Results tagged ‘ Jeff Samardzija ’

6/17 Cubs tidbits

According to the Cubs:

* The Cubs have played nine extra inning games this season, the most through June 16 since 10 extra-inning affairs at this point in the calendar in 2008.

* Travis Wood delivered the game-winning hit with a RBI double in the 13th inning. Cubs historian Ed Hartig reports Wood is the first Cubs pitcher in nearly 25 years (and the fourth in the expansion era) with a game-winning RBI in extra innings since Les Lancaster delivered a walk-off RBI double on July 20, 1989 vs. San Francisco. The other two are: Fergie Jenkins in 1968 and Lindy McDaniel in 1963.

* The Cubs have won back to back games on the road for the first time since Sept. 9-10 last season in Cincinnati. The Cubs have not won three-straight road games on the same trip since April 25-27, 2013.

* Jeff Samardzija is the only pitcher in baseball to make at least 12 starts this year and have two wins despite an ERA under 3.00. The only other pitcher in baseball with two wins despite a sub-3.00 ERA in at least 10 starts is San Diego’s Andrew Cashner, who has missed time on the DL and has two wins in 11 starts.

* Samardzija is the first National League pitcher to reach the middle of June with two wins despite having made 14 starts with a sub-3.00 ERA. Only one other pitcher did that, and it happened last season when Kansas City’s James Shields had two wins in 14 starts through June 15 despite a 2.79 ERA.

* With a win Tuesday or Wednesday, the Cubs would win consecutive road series for the first time in nearly a year.

* The Cubs’ 3.01 season ERA (71 ER/212 IP) from its bullpen ranks fourth-lowest in the NL this season. That is more than a full run lower than the bullpen’s 4.26 ERA (88 ER/186 IP) through the first 68 games of last season.

6/12 Cubs lineup

Jeff Samardzija starts tonight for the Cubs in the series finale against the Pirates, weather permitting. Rain is in the forecast, but it’s always in the forecast in Pittsburgh. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio CF
Lake LF
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Valbuena 3B
Schierholtz RF
Baker C
Barney 2B
Samardzija P

* Valbuena is batting .384 (28-for-73) with 10 doubles, two homers, eight RBI and a 1.061 OPS in his last 22 games since May 13. The .384 average is tops in the National League and fourth in the Majors in that span.

6/7 Cubs lineup

Jeff Samardzija gets the start Saturday for the Cubs in Game 2 of their three-game series against the Marlins. Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio CF
Lake LF
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Ruggiano RF
Olt 3B
Barney 2B
Whiteside C
Samardzija P

6/1 Brewers 9, Cubs 0

Kyle Lohse threw a three-hit complete game to lead the Brewers to a 9-0 win over the Cubs Sunday and take the series. Jeff Samardzija had the shortest start of his career, giving up eight runs over three innings. Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer, Scooter Gennett had three hits, including a solo homer, and Lyle Overbay hit a three-run double.

“It was one of those days,” Samardzija said. “They came out aggressive and were hitting the ball. Tip your hat to them, they’re swinging it pretty good. I left some balls up in the zone and they jumped on them.”

Samardzija was coming off his first win of the season, and making his 12th start. It was his worst. He had not given up more than three earned runs in a game this season, and had done that only twice. It was the first time he had been charged with that many runs since the Phillies scored nine in 3 1/3 innings on Aug. 8.

“Whatever he threw over the plate, they were on it,” Cubs catcher Welington Castillo said. “We all know what kind of stuff Samardzija has and how good a game he can pitch. His stuff was there today and they were on it.”

The Brewers were prepared, but didn’t expect this.

“I figured it’d be low scoring on both ends,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “I knew Kyle had a good chance of keeping them down, and I didn’t expect to get a lot of runs off Samardzija.”

Who would? When Samardzija started the game, he had a 1.68 ERA, just percentage points ahead of the Reds’ Johnny Cueto in the Majors. He finished with a 2.54 ERA.

“I’m obviously upset with how it went today,” Samardzija said. “It’s just about going out and understanding that it’s a season of 32 starts and some are good, some are bad, and next time you want to go out and prevent the big number and keep your team in the game.

“That’s the most frustrating part of it is when they’re hitting in the fourth and feel like it’s a big dish they’re in,” he said. “If you have a rough day, you need to keep it to four, five, six runs, something maneagable for the offense.”

Samardzija wasn’t the only one who made an early exit. The Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo was ejected for the first time in his career in the fourth after arguing a called third strike with home-plate umpire Jerry Meals.

“I didn’t agree with the calls, obviously,” Rizzo said. “I said my piece, and definitely understand why I got ejected, and I’ll just move on with it.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/1 Rizzo tossed; Samardzija exits

Jeff Samardzija had the shortest outing of his career Sunday, giving up eight runs on eight hits and two walks over three innings against the Brewers. Samardzija began the day leading the Majors in ERA at 1.68; that increased to 2.55. He wasn’t the only Cubs player to make an early exit. Anthony Rizzo was ejected in the fourth inning after arguing a called third strike with home plate umpire Jerry Meals. It’s the first time Rizzo has been tossed in his career.

