Jeff Samardzija didn’t have his best stuff today (and still struck out six over five innings, by the way), and you have to wonder if the cold (38 degrees) was affecting his grip at all. In any case, Samardzija gave up a couple runs in each of the first two innings – he wasn’t helped by his defense – and threw a whole lot of pitches in the process. That shortened his day, though he did pitch well after that.
To the Cubs’ credit, they battled back and cut it to a one-run game on the back of a two-run Darwin Barney homer in the second, and a gorgeous line-shot homer by Junior Lake in the third. From the end of the third inning until the ninth, though, the Cubs’ bats went silent. As in, completely silent.
The Cubs’ bullpen pitched exceptionally well, too, but it didn’t matter, because the Cubs couldn’t score in the ninth despite finally adding a baserunner (Starlin Castro single).
And, hey, look at this!