Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija dominated the crosstown rival Chicago White Sox on Monday. He pitched all nine innings without allowing a run, and only gave up two hits and two walks while striking out eight batters. He was simply unhittable, consistently throwing 97-98 mph throughout the game. His stuff was nasty and he did not seem to wear down at all.
Samardzija now has a 3-6 record, but his 2.85 ERA proves that the win-loss record is not really his fault. The righty, along with the other Cubs starting pitchers, have been victims of not getting very much run support and have had many games blown by a struggling bullpen. He has been very good this season and I think the Cubs would like to lock him down to an extension very soon.
The Cubs have other young stars Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro locked down to long-term deals. Samardzija is the next logical player for the front office to sign to an extension. While he is a quite a bit older than Castro and Rizzo at 28-years old, he is still a key part of the young nucleus that the Cubs have put together.
He played football and baseball at Notre Dame, so he did not have the same wear and tear on his arm that most young pitchers who only focus on baseball have. Also, until last year, Samardzija had spent lot of time as a relief pitcher, not racking up as many innings as he would have as a starter.
Samardzija is currently the ace of the Cubs pitching staff. If he continues pitching the way he is, he will continue to lead this pitching staff to the promised land.