Braves' Maddux to start Game 4 on three days rest
Updated: Saturday October 20, 2001 12:50 AM
ATLANTA (AP) -- Atlanta manager Bobby Cox is going with Greg Maddux on three days rest for Game 4 of the NL championship series against Arizona on Saturday rather than Kevin Millwood, the Braves' No. 4 starter during the regular season.
"We're going to go with Maddux for sure tomorrow," Cox said Friday night prior to Game 3. "Then we'll play it by ear again."
The only other time the Braves used a three-man rotation in the NLCS under Cox was in 1992 when they eliminated Pittsburgh in seven games, using John Smoltz (3 starts), Tom Glavine (2) and Steve Avery (2).
Millwood, 7-7 during the regular season, was not included on the roster for the division series in which Atlanta beat Houston in three games and Cox carried only 10 pitches.
For the NLCS, however, Cox activated Millwood. It was believed he would be used in Game 4.
Instead, he was used for an inning of relief in Friday night's 5-1 loss. Millwood retired the Diamondbacks in order, striking out one.
When asked if Millwood was disappointed in not starting Game 4, he said: "He could still possibly start in this series."
What situation might that be?
"I'd rather keep that to myself," said Cox.
Millwood, asked to comment as he raced in to the clubhouse following the pregame workout, said he would be back out in a couple of minutes, but after a 45-minute wait, never showed.
Maddux was 17-11 during the regular season, but hasn't won since Aug. 22 -- nine consecutive starts, his longest stretch without a win since 1991. That includes two postseason starts, including Tuesday's 2-0 loss to Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks.
Maddux, however, said he has no concerns about that or on pitching with only three days off.
"No, not at all. I've done it in the past," he said. "It's not like I throw hard anyway. I'm not going to lose anything off my fast ball.
"It's not that big a deal to come back. if you do it a month or two straight, then it might mean something," he said.
Maddux pitched well in the opener, allowing only six hits in seven innings and two runs. He wouldn't mind a similar effort.
"Well, yeah. I mean, I want to win. I want to do that different," he said.
Maddux will be matched against Albie Lopez, who was 9-19 with Tampa Bay and Arizona, but 2-0 against the Braves during the regular season, beating Atlanta 9-1 twice, once with the Devil Rays, and Aug. 12 with Arizona.
"I've had good success throwing first-pitch strikes. These guys come out swinging for me, they hit a lot of pitches, and my defense played well for me," Lopez said.
Less D'backs on TV
The Arizona Diamondbacks plan to televise fewer home games next season in an attempt to boost attendance.
"Some people just won't come to the games," said Scott Brubaker, the senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Other people, given the option, will come to the ballpark."
The team is considering televising about 20 fewer home games in 2002, Brubaker said. Club officials will decide after the season ends which home games will not be televised.
The team will show more road games, so the overall number of games telecast will remain the same: 135.
Meanwhile, fans of the Cleveland Indians will have to pay to watch their team on television next season.
The Indians announced a three-year deal with Fox Sports Net Ohio that will give the cable network the rights to 150 games a season.
It is possible some games could be shown on free commercial television, if FOX decides to broadcast them nationally or regionally.
The Indians have had games on free TV since 1948.
"I hope the fans understand that we're trying to improve the product on the field," said Dennis Lehman, the executive vice president of business. "We just can't keep raising ticket prices every year. So we have to explore other revenue sources that will help us continue to grow."
Arizona's Matt Williams returned to the No. 4 spot in the batting order for Game 3.
"That's where I've hit for the last 10 years," Williams said. "It makes no difference to me."
Williams batted in the sixth spot in the first two games against the Braves and went 3-for-7, including an RBI sixth inning single in Game 2 to tie it at 1-1 before Atlanta rallied for an 8-1 win.
"It doesn't matter after the first inning anyway," he said.
Williams, who batted in the cleanup spot 61 times during the regular season, however, was 0-for-15 in the opening round of the postseason against St. Louis before doubling in the ninth inning of Game 5, leading to the winning run in Arizona's 2-1 victory.
Atlanta third baseman Ken Caminiti, who was activated for the Division Series but not on the roster for the NLCS, is not with the club.
"He's gone home," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
If Atlanta makes it to the World Series, Caminiti would not be on that roster either, Cox was asked.
"I think so, yeah," he said.
Sister doing better
Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox said Friday that his his sister, Joy Rogers, who suffered a brain hemorrhage on Oct. 10, is doing much better.
Rogers, 62, was in critical condition initially at a Birmingham, Ala., hospital, but Cox said she has improved and is now in rehab.
"She should be there for about 30 days," he said.
Bako starts SaturdayWith Greg Maddux starting Game 4 on Saturday night, catcher Javy Lopez will sit and the four-time Cy Young winner will have his regular catcher, Paul Bako behind the plate.
Lopez, who missed the division series with an ankle injury, was activated for the NLCS and hit a go-ahead two-run homer in Atlanta's 8-1 win in Game 2.
"He's been hitting, too," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said of Bako, who had a two-run homer and knocked in three runs in Atlanta's Game 3 division clincher against Houston.
Bako went 7-for-14 and had a six-game hitting streak at the end of the season, filling in for Lopez on a regular basis and wound up hitting .212. Against Houston, he was 2-for-7 in the three games.