On a Monday night in Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium on September 29, 1986, Greg Maddux, pitching for the Cubs, beat his brother Mike, 8-3, by pitching seven one-run innings to his brother’s three runs allowed over three innings. Mike, who was 25, said of his 20-year-old brother: “He threw a good game and deserved to win. But it’ll happen again. Next time I’ll get him.”
The last time brothers had pitched against each other was September 13, 1982, when Joe Niekro of Houston defeated brother Phil of Atlanta 5-4. But the Maddux matchup was apparently the first between brothers who both were rookies.
Mike explained: “Actually, we’ve never pitched against each other anywhere. I’m older than he is. So when he played in high school, I was already out. And in Little League, I was always in front of him. So this is the first. No better place than here, though.”
Greg (2-4) went 7 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits. He walked none and struck out seven. His earned run average dropped from 6.17 to 5.52. He left in the eighth with two outs and a runner on first as manager Gene Michael brought in Scott Sanderson to quell a Philadelphia uprising.
Mike (3-7) gave up six hits in 3-plus innings. He walked one, struck out one and hit a batter. His ERA went up to 5.42.
Mike on hitting against his brother: “The last time I faced him, I think, was in the back yard playing Wiffle Ball. I think we both hit about .700 in the back yard.” Greg: “I look forward to any game, but this one was a little more fun. I had a lot more pride in this one–winter’s bragging rights. I had played Whiffle Ball in the backyard with him before, but that’s it.”
Mike: “Because he’s my brother I wanted to pitch well. When I came out of the game, I wasn’t pleased. I wanted to have another crack at him. But I’ll tell my brother he pitched a good game when we go out tonight. There was no nervousness at all. To us, it was just Cubs versus the Phillies. It will happen again and next time I’ll get him.
“My parents called up before the game. Being from Vegas, they asked if I was a good bet. I told them I didn’t know but I’d rather be lucky than good when it comes to betting. But tonight he was a better bet than I was, the way things turned out.
“This is not the first thing he’s beaten me. I think our record is about .500 in Whiffle Ball in the backyard.”
Greg: “Mike has his theories of pitching and I have mine. I’ll listen to what he has to say but we’re kind of different pitchers, you know. I think he throws more curveballs and I throw more change-ups. Our fastballs are about the same. He probably throws his harder than I throw mine.”
“I just wanted to have fun. I was just hoping he wouldn’t get a hit off me.”
“I took it like any other game. I wanted to win the game but I would have liked to have seen Mike do better. I mean, who wouldn’t? But I’m just glad I won the game. That’s what’s important. I’m not going to say anything to Mike, I mean, it was just a game he lost. No big deal.
“Tonight we’re going to go out and have a bite to eat somewhere. I bought in Chicago so he’ll buy in Philly.”
Mike, with the closing words: “Next time I’ll get him.”
[For his career, Greg went 1 for 6 against Mike in seven plate appearances, with one single. In the 1986 game, he bunted for a sacrifice against Mike. Mike went 1 for 3 against Greg, his one hit, a single, coming on July 29, 1988. See a picture of Mike below: