Cubs 7, Cardinals 3
Maddux pitched seven strong innings, stole a base, got an infield hit and scored twice in the Chicago Cubs’ 7-3 victory over the Cardinals on Monday.
“It was a great day for Greg,” manager Dusty Baker said. “This guy comes to compete and tries to beat you any way he can.”
Sammy Sosa, Todd Walker and Derrek Lee homered for the Cubs, who split the four-game series despite scoring a total of only 14 runs. The games drew a total of 181,826 fans—an average of 45,456 per game.
For Walker, the setting reminded him of last fall when he was with the Red Sox.
“This series reminds me a lot of playing the Yankees last year in the championship series, the same identical thing almost,” Walker said. “I think it prepares you for when you get to the playoffs.
“This is a little more mild-tempered than in Boston and New York where you’ve got people beating each other up in the stands, and that type of stuff.”
Maddux (2-2) outpitched former Braves teammate Jason Marquis for his 291st career victory. He allowed two runs and seven hits, walking none and striking out six.
“I didn’t see too much of the apprentice,” Maddux said. “I pull for him. I watched him come up and he’s a guy I’m sure I’ll continue to pull for as long as he’s playing.”
Maddux entered the game with an uncharacteristically high 5.65 ERA. His third straight solid outing left him with a 5.05 ERA.
“He had so much movement on the ball today, it just made you think he was cheating,” said the Cardinals’ Reggie Sanders, who was 0-for-3 and didn’t get the ball out of the infield. “We know he wasn’t cheating, but it just made you feel that way.”
The Cardinals said Maddux really stepped it up a notch with runners on base.
“When it really gets tight and he needs to make a pitch, he brings out stuff that you haven’t seen the whole game,” said Mike Matheny, who was 2-for-3 with a double. “He has a very good idea of what he wants to do, and he usually executes.”
Walker was 3-for-5 with three RBIs, including a run-scoring single in the third after Maddux reached on a forceout and stole the sixth base of his career.
Walker’s two-run homer broke a 1-all tie in the sixth. Maddux reached on an infield single near the third-base line that deflected off Marquis’ glove, and Walker hit his third homer.
Lee hit a two-run shot in the eighth. Sosa connected for a two-run drive in the ninth, his sixth homer of the season and 545th of his career.
Sosa also doubled and got his only RBIs of the series.
“I’ve got to fight for my stuff. It’s always been like that,” he said.
The Cubs won for only the seventh time in their last 34 games at Busch Stadium since 2000.
Marquis (1-2), who considers Maddux a mentor, matched the four-time Cy Young winner at the plate with a bunt single and his first career steal.
It was a challenge for Marquis, pitching against Maddux.
“Greg is Greg, he’s always going to be efficient,” Marquis said. “He wants you to swing the bat, he trusts his defense and he trusts what he is going to throw.”
After a leadoff double by Matheny in the third, Marquis bunted. Maddux took too much time checking third base before throwing late to first, and Tony Womack followed with a sacrifice fly to tie it at 1.
Marquis lasted 6 1-3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits.
Maddux’s last steal overall came July 12, 2002, against the Expos. … Edmonds, a five-time Gold Glove winner, had an embarrassing play in center field when he got turned around and then fell down on a ground-rule double by Sosa in the sixth. … Beltran has allowed four homers in 6 1-3 innings overall. … Sosa has 1,998 career strikeouts after fanning in the fourth. He’s third on the career list behind Reggie Jackson (2,597) and Andres Galarraga(2,000).