Results tagged ‘ Jeff Samardzija ’
* Anthony Rizzo picked up his 20th extra-base hit of the season with a double in the first. He is batting .392 since April 26 with nine doubles, three home runs, 16 RBIs.
* Jeff Samardzija picked up his first win since Opening Day, ending a five-game losing streak. His two-run homer was the first by a Cubs pitcher since Travis Wood did so Aug. 28 against the Brewers.
* David DeJesus notched his 500th career RBIs with his first inning home run.
* The Cubs have 24 doubles in the last six games, and lead the Majors with 92 doubles.
* Darwin Barney made a great defensive play in the fourth when he snared Carlos Gonzalez’s hard hit ball up the middle and threw in time to first.
“The one thing you do with Barney on defense is you don’t worry about it,” Dale Sveum said. “He’s either going to make a great play, and he never messes up any routine plays, even the pivot around second base.”
* Matt Garza makes a Minor League rehab start Thursday for Triple-A Iowa.
“It’s only going to get better when we get him back here,” Samardzija said. “Obviously, we want him to be healthy and that’s the most important thing.”
– Carrie Muskat
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
Luis Valbuena is back in the Cubs’ lineup for the series finale against the Rockies. Jeff Samardzija will be on the mound, looking for his first win since Opening Day. Here’s the lineup:
* Anthony Rizzo has not struck out in his last 28 at-bats dating to the sixth inning, May 7, vs. the Cardinals. It’s the second-longest active stretch in the Majors without a strikeout, trailing only the Orioles’ J.J. Hardy, who has not fanned in his last 31 at-bats (thanks to STATS Inc. for the info).
Rizzo was batting .380 (21-for-71) with eight doubles, three homers, 15 RBIs and a 1.056 OPS in his last 18 games dating to April 26. He has struck out eight times in that stretch. Prior to this 18-game span, he batted .173 (14-for-81) in his first 21 games to open the season with 26 Ks. His .380 batting average since April 26 is fourth-highest in the National League.
– Carrie Muskat
Anthony Rizzo appeared on MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk” and revealed that he had to borrow a belt, that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer are his “step parents,” and he’s jealous of Jeff Samardzija’s hair. During the interview with Kevin Millar and Chris Rose, Rizzo was asked for his first response when told the Cubs wanted to give him a long term contract.
“[I said] ‘Where do I sign?’” Rizzo said.
He did sign a seven-year, $41 million deal on Monday but apparently had to borrow a belt from teammate Ryan Sweeney for the news conference.
Epstein, Hoyer and Jason McLeod, the scouting and player development director, first selected Rizzo in the 2007 Draft. Then Hoyer traded for him when he and McLeod went to the Padres. Epstein, Hoyer and McLeod were reunited on the Cubs, and traded for Rizzo again. Does the first baseman have a man crush on Epstein and Hoyer?
“Those are my step parents, to be honest, Jed, Theo and Jason,” Rizzo said. “They brought me along on their ride. I think I have a crush on them more now.”
Millar and Rose wanted to know who has the best hair on the Cubs. Rizzo said it’s not him.
“[Samardzija] and [James] Russell have the best hair on the team so far,” Rizzo said.
He may like the locks, but during a quick Q&A, Rizzo couldn’t spell Samardzija’s name.
– Carrie Muskat
Starlin Castro got a long-term deal last August and Anthony Rizzo received a new contract on Monday. What about Jeff Samardzija?
“It’s not really important to me, to tell you the truth,” Samardzija said. “I’m the type of guy who the play speaks for itself and if you’re healthy and do everything you’re supposed to do like those guys do and most importantly, do what it takes to win ballgames, that’s what it’s all about. I’m a little older than they are — I wouldn’t mind being 22 or 23 again — but baseball wise, I’m still pretty young. That stuff comes as the game goes.”
In Spring Training, Samardzija said he wanted to pitch first, and then talk contract. That’s still the way he’s looking at it.
“We’re still in only the second month of the season,” Samardzija said. “Coming in and starting Opening Day and pitching every fifth game from there, I’ve felt great. I’m excited to get into the summer and get into August and get toward that high innings count and see where I’m at as a starter. Nothing has changed. The games that happen out here are the most important for me personally.”
He didn’t ask to table negotiations.
“I know they have a lot of things on their minds right now,” Samardzija said of the Cubs front office. “We have an understanding that we both want to be here, and both want me here, and that’s a great place to be. It’s up to me to do my job on the field.”
The right-hander recognizes that players are paid based on what they do on the field.
“I want my play to determine how everything goes down,” he said. “I have high expectations for myself and this team. That comes first. I feel everything after that will fall into line for me personally.”
– Carrie Muskat
* Anthony Rizzo leads the NL and is tied for second in the Majors with 18 extra-base hits while David DeJesus is tied for ninth in the NL with 15. The Cubs’ 108 extra-base hits are second-most in the NL behind the Rockies (111).
* Travis Wood recorded his seventh-straight quality start to begin the season on Tuesday, the first Cubs lefty to accomplish the feat since Johnny Schmitz did so to start the 1948 campaign.
* Cubs third basemen have an .806 OPS this season, fourth-best in the NL, after recording a .611 OPS in 2012, second-lowest in the Majors.
* The Cubs have four starting pitchers with a season ERA of 3.09 or lower, the second-most in the Majors: Scott Feldman (2.70), Jeff Samardzija (3.09), Carlos Villanueva (2.85) and Travis Wood (2.33). The Cardinals feature a staff in which all five starters have sub-3.09 ERAs.
