Maddux to make Dodgers debut

Dodgers unveil new weapon in Cincinnati

Greg Maddux has been described as a lot of things since the Dodgers acquired him Monday.

Future Hall of Famer. Mentor. Consummate teammate.

On Thursday night, he'll be a starting pitcher making his Dodgers debut against the Cincinnati Reds for the purpose he was obtained, to help pitch Los Angeles into the postseason.

Maddux is a 20-game winner lifetime against the Reds (20-16 with a 3.63 ERA), but only 1-2 with a 7.27 ERA in relatively new Great American Ball Park. He is coming off a win last week against St. Louis and his first back-to-back victories since April. His next victory will tie him with John Clarkson at 328 for 11th on the all-time win list, and it will mark the 19th consecutive season in which he's won 10 or more games.

Maddux, with his new team's five-game win streak on the line, will be throwing to a catcher in rookie Russell Martin who was 3 years old when the righty earned his first Major League victory.

"I saw him pitch a lot with the Braves," said Martin. "That's where he was when I watched the most baseball [on television]."

Martin will have a better view Thursday night, from about six inches off home plate. Maddux schooled the young catcher Tuesday night about where he likes his backstop to be positioned.

"He was just telling me how he wants the catcher to set up," said Martin. "He watched me in the game and saw a few things he'd like me to do differently -- mainly, set up earlier. Some guys want you to set up later becaues they're worried about tipping off the location of pitches. He said he doesn't care if I tip the location. He said he'll just run the pitch in on their hands if that happens."

Martin said he hasn't been intimidated yet in his first Major League season and doesn't expect to be when he catches a future Hall of Famer. He said the most exciting assignment he had was catching the first and only save of the season of fellow Canadian Eric Gagne.

"I knew he was really excited and that energy transferred," Martin said. "Other than that, I'm relaxed and confident and [Thursday] will be the same way. He seems to be prepared. He has a calmness about him. I'll be the same way. When you're prepared, you don't feel anxiety."

Martin said he wasn't worried about communicating with Maddux or having the pitcher shake off one of his signs.

"He can cross me up and throw a different pitch and it's not like I'll get hurt," he said. "He's about location and movement and making one pitch look like another -- that's the way he describes it."

Pitching matchup
LAD: RHP Greg Maddux (9-11, 4.69 ERA)
It's his Dodgers debut, a pit stop en route to the Hall of Fame. The Dodgers are counting on a pennant race reinvigorating one of the best pitchers of his generation, and they're hoping he has a little more magic left than one has a right to expect from a 40-year-old.

CIN: LHP Eric Milton (7-6, 5.37 ERA)
Milton hasn't pitched much better after knee surgery than he did before. He tends to allow a lot of home runs. He beat the Dodgers once in 2004 and lost both decisions against them last year.

Player to watch
The Reds' Adam Dunn and Scott Hatteberg have hit home runs off Greg Maddux this year.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• KFWB 980 AM; KWKW 1330 AM (Español)

Up next
• Friday: Dodgers (RHP Derek Lowe, 8-7, 4.29) at Marlins (RHP Anibal Sanchez, 4-1, 4.46), 4:35 p.m. PT
• Saturday: Dodgers (RHP Chad Billingsley, 2-3, 3.83) at Marlins (RHP Josh Johnson, 9-5, 2.52), 3:05 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Dodgers (LHP Mark Hendrickson, 0-4, 4.89) at Marlins (LHP Scott Olsen, 9-4, 3.90), 10:05 a.m. PT

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.