5/26 Cubs 8, Giants 4

Jeff Samardzija got an unexpected but very welcome beer shower after Monday’s win, his first after 16 straight winless starts. The Cubs beat the Giants, 8-4, and Samardzija helped himself, striking out 10, hitting a RBI double, and scoring the go-ahead run. Nate Schierholtz hit his first homer of the season and Darwin Barney drove in two runs.

“It was nice to get him the first win before June,” Barney said. “I think it was on his mind a little more than he put out just by how happy he was today and the fashion that it went down.”

Samardzija entered the game with the lowest ERA through the first 10 starts of a season by any pitcher who didn’t have a win in Major League history. His ERA is now 1.68, which would be second in the Majors to the Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright (1.67).

“People try to downplay the record thing but as a starting pitcher, I think it’s important,” said Samardzija, who has handled the lack of wins better than anyone. “I care, I want to keep working hard and come out every day and try to get a win. That’s all you can do.”

The Cubs hadn’t given Samardzija any run support, but that changed Monday. Seven of the nine Chicago starters drove in a run, including the pitcher himself. In the fifth, the Cubs had runners at first and third with one out when Barney hit a sacrifice fly. Samardzija followed with an RBI double to tie the game at 3, and then scored on Emilio Bonifacio’s triple.

“I’ve said before, we count, too, as outs,” Samardzija said of pitchers. “Part of it’s on your shoulders, too. I got a 2-0 pitch I could handle and put a good hit on it.”

“It’s a relief for everybody,” Rick Renteria said. “Today there were big contributions by everybody in the ballgame. [Samardzija] certainly helped himself at the plate and gave us a chance to win a ballgame.”

What was it like for the Giants’ hitters? Hector Sanchez said Samardzija has “gasoline in his arm.”

– Carrie Muskat

15 Comments

Lock him up, Theo!

Aloha Cubs Win, yes what a beautiful day today! You know after a Giants game on 680am John, Kruk, Kuip and Dave were picking their players for the game. In all the years that I have listened to them even when the Giants lose they pick Giants, its a foregone conclusion. Today, when they asked the hall of fame announcer John Miller who was his choice he said “da Shark!” I said to my wife, is he trying to transmit a message to Brian Sabean and company to contact Theo & co?! Glad you had a great time today! I am sure Carrie enjoyed the weather and setting, the park is in a beautiful location. I will be there tomorrow! Mahalo! PS: Carrie, if you ever take a moment to walk the stadium or get a break, stop underneath the Coke bottle in left field, I and many Cubs fans would be honored to share our Aloha’s with you.

K.G. – I listened to that broadcast on the drive home. Mike Krukow was gushing over Shark (and I call him that because I can’t spell his name). That quote from Sanchez is great. I’m with you, I hope the Cubs sign him.

The days of Shark signing with the Cubs are over……..there are no more contract talks….we are at trade talks with Shark………..why should we sign Shark for $115 million plus contract ?…….and Shark is NOT giving a hometown discount……no such thing anymore in this industry……..it’s Business…….the Cubs as I was told by someone here is at Stage Two from reaching to Stage Ten……we are far from being in the Playoffs…….BTW, I think the L.A. Kings just scored another goal……..Samardzija value is worth more as a trade chip then being a pitcher on this club for the next five years…..we did good with Garza trade, and we will do even better with a Shark trade….let these young prospect guys jell together…….but if a playoff team want Samardzija, these GM’s need to pay the price to get him……….Shark is doing better then Price or Masterson….both who have lost speed off of their fastball.

Aloha CubsTalk- I know the “prevailing” thought in the media is that Shark is gone. I would say this, we have him through next year so I hope the FO takes their time if in fact their decision is not to sign him to an extension be it 3 or 5yrs. Having said that, I think if he is traded that he is worth more than Garza and yes it was amazing what that trade netted for our Cubbies but as anyone knows in the business with any trade there is risk, that one worked out for us. In regard to the hometown discount, I am not sure if he would not sign onto it, if he knew that the owner and management were dead serious about putting together a contender. I say at least offer it to him and if he says no, then OK. The flip side of this is if a team comes in with an unbelievable offer of players and top prospects that could also sway Jeff to either agree to sign or not. I am not going to assume I know, since I am not Jeff nor the FO but all I can do is share with fellow Cubbies here that the team in my area is showing great interest in the Shark and they are not being quiet about it. Another beautiful day for a ball game though it is at night! Looking forward to it, my first game of the season! Go Cubbies! Mahalo.

