Sunday, April 13, 2008

Greg Maddux

Here is a wonderful interview with Greg Maddux, who is my favorite pitcher of all-time. There are pitchers of his generation much more powerful (Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson and long-time teammate John Smoltz) than him. No one, though, could get his head around a hitter like Maddux in his prime. On his best days, when he'd throw 80-85 pitches over nine innings, none over 85 mph, and watch hitters stand helplessly as they chased pitch after pitch, only to miss or slap it harmlessly towards an opposing fielder, he was the unchallenged Picasso of the mound. Yes, Clemens could overpower hitters like few pitchers ever have; he never, in his prime or even later, had half the pitching I.Q. of Maddux. Who else would pitch to a catcher who was blindfolded and not miss the mitt once?

How has this guy won 347 games? Read and find out.

ADDED: Maddux is now up to 349 games since the above linked article was published. And read this article on Maddux's only "failing" as a pitcher -- his inability to hold runners on base -- and you'll realize that, when only 17% of runners who steal a base ever score, it doesn't matter as much as you think . . . something that Maddux, unlike most pitchers, has known his entire career.

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