After being shut down in their first loss of the season, the Milwaukee Brewers will try to bounce back against a pitcher who has given them fits in the past.
Milwaukee entered Saturday leading the majors in on-base percentage at .417 after scoring 25 runs in its first three games. But the Brewers ran into Carlos Zambrano, who combined with a pair of relievers to one-hit the Brewers in a 4-0 win.
While Zambrano was baffling over 7 1-3 innings, Maddux has dominated Milwaukee throughout his career. The four-time NL Cy Young Award winner is 10-2 with a 1.45 ERA in 15 career starts against the Brewers.
Maddux has not lost to Milwaukee since 2002, and went 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in four starts against the Brewers last season. Displaying the impeccable control that has been his trademark, he struck out 25 and walked only three in those outings.
Maddux is seeking to bounce back after losing his season debut Tuesday. He allowed five runs and six hits in five innings of a 5-4 defeat at Arizona.
The veteran right-hander will have to follow up a spectacular performance by Zambrano, who allowed only Russell Branyan’s second-inning single along with a pair of walks Saturday. Zambrano struck out six Brewers.
”(Zambrano) was throwing that heavy slider 96-97 miles an hour with an occasional breaking ball and even a couple of good changeups,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “He was dead on. (Today) shows you why he’s one of the best pitchers in the National League.”
It was Chicago’s first combined one-hitter since July 2, 2003 against Philadelphia.
The Cubs were also able to get LaTroy Hawkins into the game one day after he blew a save in the home opener. Hawkins, who has assumed the closer role with Joe Borowski on the injured list, worked a perfect ninth inning.
“I still believe in LaTroy,” Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. “He definitely has the stuff. He has to get to that next step of closing it out.”