July 26, 2021

Braves Flashback/Recap: May 25 – Talking Chop (Talking Chop)

In 2003, Greg Maddux was pitching his last season in a Braves uniform. Tom Glavine had already departed to play for the Mets, and John Smoltz was in his third season as the Braves’ closer. On May 25, 2003, the Braves hosted the Mets, and both Maddux and Smoltz appeared. This was hardly a rarity — the Braves winning Maddux-started games with Smoltz closing them out with a high frequency from 2001 through 2003. Still, this was a fun game with vintage Maddux, vintage closer Smoltz, some homers, and a weirdly good turn from a non-Glavine Mets starter.

The gist: For one afternoon, Maddux nearly met his match in Jae Weong Seo, a Korean rookie with a great 2003 season. The Braves went ahead on an Andruw Jones homer, but lost the lead two pitches after Maddux departed. They got it right back with a two-run Marcus Giles homer after the New York bullpen replaced Seo, and Smoltz slammed the door.

Box scores: Baseball-Reference, Fangraphs

The set-up: In the way of set-up, not much is needed. You already know about Greg Maddux, though you may be surprised to know that he came into this game with very un-Maddux-esque numbers: 129 ERA-, 113 FIP-, 96 xFIP-. Those numbers were inflated…

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