Now that his 300th career victory is out of the way, Greg Maddux will turn his focus to the Chicago Cubs’ postseason push as they open a three-game series with the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
Maddux reached the coveted milestone in an 8-4 victory at San Francisco on Saturday, giving up four runs, seven hits and three walks over five innings. The 38-year-old right-hander became the 22nd pitcher in major league history to reach 300 victories, and just the second Cub after Grover Cleveland Alexander did it in 1924, also against the Giants.
Maddux earned his 300th in just his second try. He didn’t receive the decision in his first attempt on Aug. 1 when the Cubs beat Philadelphia 6-3.
“It’s more of a sense of relief more than anything,” Maddux said. “Hopefully, we can move on. I don’t think anybody got too caught up in it to begin with. We can put it behind us and do what we can to get to postseason.”
Maddux, who has a major league-record 16 straight seasons with 15 or more wins, is 4-0 with a 2.31 ERA in his last five starts.
The Cubs hold a one-game lead over San Diego for the NL wild card after losing two of three to the Padres, including Thursday’s 5-4 defeat.
Ramirez, who leads the team in hitting, RBIs and runs this season, left after the fourth inning as a precaution. The third baseman has been bothered by a groin injury that caused him to miss 11 games earlier this season. It is unknown if Ramirez will play Friday.
The Dodgers got homers from Jason Grabowski and Adrian Beltre Thursday, but failed to complete a three-game sweep at Cincinnati, losing 6-5. It was only the third loss in the last 10 games for Los Angeles, which had its lead atop West reduced to 6 1/2 games over San Diego.