– Carrie Muskat

6/1 Cubs lineup – UPDATED

Jeff Samardzija faces Kyle Lohse in the series finale Sunday between the Cubs and Brewers at Miller Park. Samardzija leads the Majors with a 1.68 ERA in 11 starts, mere percentage points ahead of Johnny Cueto’s 1.68 ERA (1.680 vs. 1.681). According to STATS Inc., it’s the lowest ERA for a Cubs starting pitcher on June 1 (minimum 10 starts) since Rick Reuschel posted a 1.60 season ERA entering June of 1973.

UPDATE: Luis Valbuena is sidelined with an abdominal problem, and not in the Cubs’ lineup. Valbuena batted .295 in May. Cubs manager Rick Renteria said the problem isn’t serious, and that Valbuena is sidelined as a precautionary measure.

The Cubs have played 24 games decided by two runs or less this season, going 5-19 in those contests. Those 24 close games represent nearly half of the games they’ve played, as the team is 15-14 in 29 games decided by three runs or more.

Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio CF
Lake LF
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Schierholtz RF
Castillo C
Olt 3B
Barney 2B
Samardzija P

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

5/22 Samardzija follow up

Jeff Samardzija threw seven scoreless innings Wednesday against the Yankees only to record a no-decision after a blown save in the ninth. He is 0-4 with six no decisions this year, and leads the Major Leagues with a 1.46 ERA.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Samardzija’s 1.46 ERA is the lowest without a win through the first 10 starts of a season by any pitcher in Major League history.

Additionally, Elias reports that Samardzija is the first pitcher to lead his league in ERA on May 22 or later without a win since Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter paced the National League with a 0.89 ERA on June 7, 1977.

Samardzija has a 2.99 ERA (35 ER/105 1/3 IP) during his 16-start winless streak, during which he is 0-6 with 10 no decisions. In this stretch, he has allowed zero earned runs in four starts, one earned run or less in seven starts, and two earned runs or less in 10 starts. He also has 11 quality starts. The Cubs are 2-14 in the outings.

Samardzija’s last win came in the ballpark at which the Cubs play this weekend, a 3-2 win against San Diego on Aug. 24, 2013. His next start is scheduled for Monday in San Francisco.

5/21 Yankees 4, Cubs 2 (13 innings)

If you gauge a pitcher’s performance by ERA, Jeff Samardzija is the best in baseball. If you judge someone on wins, he’s not.

Brendan Ryan scored the tie-breaking run on a wild pitch by Jose Veras and John Ryan Murphy added an RBI single in the 13th inning Wednesday to lift the Yankees to a 4-2 Interleague victory over the Cubs and Samardzija, who was was once again denied a win.

Ryan led off the 13th against Veras with an infield single that third baseman Luis Valbuena knocked down. Yangervis Solarte walked, and both he and Ryan moved up on Preston Claiborne’s sacrifice in his first Major League plate appearance. Veras’ 2-1 pitch to Murphy sailed to the backstop, and Ryan scored. Murphy then delivered a bloop RBI single to right.

The game should have never gone to extra innings but an error by second baseman Darwin Barney led to a tying run. Trailing 2-0 in the ninth against Hector Rondon, Mark Teixeira singled, Brian McCann walked and Solarte singled to load the bases. Ichiro Suzuki hit a grounder to shortstop Starlin Castro, who got the force at second. A run scored on the play, but the Yankees added another as Barney’s relay throw skipped past first baseman Anthony Rizzo for an error.

“It just got away,” Barney said. “Ichiro running, grass is slow. I thought I had to rush it a little bit. You look at it again and maybe I should’ve ate it. I’m trying to make the play and I’d rather go down that way than holding it.”

Barney hasn’t had consistent playing time this season as he did the last two years. Could that be the problem?

“Those are excuses,” he said. “I’m not going to make an excuse right now. I tried to make a play and the throw got away from me.”

And nobody felt worse for Samardzija than he did.

“I feel terrible,” Barney said. “The guy went seven scoreless again. He’s the best pitcher in the league right now — American League, National League, Japanese league. The wins will come. It’s one of those funny things — some days you come out and put up five runs in the first two innings and it hasn’t happened for him yet.”

Samardzija’s ERA now is 1.46. He has zero wins in 10 starts. The Cubs are 1-9 in his starts, and simply haven’t scored any runs.

Any team needing a starting pitcher has to be watching Samardzija’s outings and wondering what he could do for their staff. Since last season, Samardzija has been the subject of trade rumors, and knows the chatter will increase as the Trade Deadline approaches. Is he wasting his outings with the Cubs?

“We’re not wasting anything,” Samardzija said. “Modern technology, every game gets seen and watched. I don’t think it’s any secret with what I’m doing. I can get better, and I’m doing some things out there that are good and we look to keep building on that. It’s 10 starts in and we have another handful to go hopefully and just keep doing it.”

He was vying for his first win since last Aug. 24 in San Diego. Since that date, 383 different Major League pitchers have earned at least one “W.” How can he not be pulling his hair out?

“I’ve seen it go the other way, too,” Samardzija said. “I go back to early in my career in ’08, ’09, when I didn’t know what I was doing but somehow managed a ERA in the 2.00’s my rookie year. You keep throwing the ball, and it’ll turn around.”

– Carrie Muskat

5/21 Cubs lineup

Jeff Samardzija boasts the best ERA in the Majors, but doesn’t have a win. Will he get one today vs. the Yankees? Here’s the lineup:

Bonifacio CF
Lake LF
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Valbuena 2B
Castillo C
Schierholtz RF
Olt 3B
Samardzija P

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