SAN FRANCISCO (Ticker) -- Greg Maddux hopes his extra rest can
help the Atlanta Braves regain home-field advantage from the San
Francisco Giants when they shift their National League Division
Series to the West Coast on Saturday.
Maddux (16-6, 2.62 ERA) won his last three starts of the regular
season and was slated to pitch Game Two of the NLDS on Thursday
but was pushed back two days because of a blister on his right
"I expect Greg to throw a good ballgame," Braves manager Bobby
Cox said. "He's ready. His finger is a lot better. He's been
pitching really well. He's really been on a good roll."
"I feel good," Maddux said. "I feel fine. (My) legs feel good,
(my) arm feels good, (my) finger is OK. (I'm) looking forward
The 36-year-old went 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA in two starts against
the Giants this season and is 23-13 with a 2.88 ERA in 39
lifetime starts vs. them.
Maddux is 4-2 with a 3.17 ERA in eight career starts and one
relief appearance in the Division Series but is 0-2 in his last
three starts and the relief stint since defeating the Chicago
Cubs in the 1998 NLDS.
The Braves rebounded from a loss in the series opener to defeat
the Giants in Game Two, 7-3. Javy Lopez and Vinny Castilla, who
had disappointing seasons, hit back-to-back homers in the
second inning to put Atlanta ahead for good. Kevin Millwood
allowed two runs and three hits over six innings to earn the
"Vinny started swinging good about two weeks ago, hitting some
balls hard, hitting the ball out," Cox said. "It took him three
months to get his last home run, and Vinny has always been able
to hit the ball out of the ballpark, just one of those things.
But he's hitting the ball hard everywhere right now. It's just
a great time, really, for (Castilla and Lopez) to kick it in."
J.T. Snow, Rich Aurilia and Barry Bonds accounted for San
Francisco's runs with solo homers. Bonds' shot was just his
second in 105 career postseason at-bats and first in the
playoffs since Game Six of the 1992 NLCS, also against Atlanta.
"We were hoping for two wins (in Atlanta)," Giants manager Dusty
Baker said. "But we are satisfied with one."
Former Brave Jason Schmidt (13-8, 3.45) won his last two regular
season starts but has never pitched in the postseason. He went
0-1 with a 2.63 ERA in two starts against the Braves this season
and is 3-5 with a 4.69 ERA in 10 career starts.
"I've faced (Maddux) in the past during the regular season a few
times, so it's not like the first time going out there facing a
Hall of Famer of his caliber," Schmidt said. "I've been there
against him before. It's still a privilege being in a playoff
situation against a guy like that."
"We really don't know (whether Schmidt will be at a disadvantage
making his postseason debut against the veteran Maddux) until
we see how Jason is, especially early in the ballgame," Baker
"It was not an advantage or disadvantage to (Giants Game One
starter) Russ Ortiz to pitch his first game the other day vs.
Tom Glavine, who has a lot of experience. Once that first pitch
is thrown, the butterflies are gone and it's the same game as
if it's a postseason game or regular season."
Schmidt played for Atlanta in 1995 and part of the 1996 season
before being claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He
was with Pittsburgh until the 2001 trade deadline, when he was
dealt to San Francisco. The 29-year-old briefly lived with
Maddux when he first joined the Braves.
"He's a great guy," Schmidt said about Maddux. "That's
definitely not something I'll ever forget. I stayed there for
about a week until I got a place to stay in Atlanta. We got a
chance to sit down and watch some games with him. He showed us
some different things he looks at when watching films. It was
just a great experience."