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MLB Chicago Cubs

Five Reasons Pittsburgh Pirates Should Fear Jeff Samardzija On Opening Day

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Jeff Samardzija

Jeff Samardzija
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

April 1 will be the day we have all been waiting for since last October: Opening Day of baseball season.

The Chicago Cubs will start the 2013 season on the road at PNC Park against the Pittsburgh Pirates as they get clean start, hoping to erase the painful memory of last year's 101-loss season. This first series of the year will be just one of several games played between the two National League Central teams, as each club tries to prove that they are not the weakest in their division.

The Pirates took everyone by surprise last year by holding on to first place in the National League Central division for several months, whereas the Cubs hit a new low, losing 101 games.

But things will be different this year. Things will change for the Cubs on Opening Day in Pittsburgh. The Pirates should be worried about their opponent on Opening Day.

Why is that?

Because the Cubs have their ace pitcher Jeff Samardzija on the mound, a pitcher the Pirates have not fared well with in the past.

With Samardzija taking the mound for the first game of 2013, the Cubs have a good chance of starting the season off right with a win. The 29-year-old pitcher is coming off of a strong Spring Training where he earned an ERA of 3.51. If the rest of the team can back Samardzija up with offense and defense, the Cubs should be almost guaranteed a win every fifth day.

April 1 will be the day the Cubs get back on track, and Samardzija will do his best to help.

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His History With The Cubs

Jeff Samardzija
Daniel Shirley-USA TODAY Sports
Samardzija has had an impressive history with the Cubs. He started with the team in 2008 as a relief pitcher and has worked his way up to be the ace of the starting rotation.
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His Final Game In 2012 Against The Pirates

Jeff Samardzija
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
The final game of the 2012 season that Samardzija pitched was against the Pirates and was his best outing of the season. The right-hander threw a complete game on September 8 in Pittsburgh, giving up only two runs.
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His 2012 Stats

Jeff Samardzija
Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports
2012 was an impressive year for Samardzija as the pitcher ended his season strong with a record of 9-13, an ERA of 3.81 and 180 strikeouts.
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His Batting Power

Jeff Samardzija
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Samardzija has always been fairly powerful as a hitter. He hit two home runs during Spring Training. He is one pitcher that should never be underestimated at the plate.
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His Pitching Style

Jeff Samardzija
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
Samardzija can be a tough pitcher to face because he typically throws five different types of pitches. According to ESPN.com, Samardzija throws a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball, cutter, slider and splitter.