What is becoming like routine clockwork, every fifth day Jeff Samardzija has been taking the ball for the Chicago Cubs as the ace of the staff. On that fifth day, Samardzija has been pitching his tail off only to see his teammates around him unable to pick him up enough to earn a victory. Against the Atlanta Braves, Samardzija’s hard luck continued.
Against the Braves, Samardzija went toe-to-toe with Ervin Santana. Even an hour-long rain delay was not enough to keep these two gun-slingers down as they matched each other zero for zero. In Samardzija’s case, it was the same unfortunate situation that he has found himself in far too many times already during the 2014 season.
In six innings, he continued his best stretch of work, yielding only two hits, one walk and no runs with seven strikeouts. Samardzija lowered his ERA to 1.45 which is second in the big-leagues only behind Johnny Cueto‘s 1.43 mark. It is unfathomable to think that Samardzija has now gone 14 straight starts without a win going back to last season.
To date, Samardzija has started eight games. In those eight games, the Cubs are 1-7 and have scored just 12 runs in “support” of their ace. Just two days ago, the Cubs put up 12 runs in a single game against the Chicago White Sox. In three of Samardzija’s starts, the Cubs have been shutout. Samardzija’s ERA this season has yet to eclipse 2.00, and it is amazing to think that the potential ERA leader is still searching for the number in the win column to change from zero to one.
The real culprit in this has been the Cubs’ offense. To go from scoring 12 runs in a game to an immediate drop off just speaks to the inconsistency of the unit. To be shutout three times on days Samardzija pitched is a head-scratcher, and if it was not for a Samardzija double and scoring the lone run, the total could easily be four shutouts. Every team goes through rough patches scoring runs, but not like this. Like clockwork, Samardzija will again take the ball a few days from now. Time will tell if the offense will join him. Tick tock.
Nick Schaeflein is a Chicago Cubs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ptchr2424 or add him to your network on Google.