I believe Jeff S. and the Cubs are both best served by having the man traded, k.g. We should insist on any trade partner paying dearly for such a valuable commodity. Jeff is a highly competitive guy and , I can`t see him willing to wait perhaps three years before his current team becomes competitive, when he could very well pitch for an instant contender. If he were 22, perhaps he would be patient enough to postpone gratification, but not at 29. I heard Jon Miller describe much of yesterday`s game on XM/Sirus radio and it was reinforced to me that he is a joy to listen to. I believe Vin and he are the two best at their trades. Both were born to describe baseball games. Most team broadcasters are “homers” these days and that is beyond annoying. The two aforementioned are not, in my view. You say Jon Miller is a Hall of Fame broadcaster, k.g. Is that hyperbole or was he indeed inducted, or are you speculating he will be one day? Is he popular there is the Bay area? Enjoy tonight`s game. I know you will be attending, and I`ll think about you. I think you made reference to the possibility you will need to bundle up. Is it common for nights to be cold in May? I attended a Cubs/ Giants game at Candlestick in August of 1971 and folks came to the game in parkas. I was ill prepared for the cold that night, as I had no clue it could be that chilly in August. Joe Pepitone played that night for the Cubs. Mahalo!

You keep on talking about Samardzija like you know him personally and know exactly what his thought process is. You say the reason why he would want to be traded is his competitiveness and his pride, like he somehow is more competitive and has more pride than any of his teammates or any other professional athlete in any sport. You also can’t stop mentioning how you think he would rather go to a contender in 2014 than wait “perhaps three years before his current team becomes competitive,” like you’ve talked to him and he’s given you the direct quote “I don’t think the Cubs will be good for at least three years and I don’t want to wait around waiting for that.” In reality, I would imagine that you do not know Samardzija personally and that you have never talked to or even met him. So then, where are you getting all of these statements from? Where are you hearing that Samardzija’s assessment of the Cubs is that they are three years away from being competitive? To who or whom (have fun with that one for another three months) did he tell that he’s too competitive and too prideful to pitch another inning in a Cubs uniform? I’m guessing you heard this from no one. This is just you projecting your own thoughts and feelings onto Samardzija. Just because you think the Cubs won’t be good for another three years doesn’t mean that’s what Samardzija thinks. Just because you think if I went 16 starts without a win I would not want to pitch for that team anymore doesn’t mean Samardzija thinks that. Unless you have an actual “Jeff Samardzija said ________” quote to back up your statements, don’t just assume that what you think has to be exactly what he thinks.

I like having Doug on this site – a voice of reason! Will Shark be traded? None of us know. In my opinion, if a team overpays then he will be traded. If no team is willing to overpay, then he won’t be traded. And a deal would happen close to the trading deadline, because a trading partner will want to make sure they are in contention before giving up a big chunk of their future. So what does overpaying mean? Take Colorado. In my view, they would have to give the Cubs Jonathan Gray AND more prospects. K.G. – for what it’s worth, I just listened to Henry Schulman (Giants beat reporter) on the radio, and although he has no inside information, he thinks it is unlikely the Giants are willing to give up the prospects it would take to trade for Shark. He thinks they will go after a back-up outfielder.

Doug, I’m curious – do you think Samardzija will be traded? As I look at the standings, the only team that really makes sense is Toronto. I could definitely see them pulling he trigger, because when you share a division with the Yankees and Red Sox you better take a shot when you get the chance.

Personally, I think he will be traded, but I’m not as certain about that as I would have been at the start of the season. I think at the beginning of the season, the Cubs would have been happy if Samardzija pitched decent enough to get a good prospect or two in return but not good enough to justify paying him a ton of money (which would make the decision to trade him as opposed to giving him a large contract extension much easier to make). However, with him pitching better than mostly anyone in baseball over the first third of the season, the Cubs can certainly justify asking for multiple good prospects, but Samardzija’s salary demands are also looking a little more realistic from both his and the team’s perspective. With no rush to extend him, I guess the Cubs will just have to see what other teams are willing to give up.
The Blue Jays do have a deep farm system, including deep in pitching, so they would be a logical choice as a team that can give up a few good prospects and still say they have a good farm system. And yes, they do play in a competitive division, so they very well could make a big move to stay ahead of the rest (although if the problems of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays persist, one could argue that the Blue Jays don’t really need a blockbuster deal to win the division). The Red Sox are another team that has a pretty deep farm system, including pitching depth, so it would help the Cubs if the Red Sox got back into the race over the next few weeks… a though which Len Kasper has also mentioned.
I really think the Cubs are in a great position here though. They have no real pressure to trade Samardzija because he’s pitching great and is still under team control for another season. If they do choose to trade him, then they will have multiple suitors (not necessarily limited to teams in competition for this year due to him being under control for another year) and would get a nice haul in return. And even if they decide to try to extend him, he seems to be just hitting his prime now, which is to be expected considering how he didn’t really focus on baseball until after he graduated from Notre Dame. So I’m not going to jump in here with daily trade rumors or scenarios, after every start I’m not going to re-evaluate and determine what prospects I think he should get back, and I certainly won’t try to get inside his head and analyze what he must think of the situation. I’m just going to let him pitch, enjoy watching him pitch, and let the situation work itself out. Really, the only things that can derail him now are injury or coming back down to Earth. Now he won’t finish the year with a 1.60 ERA, but his BABP (batting average of balls in play) is good, which is one sign that a pitcher with a low ERA is not just a fluke. So enjoy and take comfort in knowing that there’s really no way the Cubs can do anything to totally screw this up.

