Cub's Maddux nonchalant after 300th career victory

Sunday, August 8, 2004

SAN FRANCISCO -- Greg Maddux has always been a man of little fanfare, so that's exactly how he handled his 300th win -- with a quiet step into history.

Maddux never returned to the field after the final out was made. Fans hollered as he worked his way down the hallway to a postgame interview, and Maddux practically pursed his lips to keep from reacting. It took a near mugging by a bunch of teammates at his locker to finally make him smile.

"It's pretty special," he said. "I like to look ahead. I've never really looked back. When I'm done playing I'll look back. I'm sure I'll pat myself on the back then."

Maddux calmly overcame a shaky start to become the 22nd major league pitcher to reach 300 victories, leading the Chicago Cubs over the San Francisco Giants 8-4 on Saturday.

Maddux relied on guts, guile and his bullpen to win his 300th game, because he never quite found the pinpoint control that has so defined his stellar career.

"Obviously, to win 300 games, you've got to have a lot of help. I've played on a lot of good teams, and a lot of times, you're only as good as the guys behind you. Today was a good example," Maddux said.

He is the first National Leaguer to accomplish the feat since Philadelphia's Steve Carlton in 1983. Roger Clemens was the last to do it on his fourth attempt for the New York Yankees on June 13 last season.

Maddux needed just two tries -- he got a no-decision in his first chance last Sunday against the Phillies.

In the clubhouse, Sammy Sosa and several others surrounded Maddux for a celebratory shower of champagne and beer. Once he was soaked, Maddux enjoyed his first visible celebration with a long swig of champagne.

Maddux left in the sixth with a 6-3 lead, no outs and two runners on, bumping fists with manager Dusty Baker. But Maddux didn't acknowledge the cheering, sellout crowd as he headed into the dugout and then on to the clubhouse to wait out his fate after throwing 82 pitches.

The Cubs' relievers came through.

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