Results tagged ‘ Jeff Samardzija ’

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

5/20 Trade chatter

Cubs manager Rick Renteria says he doesn’t listen to all the trade rumors, even though two of his pitchers, Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel, will likely be mentioned often.

“I’ll be honest, I really don’t concern myself with that too much,” Renteria said. “I can only control what I have before me.”

Jeff Samardzija will try for his first win of the season on Wednesday against a team that might be interested in acquiring him.

“Just because he hasn’t had the victories at the end of his scoreline, doesn’t mean he hasn’t pitched victoriously,” Renteria said of Samardzija, who is 0-1 with a 1.62 ERA, second best in the National League. “He’s pitched great. He’s mature, he’s a man who knows he’s doing what he can do, controlling what he can control, and every single time he takes the ball, he’ll try to do the same thing. Most people keep asking me if he’s getting frustrated. I see a guy going out there every single day who is as professional as I can depict any person being and knowing he can only do what he can do.”

Does Renteria need to talk to Samardzija or Jason Hammel, who also could be trade bait, about dealing with the rumors? The Cubs manager says no, and that both pitchers are “in a pretty good place.”

“If anybody has shown resiliency, it’s Jeff,” he said.

— Carrie Muskat

5/16 Brewers 4, Cubs 3

As far as Rick Renteria was concerned, Jeff Samardzija didn’t need a win to prove how well he’s pitched this year. But Samardzija made it clear he wants to end the winless streak, which reached 15 games on Friday.

The Brewers extended Samardzija’s bizarre streak, posting a 4-3 victory over the Cubs, who didn’t make it easy on the right-hander with a season-high three errors.

“No, I’m not happy about it,” Samardzija said of the lack of wins despite having one of the best ERAs in the game. “It’s not like it goes unnoticed. I want to win. Being a starting pitcher, you have a big say in how the game turns out.

“Obviously, if my record isn’t what I’d like it to be, I need to do a better job,” he said. “I’ll go back to the film, watch what happened. You can’t forget to tip your hat to Milwaukee. They’re playing well right now and put together some good at-bats. There’s some things we need to improve on, and we’ll go to the film and go to the bullpen and work on it and be ready to go next start.”

Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer and Junior Lake added a solo shot for Chicago, but it wasn’t enough to help Samardzija, who gave up four runs (two earned) over five innings.

“He may not have any victories on his record sheet in wins and losses, but for me, he’s won every single time he’s gone out there,” Renteria said.

Samardzija’s ERA is now 1.62, and he is second in the NL in run support average.

“It’s too bad,” Barney said of Samardzija’s record. “I think when he comes out every fifth day and pitches, and competes, and we want nothing more than to give him some run support.”

The Cubs made it even easier for the Brewers with two errors in the first that led to two runs. Jean Segura was at second with two outs when Jonathan Lucroy singled to left after a 12-pitch at-bat. Segura scored, and Lucroy reached second on a fielding error by Lake, who overran the ball in left. Lucroy then scored on a throwing error by shortstop Starlin Castro on Lyle Overbay’s grounder.

Elian Herrera doubled to open the second inning, and one out later, Logan Schafer walked. Both advanced on a passed ball by catcher Welington Castillo, and then scored on Segura’s single. Samardzija threw 50 pitches over the first two innings.

The Cubs had runners at first and third in the third, but Lohse got Castillo to hit into a double play. Lohse gave up seven hits over seven innings, and he retired the side in order in his last four innings.

“You’ve got to give yourself a chance,” Renteria said. “The only way to give yourself a chance is to execute. It doesn’t mean you’re going to score a run but we gave ourselves a chance.”

— Carrie Muskat

5/16 Cubs lineup

Jeff Samardzija tries for his first win of the season on Friday, weather permitting. It’s rainy at Wrigley Field. We’ll keep you posted. Here’s the lineup vs. Kyle Lohse:

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

5/15 Cubs vs. Brewers

Looking ahead to the Cubs’ upcoming series against the Brewers, here are the pitching matchups:

Friday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-3, 1.45) vs. RHP Kyle Lohse (4-1, 2.75)
Saturday: RHP Edwin Jackson (2-3, 4.56) vs. RHP Matt Garza (2-3, 4.98)
Sunday: LHP Travis Wood (3-4, 4.91) vs. RHP Marco Estrada (3-1, 3.28)

5/12 Cubs vs. Cardinals

The Cubs open a four-game series in St. Louis Monday night. Here are the pitching matchups:

Pitching matchups:

Monday: LHP Travis Wood (2-4, 4.75) vs. LHP Tyler Lyons (0-2, 3.43)
Tuesday: RHP Jake Arrieta (0-0, 2.89) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (6-2, 2.02)
Wednesday: RHP Jason Hammel (4-1, 2.45) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (2-3, 2.85)
Thursday: RHP Jeff Samardzija (0-3, 1.45) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (4-2, 3.83)

Extra bases:

* The Cubs’ 12-24 record is the slowest start through 36 games since they were 11-25 in 1997. That team lost its first 14 games of the season. This year, the Cubs have lost at least 24 of their first 36 games for the third time in the last 33 seasons (1994, ’97 and 2014).