* Looking ahead to the Cubs weekend series in Washington against the Nationals, here are the pitching matchups:
Friday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.09) vs. LHP Ross Detwiler (1-3, 2.50)
Saturday: RHP Edwin Jackson (0-5, 6.39) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (1-4, 3.45)
Sunday: RHP Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.70) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 4.97)
– Carrie Muskat
* The Cubs begin a stretch in which they host three teams in a three-day span at Wrigley Field for the first time in nearly 53 years. Sunday, they wrap up a three-game series against the Reds, then host the Rangers on Monday, and face the Cardinals on Tuesday. The Cubs last hosted three teams in three days at Wrigley Field, Aug. 21-23, 1960, when they played a doubleheader vs. the Giants on Aug. 21, then hosted the Reds on Aug. 22 before starting a series vs. Pittsburgh, Aug. 23.
* In 18 quality starts this season, Cubs pitchers have recorded a 2.05 ERA (28 ER/122.2 IP) yet have just six victories. Only three NL teams have more quality starts than the Cubs: the Cardinals (22), the Reds (20) and the Phillies (20). Cubs starting pitchers rank third in the NL with 169 strikeouts. The Cardinals lead with 171 strikeouts.
* Jeff Samardzija’s 52 strikeouts are tied for second-most in the NL with the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. The Pirates’ A.J. Burnett leads with 57. Samardzija has a 3.09 ERA in seven starts, yet is 1-4. He and Carlos Villanueva (1-2, 2.85 in 6 GS) are two of five starting pitchers with a sub-3.09 ERA and one or no wins on the season.
– Carrie Muskat
* Alfonso Soriano hit two home runs Saturday for his 31st career multi-homer game, and second by a Cubs player this year. Soriano now has 375 career home runs, one of 70 players in MLB history to reach that mark. He hit a pair of two-run home runs off the Reds, and that accounted for two of the three hits by the Cubs.
* Jeff Samardzija has a 1.50 ERA in two starts against the Reds this year, yet no wins. On Saturday, he threw a season-high 111 pitches over six innings. The Cubs have compiled 18 quality starts this year, and a 2.05 ERA. But they have won just six of those games.
* James Russell has 16 straight scoreless outings to open the season. He has 15 Ks, and two walks.
* On Sunday, Edwin Jackson (0-4, 6.27 ERA) will face Mat Latos (2-0, 1.83 ERA) in the series finale at Wrigley Field.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs are convinced Carlos Marmol can still get batters out, but on Saturday, he couldn’t throw a strike. Marmol entered in the eighth with a two-run lead and failed to retire a batter, walking two and hitting another, to help the Reds rally for four runs and post a 6-4 victory over the Cubs. Alfonso Soriano hit a pair of two-run home runs and Jeff Samardzija was in line for his first win since Opening Day until the fateful eighth.
Chicago led 4-2 when Marmol took over, making his 453rd appearance, a franchise record, passing Lee Smith. But he walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, then walked Joey Votto. Dale Sveum left Marmol in, hoping he could get Brandon Phillips to ground into a double play. Instead, Marmol hit Brandon Phillips with a pitch to load the bases. Hector Rondon entered, and Jay Bruce hit a RBI single, Todd Frazier followed with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 4-4. Rondon intentionally walked Xavier Paul, and unintentionally walked pinch-hitter Joel Hannahan to force in the go-ahead run. Another run scored on pinch-hitter Devin Mesoraco’s sacrifice fly.
Marmol is the problem, though. In 14 appearances, he has given up 11 hits, walked 12 and hit three batters over 11 2/3 innings. He lost his job as the closer after the first week of the season, and now has a 6.17 ERA.
“I can’t throw strikes,” Marmol said. “I’m giving people a chance to score.”
“He’s not executing,” Sveum said. “He’s not throwing the ball over the plate. It doesn’t matter what pitch is called.”
The Cubs are trying to make it work for the right-hander, who lost his job as the closer last season yet won it back and finished strong. He hasn’t been able to bounce back this year.
“He’ll be pitching in roles with the game on the line, early in the game, or whatever,” Sveum said. “One way or the other, he’s got to get fixed. … I don’t even know if he threw a strike today. There were a couple swings but I don’t know if they were strikes. One way or the other, we have to get him fixed because he’s got to pitch.”
Marmol threw 14 pitches Saturday, only four were strikes, and only one was a called strike. He said he isn’t lacking confidence and that he’s healthy. He is frustrated.
“I have to go out there tomorrow and throw strikes and get people out,” Marmol said. “That’s all you can do.”
Unfortunately for the Cubs, this isn’t the first time they’ve blown a lead in the late innings. This was the 25th game out of the Cubs’ 30 to be decided by three runs or less, and Chicago now is 9-16 in those games. Twelve of those losses have been by two runs or less.
“Probably half of our losses have been these kind of losses,” Sveum said. “That’s what’s frustrating. If we could turn the switch around, we’d have eight more wins. It’s not like we’re going through a game and losing 6-2 and it’s a normal game. Whether it’s errors or walking people like today or whatever it might be, there aren’t a lot of clean games going on in the first 30 games.”
They may be frustrated but they’re not down.
“Maybe on some other teams but this team is pretty resilient,” Jeff Samardzija said. “We need to stop shooting ourselves in the foot and turn these ‘L’s’ into ‘W’s.’”
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs will try to get back on track Saturday in the second game of their three-game series against the Reds. Jeff Samardzija, looking for his first win since Opening Day, gets the start against Cincinnati lefty Tony Cingrani. Here’s the lineup:
* The Cubs have dropped their last seven home games to the Reds, dating to Aug. 10, 2012.
* So far, 24 of the Cubs’ 29 games have been decided by three runs or less, with the Cubs going 9-15 in those games. More than half o the Cubs’ 18 losses have been by two runs or less.
– Carrie Muskat