There’s a popular myth, recycled annually, that Greg Maddux was not up to snuff in the postseason. While he wasn’t as consistently dominant as in the regular season, Mad Dog was better in October than, for example, Roger Clemens, posting a 3.27 ERA in 198 playoff innings compared to the Rocket’s 3.75 ERA in 199 IP. And Maddux’s numbers are a bit inflated due to two horrific starts in the 1989 NLCS (11 ER in 7-1/3 IP) when he was a 23-year-old Cubs hurler.
The Professor was at his best on the biggest stage. In five World Series starts he had a 2.09 ERA and 0.905 WHIP. Game 2 of the 1996 Fall Classic was vintage Maddux. Though he wasn’t as dominant as in Game of the ’95 series he was every bit as effective, shutting out the Yankees in eight innings, walking none and scattering six hits (five singles). Only two runners reached scoring position and the only real threat came in the 6th inning, with the Braves ahead 4-0.
Derek Jeter led off with a single and advanced to second on a single by Tim Raines. On the very next pitch Maddux coaxed a weak grounder to second from Wade Boggs for an easy double play. Threat averted.
Maddux was pulled after eight despite throwing only 82 pitches. Mark Wohlers struck out the side in the 9th sending the Braves back to Atlanta with a 2-0 series lead. Time of game: 2:44.
It would be the Braves’ last World Series win.