* Cubs pitchers have 21 quality starts but only six individual wins from starters in those games. Cubs starters have as many wins as losses when recording a quality start (6-6) to go with nine no-decisions. The Cubs are 7-14 in those quality starts despite a 2.06 ERA from the starting pitchers.

* Samardzija and Hammel are tied for fourth in MLB in quality starts (seven each).

* Here’s a bizarre stat: The Cubs have not had a starting pitcher throw at least six innings and give up more than three earned runs and notch a win since Matt Garza on June 16, 2011 (six innings, five earned runs in a 12-7 win over the Brewers).

5/7 Thanks, Paulie

Jeff Samardzija presented White Sox slugger Paul Konerko with a No. 14 from the Wrigley Field scoreboard as a parting gift. Konerko is retiring after this season and Tuesday was his last game at Wrigley, although he did not play. Samardzija wanted to take part in the ceremony. In May 2012, the right-hander accidentally hit Konerko on the side of the head with a pitch.

“When the whole thing went down when I hit him, the first thing I said was it’s the worst guy it could happen to because I respect him more than anyone in this game,” Samardzija said. “You talk about losing two guys in the game like [Derek] Jeter and Konerko, it’s tough. It’s bad for the game. We love to see those guys and how long they played and we’d love to see them keep playing. Outstanding man, and hopefully he has a strong year to end it and enjoys it too and enjoys the run he had and soaks it all in.”

Konerko appreciated the gesture.

“Yeah, I like Jeff,” Konerko said. “He’s a good guy. He’s doing great. I’m a fan of his as far as the way he pitches and he’s aggressive out there and he swings the bat well on top of it. I don’t know him well; I’ve met him a few times off the field but you know his teammates really like him and he’s respected over there. The guys that are with him every day, they’re not going to be wrong on that stuff. It was kind of fitting that he gave it to me and he’s doing great right now. Good for him.”

— Carrie Muskat

5/5 White Sox 3, Cubs 1 (12 innings)

Jeff Samardzija struck out seven over nine innings, made the pitches when he needed, hit, scored a run, fielded his position, and lowered his ERA to 1.62. But it wasn’t enough for the win. Marcus Semien smacked a tiebreaking RBI double with two outs in the 12th inning to lift the White Sox to a 3-1 Interleague victory Monday night over their crosstown rivals, the Cubs.

With the game tied at 1 and two outs in the 12th against Justin Grimm, Alexei Ramirez singled to right and stole second. Tyler Flowers walked, and Semien lined a double down the left-field line. Pinch-hitter Paul Konerko was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Grimm walked Alejandro De Aza to force in another run.

The story of the game was Samardzija. The right-hander threw a career-high 126 pitches, but his last was one of his best as he got Dayan Viciedo to hit into an inning-ending double play and strand a runner in the ninth in front of 33,146 chilled fans at Wrigley Field. This was the right-hander’s seventh start, and sixth quality start. He’s still looking for that first “W.”

“I was pretty hungry for that one,” Samardzija said.

The Cubs did everything they could. Manager Rick Renteria let Samardzija bat for himself in the eighth.

“What a great outing — gritty, gutsy, everything you could ask for,” Renteria said of the effort. “We wanted that game for him but we couldn’t pull it out.”

Samardzija may be frustrated but he hasn’t shown it.

“You do your job,” he said. “I’m just going out and doing my job and doing my part to win a ballgame. I can’t control things on the outside. It’s not my job. Every fifth day is my job and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”

That’s what he told Renteria in the clubhouse after the game.

“[Samardzija] said, ‘Hey, every time. Every time I go out there, that’s what I’m going to do,'” Renteria said. “He’s doing what he’s supposed to do as a Major League pitcher. He’s giving us a great chance to win a ballgame. Today was a fantastic effort on his part.”

* Samardzija is the first Cubs pitcher to go nine innings and not record a complete game since Matt Garza did so Sept. 26, 2011, against the Astros.

— Carrie Muskat