Maddux Gives the Orioles a Blank Look
It was a lethal combination for the Baltimore Orioles: Greg Maddux on the mound and a swirling wind in Camden Yards.
The Orioles had gone a major-league best 128 games without being shut out before Sunday, when an exceptionally sharp Maddux pitched a four-hitter to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 9-0 victory.
“He’s always good, but was maybe a tad better today,” Atlanta Manager Bobby Cox said. “He was awesome. Absolutely awesome.”
Maddux (9-2) struck out four and walked one in becoming the first nine-game winner in the majors and lowering his NL-leading ERA to 1.69. Baltimore hit only one fly ball and had only two baserunners after the fourth inning.
“It was like the wind was blowing you right in the face out there. If you were a knuckleball pitcher, that would be great,” Maddux said. “I think it gives your pitch better movement, and it wasn’t carrying when you hit it in the air.”
As if he needed any help. Brady Anderson, who hit the only fly ball off Maddux, was duly impressed.
“He’s great. It’s sort of amazing to watch him pitch and to face him,” Anderson said. “If anything he’s a little average at holding on runners. I’d imagine it’s because he’s a little inexperienced at that.”
Andres Galarraga homered twice and Andruw Jones also connected as the Braves won two of three to avenge a three-game interleague sweep by the Orioles in Atlanta last season.
It was the seventh consecutive victory, third complete game and second shutout of the season for Maddux. The Orioles had not been shut out since Jamie Navarro of the White Sox did it last July 20.