In front of scouts from numerous teams Monday night, Jeff Samardzija settled down after a rough three innings and put together another quality start. Samardzija gave up one run on four hits with two walks, two HBP and seven strikeouts in six innings. And thanks to a scoring change in Miami, Samardzija is 1-2 in his last five starts with a 4.82 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP.
Jeff Samardzija admitted Monday that Dale Sveum’s comments about him pitching well only in big games got to him. Samardzija said it “got under his skin” and motivated him to not “be that guy.” Samardzija told the beat writers that he loves to pitch in big games, however, and in games where he cannot sleep the night before. But he has learned over the last two years that every start is equally important as the other.
As for where he learned to break a bat over his knee, it was not from Carlos Zambrano but probably from his father.
The offense does not support Samardzija when he is on the mound. The Cubs are 3-13 in Samardzija’s 16 starts and are averaging 2.44 runs per game. In games not started by Jeff Samardzija, the Cubs are 28-30 and average 4.17 runs per game.
Jason Hammel did not close the door on re-signing with the Cubs in the off-season after he is traded at some point over the next month. Hammel likes pitching for the Cubs and he does not think the Cubs would be opposed to re-signing him.
Hammel told ESPN Chicago, “I would assume they are pretty happy with my body of work so far and if a trade happens it happens. But I guarantee, say I was to go to another team, I love it here. I guarantee you they wouldn’t be opposed to bringing me back next year.”
As for the trade rumors and inevitably being dealt, Jason Hammel admitted he knew this is what he signed on for but pointed out that his wife is “going nuts though.”
News and Notes
Starlin Castro doubled in the fourth inning of Monday’s game … that was his 13th extra basehit in his last 16 games.
Christopher Kamka posted this little tidbit … The Cubs were shut out 12 times in the 190 games Rick Sutcliffe started in a Cubs uniform and 12 times in the 178 games Kerry Wood started. The Cubs have been shut out in 12 of Jeff Samardzija’s 81 starts.
Minor News and Notes
A day after going 3-for-6 with a triple, a home run, a walk and driving in four runs, Gleyber Torres went 1-for-3 with a run scored, a walk and two RBI for the AZL Cubs Monday.
Dan Vogelbach singled in Monday’s game and extended his hitting streak to six games. Vogelbach is hitting .288/.395/.479 in 20 games this month with eight doubles, two home runs and a .875 OPS.
Jefferson Mejia tossed five innings Monday for the AZL Cubs. Mejia gave up two unearned runs on three hits with no walks and nine strikeouts.
Albert Almora returned to the lineup Monday after two days off. Almora went 2-for-4 and is 7-for-22 in his last five games with a double.
Arismendy Alcantara went 2-for-4 Monday with a RBI and has five multi-hit games in his last 10. Alcantara is 13-for-34 with three doubles, one triple, six stolen bases, six walks and seven strikeouts in his last 10 games … .382/.475/.529/1.004. In 22 games this month, Alcantara has put together a .298/.359/.452 slash line with four doubles, three triples, one home run and a .811 OPS.
Promotions generally come with walks according to a report from ESPN Chicago.
Kris Bryant launched his fourth Triple-A homer Monday afternoon and is 4-for-18 in five games with Iowa. All four hits have left the yard and he’s walked twice to go along with eight strikeouts. Bryant’s line after five games … .222/.300/.889/1.189.
This Day In Cubstory
2003 – Cubs pounded six home runs in a 9-1 win over the Brewers. Kerry Wood, Mark Grudzielanek and Alex Gonzalez went back-to-back-to-back in the sixth inning. It was the ninth time in team history the Cubs hit three home runs in a row.
1980 – Cubs released Steve Ontiveros
1930 – In the Cubs 6-1 victory over the Phillies at Wrigley Field, Hack Wilson fouled a pitch into the stands. The ball was caught by 17-year old Arthur Porto. Porto was confronted by an usher who told him the Cubs could not “afford to let the customers walk off with their baseballs” and demanded the return of the baseball. Porto and two friends argued and were arrested by stadium security and charged with disorderly conduct. In court the next day, the judge issued a landmark decision and ruled that a ball hit into the stands belongs “to the boy who grabs it.” The charges were dismissed.
1915 – Heine Zimmerman stole home with two outs in the bottom of the ninth as the Cubs beat the Cardinals 14-13 at West Side Grounds. The Cubs trailed 13-10 going into the ninth. Zimmerman drove in the tying runs with a pinch-hit double.
1907 – The Cubs traded Newt Randall and Bill Sweeney to the Boston Doves for Del Howard
1905 – Ed Reulbach went the distance in a Cubs 2-1 victory over the Cardinals and Jack Taylor 2-1 in 18 innings. Frank Chance had 27 putouts and two assists for the Cubs in St. Louis
1885 – John Clarkson won his 13th game in a row and the Cubs won their 18th straight with a 12-2 victory over the Phillies at West Side Park