Dodgers 1, Giants 0, 10 innings
Russell Martin ended the scoreless deadlock with a leadoff homer in the 10th inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 1-0 on Sunday night after Maddux and Schmidt tossed zeros for eight innings.
“It was a classic Dodger-Giant duel,” San Francisco manager Felipe Alou said. “It could have been Jack Sanford and Don Drysdale.”
Martin drove a 1-0 pitch from Vinnie Chulk (0-1) over the fence in left field for his sixth homer. Takashi Saito (5-2) intentionally walked Barry Bonds with one out and nobody on in the top of the 10th, then retired Moises Alou and Shea Hillenbrand.
The NL West-leading Dodgers, who were the only team left in the majors without an extra inning win, have won 15 of 16 games, making their 1-13 skid after the All-Star break a distant memory. The three-game sweep was their first against San Francisco at Dodger Stadium since September 1989 and it kept their lead over second-place San Diego at 1 1/2 games.
The Giants have dropped 16 of 19 overall and 13 of 14 on the road. They are a season-worst nine games under .500, and have slipped 7 1/2 games off the pace.
“Matchups like today are games that you really have to be fundamentally sound, because one run can really turn a ballgame like this,” Giants reliever Mike Stanton said. “We’re kind of beating ourselves.”
Maddux was at his economical best, throwing just 68 pitches (50 strikes) without walking anyone and retiring his last 22 batters after giving up singles to two of his first three hitters.
“You don’t worry about the outcome. You just worry about pitching and doing what you can to make pitches,” Maddux said. “Jason threw great, but we got the big hit. That’s what it was going to come down to.”
Schmidt gave up five hits, struck out nine and walked one while throwing 115 pitches.
“When you’re going against a guy like Maddux, getting two runs is a lot to ask for any team,” Schmidt said. “He may not throw a shutout every game like he used to, but he can dig deep and do whatever he has to do when he needs to. That was vintage Maddux tonight. It’s mind-boggling.”
Maddux and Schmidt, who were teammates with the Braves from 1995-96, faced off for the first time since Game 3 of the 2002 NL division series at San Francisco when Maddux pitched Atlanta to a 10-2 win.
“It was a great opportunity to be with him for the short time that I was. I just wish I was able to take advantage of it,” said Schmidt, a three-time All-Star. “I was young and naive back then and a lot of stuff didn’t sink in. I probably didn’t listen to him as much as I should have.”
Maddux’s string of outs began with Bonds’ vicious liner back to the box, which Maddux snared and turned into a double play with Ray Durham unable to get back to first.
Maddux, still stuck on 328 career victories, joined the Dodgers in a July 31 trade with the Chicago Cubs and has allowed only two runs and nine hits over 20 innings.
“The most impressive thing about him without a doubt is his command, knowing when he can add or subtract a little bit, and reading the hitters’ reactions,” Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said.
“I think what Greg’s brought to baseball during a time where the game loves power pitchers, he brought another side of the game—command, control and finesse. And he had an ability to outthink the opposing batters. This guy just knows how to get people out.”
Bonds was 0-for-3 with a walk, extending his home run drought to 25 at-bats since hitting his 723rd home run on Aug. 4 against Colorado.
The seven-time NL MVP was hitless in three at-bats against Maddux, and is 34-for-123 lifetime against the four-time Cy Young award winner. This was the first matchup between a pitcher with 300 or more wins and a hitter with 700 or more home runs.
Martin’s one-out double in the third was the Dodgers’ only hit until the sixth, when Nomar Garciaparra singled with two out and Jeff Kent reached on an infield hit. But Schmidt struck out rookie Andre Ethier for the third straight time. Ethier was 0-for-4, ending his hitting streak at 16 games.
Los Angeles was 0-6 in extra innings before Sunday. … Maddux is still tied with Curt Schilling, John Smoltz and Terry Mulholland for the most homers served up to Bonds—eight. … The Dodgers’ 15-1 stretch is their third since moving to Los Angeles in 1958. … J.D. Drew, who was 3-for-27 lifetime against Schmidt with 13 strikeouts, got the day off. Julio Lugo made his second career start in right field and first since June 6, 2000. Last Wednesday, Lugo started at third base for the first time in the big leagues.