GB, NL East.
BRAVES PROBABLE STARTER: Maddux (14-11, 4.16 ERA). Maddux is 6-4 with a 4.93 ERA in 15 road starts. He has pitched well since the All-Star break, going 7-3 with a 3.36 ERA. Maddux is 23-16 with a 2.75 ERA in 54 career outings against Montreal. He’s 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts against the Expos this season.
EXPOS PROBABLE STARTER: Tomo Ohka (9-12, 4.60 ERA). Ohka ended a two-game losing streak Thursday, earning a 3-2 win over the Chicago Cubs. The Japanese right-hander pitched eight innings, allowing two runs and six hits. Ohka is 1-5 with a 5.36 ERA in nine career starts against Atlanta.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Braves - Gary Sheffield, .333 avg., 122 RBIs; Javy Lopez, 40 HRs; Rafael Furcal, 122 runs and 25 SBs. Expos - Jose Vidro, .316 avg.; Guerrero, 25 HRs and 78 RBIs; Orlando Cabrera, 92 runs and 23 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Braves, 9-6.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Braves - OF Andruw Jones is batting .478 with four home runs in 23 career at-bats against RHP Ohka. … OF Sheffield is tied for second in the NL with 122 RBIs. … SS Furcal has committed a team-high 31 errors. Expos - SS Cabrera is batting .300 (12-for-40) with two home runs and 10 RBIs career against Maddux. … OF Guerrero has 17 home runs since the All-Star break. … The Expos total attendance is up to 998,270 through 79 home games, including 22 “home” dates in Puerto Rico. Montreal hasn’t surpassed the 1 million mark since drawing 1,497,609 in 1997.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Braves - 43-33 on the road; Expos - 51-28 at home.
INJURIES: Braves - OF Damon Hollins (thumb), 15-day DL; RHP Paul Byrd (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Kevin Gryboski (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP John Smoltz (elbow), 15-day DL. Expos - RHP Orlando Hernandez (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Claudio Vargas (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Tony Armas Jr. (shoulder), 60-day DL; RHP Dan Smith (shoulder), 60-day DL; 3B Fernando Tatis (chest), 60-day DL.