What is a Maddux in Baseball?

A Maddux is a pitching statistic named after Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.
Written by Mark Bailey
Last updated on

In baseball, a “Maddux” is a special feat where a pitcher throws a complete game shutout with fewer than 100 pitches, a display of efficiency and dominance on the mound named after the legendary pitcher Greg Maddux. This article will explore the rare and impressive accomplishment and the skill it takes to achieve it.

  • A Maddux is a pitching statistic named after Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.
  • It is awarded to a starting pitcher that throws a complete game without allowing the opponent to score a single run, in 99 pitches or less.
  • If a pitcher gets the same result but throws 100 pitches or more, it is considered a complete game shutout, not a Maddux.

Maddux statistic explained

A Maddux in baseball is a statistic named after Hall of Famer Greg Maddux. It is awarded to a starting pitcher that throws a complete game without allowing the opponent to score a single run. This feat must be accomplished in 99 pitches or less to become a Maddux. If a pitcher gets the same result but throws 100 pitches or more, it is considered a complete game shutout, not a Maddux.

Why is it called a “maddux”?

A complete game shutout under 100 pitches is called a “Maddux” because Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux completed this feat 13 times in his career, with no one else coming close to that (a distant second is Zane Smith with 7).

This statistic is rare because it requires three difficult feats to be accomplished in a single game. First, the pitcher must throw a complete game. In the 2021 MLB season, there were only a total of 33 exclusive games throughout the entire season—for all teams combined.

The second step after throwing a complete game is to make sure that the entire game is also a shutout. Keeping your opponent from scoring one single run in a game is not an easy task at the professional level.

The final requirement is the most difficult. Not only does a pitcher need to throw a complete game shutout which is already rare, but they also need to finish the game throwing less than 100 total pitches.

The reason that 100 pitches were selected is that when Greg Maddux was an active player, he set the record for the fewest pitches in a complete game with 77. He was also regarded as a highly efficient pitcher who could throw a pitch to any location he wanted.

An overview of Greg Maddux

Greg Maddux was a starting pitcher who played in the major leagues from 1986 to 2000. During his 23 seasons, he was named to the All-Star team 8 times, won 4 Cy Young awards, 18 gold glove awards, and was a part of the 1995 World Series champion Atlanta Braves.

Maddux was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2014 and has had his jersey number (31) retired by both the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves.

Maddux grew up playing high school baseball in Las Vegas and was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1984. Maddux played with the Cubs until 1993, when he went to the Atlanta Braves and became a key member of the 1995 championship team.

For most of his career, Maddux stayed with Chicago and Atlanta until his final four seasons, where he bounced back and forth between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres.

By the time his professional career was over, Maddux had earned 355 wins and thrown 109 complete games. On top of that, he struck out 3,371 batters and finished his career with an earned run average of 3.16, which by all standards is world-class.

After his playing career, Maddux served as a consultant to both the Cubs and the Braves and as a pitching coach at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


How rare is a maddux?

Since pitch counts have been tracked since 1988, there have only been 323 Maddux in the history of baseball. When you consider that each season there are 2,430 games played between all teams, you can see how rare the feat is.

Who has thrown the most maddux?

Naturally, it was Greg Maddux himself who was thrown the most Maddux in history (13), with Zane Smith the next closest with 7. Maddux and Smith share the record for most Maddux’s in a single season with three each.

For current active players, the pitchers with the most Maddux’s are Shelby Miller of the San Francisco Giants and Derek Holland of the Detroit Tigers, with three apiece.

One record to note is that there was only one extra-inning Maddux. In 2003, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Roy Halladay threw a 10-inning Maddux and earned a complete-game shutout win while only throwing 99 pitches.

Considering that most starting pitchers no longer pitch in extra innings, it is highly unlikely that this feat will ever be matched or surpassed.

What team has the most maddux?

Not surprisingly, the Atlanta Braves have the most Maddux records in history, with 24. The majority of those 24 Maddux was thrown by the pitcher after whom the statistic is named. The Braves were one of the most dominant teams in baseball during the early and mid-90s and had a pitching staff with three different hall of fame pitchers (Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and Greg Maddux).

In second place is the Toronto Blue Jays, who have 17 Maddux’s thrown in team history. Also, during the 1990s, the Blue Jays had several Hall of Fame pitchers on their rosters, such as Dave Stewart, Jack Morris, Mark Buehrle, Roger Clemens, and Roy Halladay.

No one disputes the remarkable career of Greg Maddux

Fans and the media like to debate about sports. However, no one will dispute the remarkable career of Greg Maddux.

For a young man drafted straight out of high school and who did not spend much time in the minor leagues, Maddux made such an impression on MLB that he now has a statistic named after him. In fact, during an interview, former Cubs first baseman Mark Grace was quoted as saying, “If my life depended on one game, I’d want him to throw it.” 

One interesting item to note is that many people consider Maddux’s best single-game performance was during a regular season game against the Chicago Cubs in 1997. In that game, Maddux threw a complete game and only threw 77 pitches.

The whole game only lasted 2 hours and 7 minutes as the Braves beat the Cubs 4-1. 

What is interesting is that while Maddux did throw a complete game in less than 100 pitches, the Cubs did score one run in that game, which ended the possibility of him throwing one of his namesake “Maddux” outings.

Featured image cropped, and licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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