Jeff Samardzija’s performance was something to watch through 4.2 innings. He’d struck out 11, and was on pace to surpass Kerry Wood’s record 20 strikeout performance, which was all anyone could talk about at that point. It was, of course, incredibly unrealistic, given the absurd pace one needs to keep up. Samardzija lost his control with a couple of outs in the 5th, walking a couple guys, throwing two wild pitches, and allowing a run during those escapades. It would be understandable if the mounting strikeout total got into his head a bit.

Regardless, he once again showed how dominant he can be (even finishing off that half inning with another strikeout). He got into trouble again in the 6th (aided by a questionable HBP), and that was it for his day. His line looks ugly, but it’s pretty much the most deceiving line you’ll ever see, in relation to how nasty the guy actually looked. This was a good outing for Samardzija, and the non-strikeout stats should do nothing to convince you otherwise.

As for the overall story of the game, it has a familiar tone …

april 7 box

  • Mike

    Rondon looked pretty good again today.

    • justinjabs

      Agreed, that was a nice inning!

    • Dude

      He’s quietly been awesome so far. Solid work Theo/Jed (Thed?)

      • corey costello

        new closer?

  • justinjabs

    It was fun while it lasted. Good news is the Brewers are beat to hell, so the next series should be a decent matchup except for Game 3.

  • @cubsfantroy

    I, honestly, can’t even be mad about this game. I expected it to happen. Shark looked good, but if the offense can’t score more than one run, that win column isn’t going to look good for him. All his other stats will look good though.

  • Zogie

    Today looked promising early on, but once Samardzija started to lose control, everything began to turn south. Shark was dominate striking out 13 batters, but the braves finally got to him in the 6th inning. Why is it always that “journeyman” type players are a handful for the cubs? Ramiro Pena has been clutch for the braves the last couple days. He has been the rally starter and the big bats have usually finished it. The cubs bullpen did an ok job with a couple bumps here and there. Bowden allowed 1 run to score and Takahashi gave up a solo blast to Uggla. On the hitters side of things, the cubs were 0-4 with RISP yet again. In the 1st, the cubs did a good job manufacturing a run, but since then they were kept silent. Just to note, I know it is a small sample size but here are a few cubs batting averages so far this year: DeJesus .111, Rizzo .190, Soriano .174, Valbuena .125. They will come around eventually and they could all get hot at one time to level out their BABIP. My shout out goes to Hector Rondon. 1IP, 2K through the middle of the order. A nice bullpen piece from the rule 5 draft.

  • Kygavin

    At least the pitchers stopped throwing BP to Justin Upton



  • Kenster

    I think its safe to highlight the runs, rbi, and avg columns too. WEAKKKKK!!!!!!!!! Although Samardzija and Rondon are the bright spots atleast

  • Die hard

    Again for the umpteenth time—- Theo et al will you please listen that if this team as constructed doesn’t score 6 it will likely lose….sure you had reasons to get rid of the fastest guy this team has seen in long time cause he didn’t fit your mold of a player and maybe Campana isn’t good enuf for AZ but this team is not AZ and Campana was good enuf for the Cubs at least over next 2 years and for those 2 yrs would have mfg a run or two a game by himself which would have sparked the team into much more … I give up!!!

    • DarthHater


      • justinjabs


      • Lokanna

        Re: Hater’s Meme…

        You sir, win the intarwebz.

    • mysterious4th


    • MichiganGoat

      So Campy would be able to get on base and then steal his way home 3-4 times a game? He couldn’t even average getting on base 1 time a game. This is the heart of stoopid Campy will generate runs arguement…. somewhere in dream land he gets on base regularly.

      • Alex S

        I was about to question your logic reading: “So Campy would be able to get on base” But then you cleared that right up.

        Only once you cross over the LilliBridge to (the magical land of) Terabithia will Campana get on base, Corey Patterson take a walk, or Brent Lillibridge hit the ball.

    • @cubsfantroy

      I can’t believe I just read that… I am in complete shock right now. How does anyone think that Campana is going to net the Cubs wins?

    • Jason

      Seriously I’m getting tired of people talking about Campana. He’s horrible!!! All he has is speed, but if you can’t get on base it’s worthless.

  • When the Music’s Over

    I’m curious to know what offensive numbers people pumped into their models to derive ~75 wins for the Cubs.

    • Kyle

      Very bad ones. Most of the projection systems had very little offense and above-average pitching.

      • When the Music’s Over

        Then the assumed team ERA must have been at or below 3.50, which would have been right outside of the top 5 last year.

