Against Milwaukee on Monday, the right-hander gave up six runs and 10 hits with three walks over 5 1-3 innings in a 6-3 defeat. Maddux had been 3-0 with a 2.37 ERA in six previous starts for the Dodgers.
“I missed location a few times, but they also hit me, too,” said Maddux, who’s allowed 28 hits and a .384 opponent batting average in his last 17 1-3 innings. “They had some good at-bats and they got me. Yeah, I could have hit location better a few times, but for the most part they beat me.”
The four-time Cy Young Award winner has 35 wins in 64 regular-season starts against the Mets—career-highs in both categories. He faced them twice this season while with the Cubs, going 1-1 with an 8.31 ERA.
Maddux’s 330 career wins are second among active pitchers, trailing only Houston’s Roger Clemens (347). Maddux ranks 10th on the all-time wins list, two spots in back of Clemens.
The former Atlanta right-hander is 11-14 with a 3.22 ERA and two complete games and a save in 31 career postseason appearances, all with the Braves.
Hernandez (9-10, 5.15), meanwhile, had control problems in a 2-1 loss to Houston last Saturday. He gave up only one run and one hit, but walked a season-high six over 5 1-3 innings.
“I was feeling good,” said Hernandez, who hadn’t pitched since Aug. 20 to get rest for the stretch run. “My control is still not good sometimes, but I’m feeling good. That’s important.”
The Cuban-born right-hander is 7-6 with a 5.15 ERA in 25 starts with New York since being acquired from Arizona on May 24 for reliever Jorge Julio.
While with the Diamondbacks, Hernandez made his first career appearances against Los Angeles, going 0-1 with an 8.38 ERA and .372 opponent batting average in two starts.
El Duque is 9-3 with a 2.55 ERA in 19 postseason games, including 14 starts. He’s won three World Series championships with the New York Yankees (1998, 1999, 2000) and one with the Chicago White Sox (2005).
Hernandez will try to help New York reduce its magic number for clinching the division to seven. Rookie Hong-Chih Kuo and three relievers combined on a four-hitter in the Dodgers’ 5-0 win on Friday.
Nomar Garciaparra and Rafael Furcal homered as the Dodgers remained in first place in the NL West, 1 1/2 games ahead of second-place San Diego. The Padres lost ground after a 4-0 loss to San Francisco on Friday.
New York center fielder Carlos Beltran may still be feeling the effects of a knee injury suffered when he crashed into the fence last Saturday at Houston. He went 0-for-2 with two walks, and has just two singles in his last three games.
Beltran needs one homer to become the third player in franchise history with 40 in a season, and 12 RBIs to set a new Mets’ single-season record. Mike Piazza drove in 124 in only 141 games in 1999.
Beltran has three hits in 11 career at-bats against Maddux.