5/15 Cubs 6, Rockies 3

Check the standings. The Cubs are no longer in last place in the NL Central.

Jeff Samardzija smacked a two-run home run and struck out seven over eight innings to pick up his first win since April 1 and lead the Cubs to a 6-3 victory over the Rockies at Wrigley Field. David DeJesus hit a leadoff homer in the first to help the Cubs take the series and back Samardzija, who raised his season strikeout total to 64, which ranks among the top five in the National League.

Samardzija needed a win. This is the right-hander’s second full season as a starter, and he’s still going through some growing pains.

“He used the whole four corners of the plate,” Dale Sveum said. “He pitched up, he pitched in, he pitched away, used his slider, used his split, used a lot of cutters tonight. He used his whole repertoire tonight. He knew what he was doing tonight; he was pitching.”

Samardzija got off to a good start, needing just nine pitches to get through the first. He got some more help from DeJesus, who opened the Chicago half with his fifth home run and 14th career leadoff homer. The Rockies tied the game in the second but Samardzija answered in the Cubs half. With two outs, Darwin Barney doubled and Samardzija launched the first pitch from Jon Garland into the left-field bleachers for his second career home run and a 3-1 lead.

“That was huge at that time,” Sveum said. “For him to come through and pick us up like that was huge.”

Said Garland: “He’s a good athlete, a pretty good player. It was a cutter out over the plate. It was the first pitch and I was trying to get it over the plate. He was looking off-speed and got it.”

Samardzija’s other home run was Sept. 23, 2009, against the Brewers.

“I need to slow down around the bases and enjoy it a little bit,” Samardzija said of his fast-paced trot. “It doesn’t happen too often. We work a lot on hitting. [Pitching coach Chris] Bosio has us out there hitting every day in the cages. In the National League, it’s an important at-bat. There in the sixth when I got that bunt down, those are important plays in the game and we ended up putting up a three-spot. You can’t accept the out as a pitcher.”

The Cubs added three more runs in the seventh. They’ve now won back to back series for the first time this season.

“We’re playing great baseball and not shooting ourselves in the foot and we’re just looking to keep it going, keep the momentum going that we’ve built up in the last couple weeks,” Samardzija said. “It’s exciting now, it’s exciting in the locker room and fun to play with these guys.”

– Carrie Muskat

17 Comments

Is important Smardz got this W. My God, he`s a core player and this is first victory since opening day. Let`s get real fans. We have got to establish a winning attitude here. Let`s go on a long winning streak. I do not buy this five year plan b.s. I want to win now. Who is with myself? Baseball is not as complicated as some would have you believe. Is all about good pitching. The Dodgers won back in the 60`s with Dick Tracewski at second base, a man I live near right now, but could not hit to save his llife. However, he had Koufax and Drysdale and others on the mound and they won championships.

sorry bud but this aint 1960 anymore…. baseball has changed… you need pitching and production… see NY YANKEES…..

Is anyone out there? I feel I`m in a frickin zero zone. If a tree falls in the forest and no one is present, does it make a sound? I can guarantee you that if White were awake, she would respond. White is Gold.

You folk who do not respond p.o. myself. Why do you not contribute? We won tonight. I would think you would be inspired to articulate your views. Never mind; must be me.

I must say, the fact that Rizzo has gone with way more than 20 at bats or actually 30, is remarkable as that is highly unusual for a power hitter to accomplish that feat. Most power hitters fan abundantly, please believe me. You can look it up, as Casey Stengel used to say.

Relax jhosk….we’re here….just soaking in a great victory, takes a while to process. Nothing wrong with the five year plan, a lot of good teams go through it when rebuilding. That doesn’t mean the Ricketts, Epstein, Hoyer and us fans cannot be pleasantly surprised if the team challenges for a playoff berth earlier than five years but it will take some trades and free agent signings, something I hope happens sooner rather than later. To mention the Dodgers Koufax and Drysdale in the same breath as this current team regarding the ability to win in less than five years is a big stretch dont’ you think? Of course if even THIS team had a “Koufax” and a “Drysdale” it certainly would be winning more games. But we don’t have pitchers like them and until we start playing like last night, consistently pitching into the 8th inning and minimizing the bullpen I believe we will remain on the long road of rebuilding whether 5 years or 2 years. No need to get our hopes up too high for THIS season. White may be sleeping in today after celebrating too much last night??

Good Morning Jhosk. Yes, I just woke up. I think you are on the East coast and I am in Oregon so we have a bit of time difference. Last night’s game was awesome. Smardj was impressive and finally got the win he so deserved. Barney’s defense was GG as usual and his offense is coming back with a vengeance. No problem there. The Cubs seem to have turned a corner and are finding their stride. I see their confidence growing with each win and confidence can win more games than almost anything else. It is that way in life and so it is with the game of baseball. Eamus Catuli

I apologize to joey and White and everyone else. Had too much Jack last night and got carried away. Invoking Koufax`s name was a real stretch as I can truly say I have not seen a hurler of his quality since Sandy left the game.

oh….Jack. You won me over jhosk. No need to apologize.

The Cubs have won the last 4/5 games! But the one game I go to they had to lose -_- But I was happy that Barney got that homerun! I was with my Barney jersey and right when he hit it I stood up with my hand held high and was yelling “Its leaving, it’s leaving!” And my family was like “No, Isabel, Shut up! Sit down” Then I was still standing and everyone was waiting, then YES IT WAS A HOMERUN! I was yelling and cheering and everyone around me was giving me high fives! I felt so odd because I was the only one standing but I didn’t care! Then someone said “Wow, you knew that was going to leave? That’s awesome! You must be a big fan!” Then I replied by saying “Im his biggest fan!” Hahaha! It was amazing! :)

Isabel, YOU are amazing. You should look into writing as a career. You’re good girl!! It read like a story!!!

Joey that means a lot! Thank you! Actually I am looking into that as a career! Thank you :) I also want to be a besball scout and hopefully be a scout for the Cubs. Im just not sure how to start with that..haha

You’re welcome indeed! You will figure it out Isabel…then write a novel about your experience as a scout for the Cubs, your travels and of course how “it all started” on this blog with the encouragement of your blog friends. It will be a movie to rival “42″, “The Natural”, “Pride Of The Yankees” and “Trouble With The Curve”. I will see your name in lights one day young lady, no doubt. God bless. (Don’t forget to get the premiere actors of the day to play myself and White!! And of course the cutest actor to play BARNEY!!)

Haha you’re kind words are bringing a huge smile to my face! Thank you! Don’t worry I will try my hardest to make it big some day! Of coarse when I get actors for White and you I need some actors that are kind, warm, and have a lot of Cubs love! And Barney!? OMG I would have to find someone close to look like him! Maybe I’ll ask him! (: Haha I do hope I make something great and something I love.

BUT THEY ARE DOING BETTER! :D

Isabel – I know just the job for you! When Carrie Muskat retires you can have her job! In the meantime maybe she needs an assistant. She could have you do some of the hard interviews like with Barney, etc. What do you think?

I don’t know about that one White, I just don’t want to see Carrie retire! I don’t want to even think about that!

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