        • Kyle

          The offense isn’t as bad as it looked in the first six games. It’s bad, but not 2.5 runs a game bad or whatever we’re at.

          • When the Music’s Over

            Definitely, but if people (including the pundits) were projecting the Cubs to be a near .500 team and the offense is going to be near the bottom 5 in baseball, that would mean pitching would need to be near the top 5 in baseball. I don’t see that happening.

            • Kyle

              “Near .500” is kind of nebulous. Almost all baseball teams project within 8 games of .500 or so. It’s just the nature of the game.

              • When the Music’s Over

                Sure it is, but that people believe that every team is going to be near .500 every year would in essence prove that almost all projections are safe more than realistic, and therefore shouldn’t be taken seriously, which so many people do.

                All I’m trying to do is poke holes in the bullshit.

                • Kyle

                  The most accurate projections *aren’t* realistic.

                  That’s like asking Vegas why they don’t make some of the 14+ seeds favorites, because they won’t all lose.

          • Hansman1982

            We are on pace for 351 runs at this point. Either our offense is historically bad, our offense is worse than the Astros, we’ve faced 6 cy young candidates (and future first ballot hall of famers) or its merely a quick of small sample sizes.

            Another quirk of the sample is that the pitchers are on pace for 521 runs given up this year.

            Our hitting and pitching will normalize. We are presently 1/25th of the way through the season. Anyone who makes any prognostications solely off these 6 games is a moron.

  • Kyle

    Not willing to call it a good outing. 4 walks in 5 innings isn’t going to cut it. Four runs is probably harsh, but 2 or 3 would be reflective of the whole of his performance.

    • Marc N.

      Agreed with this. Strikeouts are great and I love them too, but innings and walks are important too

      The K’s are definitely a sign that he has very good stuff, but we know that already.

  • Kyle

    We’re about two losses away from the fire sale, right?

    • Matty Ice

      That’s the thing, what player that is probably going to get traded is going to bring back even a B prospect right now?

      • Kyle

        Probably none of them. DeJesus, Soriano, Barney could probably all fetch multiple C+.

        • Bric

          Clearly that’s why no trades ever occur or even seriously talked about in the second week of the season in any sport. What I think he meant was what are the possible returns in July for any of the guys on the current roster and my response would be it’s way too early to even speculate.

          • Kyle

            Didn’t the Dodgers and Rockies do a trade yesterday?

            • Bric

              Aaron Harang was traded for cash and immediately DFA’d in order to free up some space on the Dodgers’ roster. It was strictly a money and numbers move for both teams. That’s not what I thought either you or Matty were talking about when discussing trade options of Dejesus, Barney or any of the other guys on the roster. Again, that’s why no serious trade talks ever occur in the first two weeks of the season.

              • Brett

                The only recent big-ish trade for the Cubs that I can think of in April is the Marlon Byrd deal last year.

    • caryatid62

      Every season is sacred.

      • BABIP (MichCubFan)

        I think what they said is every opportunity to win is sacred.

        • Kyle

          They did. Immediately after saying that every season is a chance to win.

          • DarthHater


            • Kyle

              You say it with amused scorn, but I embrace it as joyous truth.

  • nkniacc13

    The Cubs aren’t going to have a fire sale until June atleast pleanty of time to improve stock. Marmol is only player who may get moved before then and that maybe the same as what happened to Byrd last year.

    • When the Music’s Over

      Why anyone would give up anything of value (that includes cash) for Marmol right now is beyond me. If I was running a team and the team was running into bullpen issues, I’d just call up some journeyman from AAA or a hot prospect from AA. The odds of one of them providing value at or better than what Marmol will provide are better than 1:1.

      • nkniacc13

        they wouldn’t they may trade a player who has just been DFA’d if they cubs pick up salary that they would lose anyway

        • When the Music’s Over

          A player another team has likely no or very limited use for sounds about right for Marmol.

  • Katie Mc

    That LOB number doesn’t look right to me…

  • therealPattyP

    musings from a dumb dumb.
    Bosio should’ve visited Shark in the fifth
    With Clevenger, Takahashi, Gonzalez, Lillibridge, etc. the team is woefully undermanned and the FO has to accept some of that blame.

  • nkniacc13

    Anyone heard anything on all the pitchers the cubs have rehabbing? Garza, Baker, Lim, Vizciano

    • Westbound Willie

      I asked my neighbor about our injured guys and they didn’t know nothing. Even after they checked with their spouces

    • Rcleven

      Garza pitched off the mound yesterday or day before. Said everything felt great. One or two more workouts then off to the minors for two or three games. On schedule to return late May early June.

