8/29 Extra bases
* Jeff Samardzija’s throwing error in the seventh inning led to the Brewers’ go-ahead run and a 3-1 victory Wednesday night over the Cubs, who lost for the 22nd time in the last 28 games. The Cubs couldn’t muster much support for Samardzija (8-12), who struck out 10 over seven innings. Chicago’s only run came in the second on Darwin Barney’s run-scoring groundout, driving in Bryan LaHair, who had singled.
“It’s not good when everybody in the lineup is struggling at the same time,” Dale Sveum said.
It was Samardzija’s 15th quality start, most on the team. In the last eight games, Cubs starting pitchers have a 3.26 ERA, and have given up three or fewer earned runs in seven of those games.
“He’s got good stuff,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Samardzija. “I mean, his fatsball is not just hard, when it’s down, it’s diving. His slider is good. His split-finger is really good, guys aren’t picking it up. He’s a good pitcher.”
* Starlin Castro extended his hitting streak to five games with a double in the first. He’s hitting .316 in those five games.
* The Cubs have lost eight straight games to the Brewers, and are 5-20 in their last 25 against Milwaukee.
“You show up every day as a professional and do your job,” Samardzija said. “I go out every day to win the ballgame. That’s not going ot change. We’ve just got to do the little things right, and that includes myself.”
* Ryne Sandberg won nine Gold Gloves playing half of his games at Wrigley Field. The infield is tough. And that makes Darwin Barney’s milestone even more impressive. Barney now has played in a NL record 114 consecutive error-less games.
“You have a lot of respect for a guy like Sandberg,” Barney said. “The field plays pretty true but it’s been played on for 100 years. There’s no ground ball that’s a routine ground ball. When you reflect, you think of the close calls. It’s a tribute to everyone around me. There have been a couple feeds where [Starlin] Castro bailed me out and [Anthony] Rizzo made good plays. Something like this is not just you, it’s guys around you busting their tails for you.”
Barney isn’t blaming the ground crew.
“It’s hard on them to get this field ready to play every day,” Barney said. “It’s your baby. You have to say it’s the best field you’ve ever been on and go from there.”
* In the sixth inning, Samardzija and Ryan Braun exchanged smiles after Braun flew out to deep center. Braun nearly had home run No. 36.
“He’s a heck of a hitter,” Samardzija said of Braun. “He had two hits off me already. I thought I made a couple good pitches and he thought he put good wood on it and it stayed in the park. I was pretty surprised — I thought it was gone for sure. He was smiling a little bit. He’s a good hitter. Those guys are fun to face, especially when they’re swinging at hot as he is. You’ve got to make good pitches against those guys.”
* Alex Hinshaw’s Cubs career ended when he was designated for assignment on Tuesday. He finished with a 135.00 ERA. Only one Cubs pitcher had a worse ERA, and that was right-hander Mort Cooper, who appeared in one game on May 7, 1949, and faced three Brooklyn batters. He entered in the fourth with one out and two on, and walked the first batter he faced, Pee Wee Reese, then threw a wild pitch, allowing a run to score. Gene Hermanski hit a RBI single, and Duke Snider followed with a two-run homer. Cooper was then lifted. The Cubs lost, 10-4.
Hinshaw appeared in two games with the Cubs, gave up five earned runs on four hits, including three home runs, and at least got one batter out. He faced six batters.
– Carrie Muskat