There’s no way today can be as crazy as yesterday, right? Here are your Dempster-free Bullets …
- Jeff Samardzija was brilliant last night, and finished the 8th inning in a reasonable position to go for his first career shutout (and complete game) in the 9th. But a long top half of the inning led Dale Sveum to decide it would be in Jeff’s best interest to stay seated for the 9th (Carlos Marmol came in and actually looked quite sharp). Sveum had nothing but the highest praise for Samardzija after the game. “That was no doubt the best stuff [Samardzija] had,” Sveum said. “He had his two-seamer working, he kept the ball down, elevated when he wanted, obviously had his split working and he could get back in the count with his slider. It was impressive. I don’t think I’m on his Christmas list right now.” The last crack was a reference to the early removal decision, which was probably the right call, all things considered. It would be great to see Samardzija get a shutout, but not at the risk of his long-term future.
- Samardzija was obviously upset about the decision at the time – it would be weird if he wasn’t. But, by the time the game was over, he’d cooled down. “[Sveum]’s still on my Christmas list, just not tonight, you know,” Samardzija said. “The coach’s job is to look out for the players and the player’s job is to go out there and play the game. Obviously everybody has emotions and opinions on things and that’s just the way the game goes. Skip’s been great all year and we played a great game as a team so it’s not all about what I can do.”
- Sveum confirmed, by the way, that, if Samardzija had been working on a no-hitter, he would have sent Samardzija back out there for the 9th regardless of the game situation. That one hit came on an Andrew McCutchen squibber to Anthony Rizzo’s right, which froze Samardzija just long enough that he was late getting to first base to cover. It wasn’t just a matter of Samardzija being thoughtless or lazy – the direction of the ball was one that would often be charged and played by the second baseman, but Rizzo is so rangy that Cubs pitchers are going to have to get used to covering first more often than they had previously. Samardzija conceded as much after the game.
- Ok, there is technically a Dempster mention in these Bullets; it’s a quote from Samardzija about his experience with the veteran. “Me and Demp have put a lot of time into this game in the offseason, during the season,” Samardzija said, per Doug Padilla. “We’re kind of similar in a way where he throws fastball, slider, split like I do. He’s easy to watch and see how to attack these hitters and it relates to me very well. The list goes on. We can sit here all day and I can tell you what Demp has done for me. It’s good just to have that veteran mind and those veteran eyes around so that at any point in the game he can say ‘Hey, I’m seeing this, I’m seeing that.’”
- If you liked the Cubs’ superhero dress-up day, there are a couple more coming, including NHL sweater day, and NFL day. If they don’t do a wacky, tacky tie day in September, I won’t know what to believe in.
- Ok, technically there are two Dempster mentions in these Bullets, but nothing about the trade. His charity foundation is up for an award, and you can help the foundation win it. Details here.