Aloha Cubs Win- I bet Theo & Co spoke with the Giants at some point and said if you want the Shark then we want…I know how stingy Sabean has been in the past giving up top prospects especially pitchers. I say never say never: Shark could sign an extension with our Cubbies, he could be traded away to a contender, not to a contender or nothing happen at all until next season. I wish I were a fly on the wall in the FO-locker room! I can see the Giants going after an outfielder or an infielder with all the injuries they have had lately but starting pitching is an if for them too. The other night Kruk-Kuip-Flemming-Miller were all gushing over da Shark, I mean I was amazed I had not heard the 4 talk about an opposing playing that much during a whole game and after game in a long time. And then for Miller to pick the Shark as the player of the night, not a Giant player. That was amazing too. Anyhow, looking forward to tonight’s game! Mahalo!

My comment was addressed to k.g. Excuse me! My comment was addressed to k.g. Are you brain dead? I did not ask for your opinion. We all know how you feel. Jeff S. is going to be dealt. How can you not see that? Unless you are blind as a bat.

You’re posting on an open forum on a major site, so as far as I am concerned anyone can respond to anyone they’d like on here. If you have a question for someone and it’s for their eyes only, then get their contact info and have a private chat on your own. But go ahead and keep running your mouth. It’seems only a matter of time before you get called out on here just like your buddy Cubs Talk did the other day.
And I did say that I think Samardzija will be traded, so maybe you should stop throwing a fit every time someone doesn’t agree with you and pay attention!

Aloha jhosk- Yes, Jon Miller was honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame Frick award in 2010, he had been out in Baltimore before coming here. I had the pleasure of meeting him and working with him at one of our Japantown community events in the early 2000’s. A real class act and a great voice to listen to on the radio. So, last night’s game I had him on so that the wife would not get too angry with me! And yes, it sure can get cold here in the evening. Joe Pepitone, one of the cards that I needed for my 63 Topps set, I bet Jasper has it! Mahalo!

Three things are certain in life……Taxes….Death…..and Shark being on another team come Aug 1st……..
Which team(s) really can afford trading for Shark ?……lets cross out the Yanks, D-Backs, Dodgers, White Sox, Red Sox, Padres off the list for various reasons including ex-bosses, bad dealings / feelings, and crosstown ego issues ………..we can eliminate Astros, Rays, Twins, Marlins, A’s due to their similar rebuilding system…….eliminate teams that do not have the pitching prospects we might want, Tigers, Angels, Brewers, Mets, Phillies, Reds, Braves……..who is left ?………Orioles, Blue Jays, Royals, Indians, Rangers, Mariners, Nationals, Cardinals, Pirates, Giants, Rockies…….lets eliminate Cardinals & Pirates off the bat…….Theo will not want to see Shark remain in the division……Orioles, Nationals might be in the Hammel deal…so no team will have the prospects of our two top pitchers……we cam also count out Indians & Mariners, they will be out of the race within a month…….so we are down to Blue Jays, Royals, Rangers, Rockies & Giants……..if the Blue Jays stay hot, they will include both of their top pitching prospects……the Royals have overpaid before (Shields)……they might do it again……..then come the Rangers…..they like to have everything Big in Texas…..Shark is a Big name in the trade hunt…..will GM Daniels overpay for Shark after what he paid for Garza last year?………Giants GM could might go after C. Lee if Phillies pay part of his salary……and last is the Rockies…..here is a trade that Theo might consider…….Cubs might take Gray / Butler deal over a Sanchez / Stroman deal……..Gray was on Cubs radar before, so maybe Theo will trade with the Rockies if they are still in the race in mid June.

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