The veteran right-hander gets another shot to please the hometown fans as his Cubs resume their four-game series with the Cincinnati Reds.
Maddux gave up six runs, five earned, and eight hits while walking five in just 3 2-3 innings of Monday’s 13-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates—his first start at Wrigley as a Cub since Sept. 30, 1992.
“I’m upset I didn’t throw the ball the way I want to throw it,” Maddux said. “And at the same time you feel like you let a lot of people down.
“The frustrating part is I felt good. I really did. I enjoyed being out there and you kind of want to do better than you did and it didn’t work out.”
Maddux was drafted by the Cubs in 1984 and spent parts of seven seasons in Chicago, winning the first of his four straight Cy Young awards there in 1992. He went to Atlanta that same season, helping guide the Braves to 10 straight first-place finishes and the 1995 World Series championship.
He signed with the Cubs again in the offseason as a free agent, but has struggled thus far this season. In his first start, he allowed three earned runs and four hits in six innings of a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati on April 7.
“He’s human,” Chicago manager Dusty Baker said. “Everybody wants to get off to a good start. I’m not worried about Greg. He’ll figure it out and be the Maddux we know and expect.”
Maddux, who lost his first three starts last season en route to a 16-11 record last season, threw just 77 pitches against Pirates, only 39 of which were strikes. He walked in a run for the first time since May 15, 1993 and even gave up a base on balls to pitcher Kris Benson.
“Mechanically, I felt good, mentally I felt good,” he said. “It just didn’t go where I was aiming. If I knew why I probably would’ve fixed it earlier. Maybe I can come up with something in the next couple of days to improve on it.”
Maddux will face Paul Wilson, who is off to an impressive start for the Reds.
Wilson allowed just one earned run and six hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday. The right-hander threw seven scoreless innings in his first start of the season on April 7, a 3-1 win over the Cubs.
“It’s a long season, so you don’t want to get too up or too down,” Wilson said of his strong start. “But it’s a nice way to start.”
Chicago starter Kerry Wood was ejected from the game for arguing with plate umpire Eric Cooper as he was being removed from the game by Baker. The incident came one day after Baker was ejected for an on-field tirade after a mix-up on a double-switch.