The conditions were set up for a pitchers’ duel in the opener between the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. For the most part, in what was a well-played game between the two teams, the pitchers dominated, and Jeff Samardzija was at it again for the North-siders with another great performance.
Despite the two teams’ records, the Cubs and White Sox actually have a chance to produce some good action this week. In a city where fans may be caught up in Chicago Blackhawks‘ fever and Chicago Bears‘ draft plans, the two teams on the diamond can perhaps steal some headlines this week. For the Cubs, one of the big headlines is another wasted outing by Samardzija and another ballgame slipping away late.
Against the Sox, Samardzija pitched nine innings allowing three hits, one unearned run and striking out seven. Not only was Samardzija still unable to earn his first victory of the season, but because the game went extra innings he will not even get credit for tossing a complete game either in yet another no decision. In 2014, the right-hander is the definition of a hard-luck beneficiary. For good measure, Samardzija also broke up Jose Quintana‘s no-hit bid with a double in the sixth inning and scored the Cubs’ lone run of the game.
Dating back to last year, Samardzija now has a 13 start winless streak, but by no means is it all his fault. After his seven starts this year, he ranks in the top-3 in MLB ERA leaders. In his seven starts, the Cubs have scored a total of 12 runs. Samardzija could be an All-Star this year and have fewer wins then Jean Machi. Machi is a relief pitcher who has only thrown 15 innings this year, yet has four wins.
In response to Matt Garza‘s comments, Samardzija may be pitching his way out of Chicago with solid outing after solid outing, but he is certainly not pitching himself out of any games. With the exception of a rain-delayed outing, Samardzija has gone at least seven innings each time out this year. In his next start, he very well may be pushing to go out for the 10th inning as well if the Cubs continue to let his efforts slip away.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.