  • chrisfchi

    at this point, i would get whatever for marmol (even if its just a laugh). free up that money and start training a pitcher who projects to be a b-c+ reliever to close. at least then there would be a good excuse for blown saves. as for the offense, any decient small ball hitter to bat somewhere in the 5-6-7 area would help. besides nate scherholtz who else has been consistant at the plate this year?

    • Chet Masterson

      Um, which team would want Marmol AND give up a player AND take on his salary?

      • chrisfchi

        i never mentioned a player. id take a beer and hot dog for him

  • Cubbie in NC

    Is anyone else worried about how Shark is going to handle things this year? He is very competitive and confident. He is smart enough to know that he is going to get no run support. How long until he starts thinking he has to be perfect on every pitch? He made giant strides last year, and has been great so far this year. But I am afraid that the losing and lack of run support will get in his head and his development is going to start heading in the wrong direction. To me that was what happened in the 5th and the 6th. Thinking this 1 run is all I am going to get and trying too hard.

  • Chet Masterson

    You mean you worry how he’ll handle being on a team that manages to lose – say – 101 games?

    If only there were some past experience we could draw a conclusion from….

  • IndyCubsFan

    Yeah, Kyle… Harrang was traded and then the Rockies DFA’d him.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Yes, another WTF moment by the Rox FO!

      • chrisfchi

        he can be our next marmol! (ducks)

    • nkniacc13

      hes likely to be traded again before being released

      • OregonCubFan

        Maybe they’re planning on trading him to the Cubs for Marmol…

  • Mike

    Hope Hector Rondon gets a chance at closing, or at least setting up this year, if he continues to pitch well. He has a history of keeping his walks way down and his strike outs up.

  • fromthemitten

    The Braves are gonna make a lot of ace starters look bad.

  • Ben (BG2383)

    I was at the game. Braves have some really lame fans. They were silent 90% of the game and did the wave.
    Samardzija looked good through 5 and it is a shame that the lineup cannot hit.

    • Westbound Willie

      Thanks for the update. For those of us who only could watch the game on tv we didn’t get that tremendous insight into the game that you did by being there

      Thanks for sharing.

  • W_Francisco

    I was also at the game in the general admissions when they were trying to do the wave RIGHT before Pena got that RBI hit, like thats how much they were paying attention to the game. On the contrary, all they could talk about the game was how much the Cubs have sucked, how good Samardzija was looking and how awesome that “stupid” indian chant thing they do is.

  • Jason

    When I was watching the game earlier, a thought popped into my head. I wonder if the 2008 Cubs team in 2013 — in other words with a retired D-Lee and Jim Edmonds, declining Theriot and Derosa, and struggling Soto — could still score more runs per game than this current Cubs offense.

    • John (the other one)

      While we won’t have a juggernaut offense, we will be better than we have shown thus far. I don’t see the entire line-up staying under the mendoza line all year. The pitching hasn’t looked half bad either–while it may regress some too, I think we can look forward to some entertaining starts from shark and decent ones from the rest of the rotation. Let’s not panic just yet. I’m actually pleasantly surprised that we had a shot at taking both opening series of the season.

  • SamuraiJock

    Samardzija’s stuff was disgustingly filthy. He really is an awesome pitcher already, but days like today make it clear he is still learning/developing. If he can grab some easy outs with a fewmore pitch-to-contact offerings, he’ll be a monster.

    The biggest hit against him yesterday was the 2-run single by Pena in the 6th. Shark was pumped up in the 6th and threw a 1-2 pitch trying to strike him out which just caught too much of the plate. Jim Deshaies (who I am already liking) warned during the at-bat – “don’t let adrenaline get the best of you”+”don’t just try to overpower the next guy”. Someone upthread mentioned that a mound visit from Bosio might have helped him calm down a bit,

  • DCF

    Sharks stuff is great, but a really good pitchers also needs consistency. It’s only his second season being a starter, so he definitely has a good chance of getting better with experience.
    But it is a problem and one that seems to be underrated by many people.
    If you think about Maholm, his value did only come from pitching a couple of good games for the Cubs, but to a large extent also from his track record of being a reliably inning-eating work horse. After obviously improving a lot in his pitching, both combined made him a real asset.
    Shark on the other hand has no track record so far and even if he had given up only 2 runs before being pulled, finishing before completing 6 innings of work is not a good thing for a starter by any measure.

  • terencemann

    Look’s like Brett’s waking up to a decent amount of spam posting to clean-up. Sorry, man.