Model of consistency
Maddux becomes first pitcher with 16 consecutive 15-win seasons
Posted: Sunday September 21, 2003 8:36PM; Updated: Sunday September 21, 2003 9:31PM
ATLANTA (AP) -- As usual, Greg Maddux gave the credit to his teammates.
Maddux (15-11) had shared the record of winning 15 or more games in 15 straight seasons with Cy Young.
"Sometimes, you're pretty fortunate on the mound," Maddux said. "It worked out. Probably the most special thing was seeing the other 24 guys on the team really busting it for me. To see your teammates go out of the way, that's pretty special."
"I had a horseshoe," Maddux said.
Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Marlins lead the NL wild-card race by one-half game over Philadelphia, a 4-3 loser to Cincinnati on Sunday.
The Marlins play the Braves on Monday then go home to open a three-game series against the Phillies on Tuesday.
Maddux pitched five scoreless innings and allowed only one hit in his 288th career victory. He tied Tommy John for 22nd place on the all-time win list.
"We got it done in great fashion. Greg pitched great, the offense did its job, and the bullpen slammed it," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "It was a great way to accomplish such a great feat."
Maddux was struck on the right ankle by a hard grounder off the bat of Juan Pierre for the final out of the third inning. The right-hander had the ankle taped in the bottom of the inning, then went out and retired the Marlins in order in the fourth and fifth innings.
The NL East champion Braves scored four times in the fifth for a 6-0 lead and Maddux left for a pinch-hitter.
Maddux had a bruise and X-rays were negative. He was expected to make his next start.
"I'll be OK," Maddux said. "It was kind of hard to keep my weight on it. It was a little uncomfortable."
He said he was glad he wasn't hit in the knee.
"With a foot, you can go on," he said. "I don't know how much it swelled up, but I know it hurt."
Maddux gave up just a leadoff single to Derrek Lee in the second inning. He didn't strike out any or give up a walk and threw only 43 pitches, 29 strikes.
"He's a smart cookie. He knows how to pitch," Florida manager Jack McKeon said. "He doesn't get you out; he makes you get yourself out."
Chipper Jones drove in four runs for the Braves with a two-run homer -- his 27th -- a sacrifice fly and RBI single.
The Marlins wound up with four hits, getting two off Darren Holmes in the seventh. Lee had three hits.
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the first on Jones' sacrifice fly and made it 2-0 in the third on his run-scoring single.
Pavano went 4 1/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and six runs.
It was Maddux's third try at No. 15. In his last start, Tuesday night in Montreal, he left with a 4-1 lead after seven innings, but he got a no-decision when the bullpen blew the lead and the Braves lost 5-4 in 11 innings.
In his previous start against Philadelphia on Sept. 11, Maddux gave up 12 hits and seven runs in 3 2/3 innings in an 8-3 loss.
Notes: Braves 3B Vinny Castilla left the game in the sixth inning when a grounder by Alex Gonzalez struck the middle finger of his right hand. Castilla threw out Gonzalez. X-rays were negative and he was listed as day-to-day. ... Prior to Sunday, Maddux was 1-2 with an 11.25 ERA in 12 innings against the Marlins this season.