An injury has given Greg Maddux a chance to get his 350th career win a day earlier than scheduled.
Maddux (2-0, 2.00) was originally scheduled to pitch Saturday opposite Edgar Gonzalez, but Padres manager Bud Black said the four-time Cy Young Award winner likes to stay on his five-day rotation, and that Chris Young—pushed back to Saturday—had a little more stiffness in his elbow than usual.
Now, Maddux gets a chance to become only the ninth pitcher in major league history to win 350 career games. He’s five wins behind Roger Clemens for eighth-place on the all-time list.
The right-hander has been outstanding in winning his last two starts, allowing only one run and five hits with seven strikeouts in 12 innings. In his last outing on Sunday, he limited Los Angeles to two hits in five innings of a 1-0 win.
“It’s fun to play behind him,” Padres shortstop Khalil Greene told the team’s official Web site. “He pitches to contact. There is so much action he generates by his style. The fact that he works quick plays into that as well.”
But Maddux, who is holding opposing batters to a .169 batting average, is only 2-10 with a 4.88 ERA in 18 starts against Arizona (11-4). He’s been even worse at Chase Field, going 1-6 with a 5.37 ERA in 11 starts. However, he picked up that win Sept. 3, giving up two runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 10-2 win.
The Padres (8-8) could use a similar outing from Maddux on Friday after they used six relievers over 14 innings of a 2-1, 22-inning loss against on Thursday. It was the longest game in both clubs’ histories and the longest in the majors in nearly 15 years—a 6-hour, 16-minute marathon that ended at 1:21 a.m. local time Friday.
Haren (2-0, 2.50 ERA), who was acquired by Arizona (11-4) in an eight-player trade from Oakland in the offseason, will get his first start opposite Maddux.
The right-hander has won his last two starts by allowing four runs—two earned—with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings. He was terrific Saturday, limiting the Rockies to one run and five hits while fanning seven in six innings of a 10-3 win on Saturday.
“I again got an early lead and was able to pretty much attack the strike zone,” Haren said. “It was pretty much like the last game. When you score runs early it makes it a lot easier on me and any other starting pitcher.”
Haren has received 20 runs of support in three starts. He got half that through his first five starts with the Athletics last season.
He hopes the offense can continue that type of production and improve on its major league-leading 93 runs and 24 homers. Arizona managed only six hits, but still beat San Francisco 4-1 on Wednesday to take the three-game set.
Haren has no record in three games—two starts—against San Diego, posting a 1.69 ERA. However, he hasn’t faced the Padres since June 29, 2006.
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