I’ll spare you the hand-wringing about Jeff Samardzija’s league-leading ERA, and hilariously grim winless streak over ten starts this year (that’s, like, a third of the damn season). You know what happened yesterday, and you know that it came right out of the Cubs/Samardzija script for 2014.
What interests me far more is how Samardzija reacted when he was asked a pretty good question about his great performances going for naught, since the Cubs aren’t winning. Is his fantastic start to the season being wasted?
“We’re not wasting anything,” Samardzija told the media after yesterday’s game (here, here, here, here). “I think with modern technology, every game pretty much gets seen and watched. I don’t think it’s any secret with what I’m doing.”
Bruce Miles followed up, asking whether Samardzija was referring to “baseball people and those who matter in the game,” and Samardzija gave him a one word: “Bingo.”
In other words, Samardzija knows the score: if there’s no extension to be had, he’s going to be traded. And if he’s going to be traded, pitching well with the Cubs but not winning isn’t “wasting” anything, because other teams can see how well he’s performing.
In that way, Samardzija sounds like he’s thinking the same way that many trade hungry fans are: who cares about pitcher W/L record, or even if the Cubs win the games that Samardzija starts? If he’s going to be traded anyway, what matters is that he pitches well (and stays healthy). Fortunately, as Samardzija said, it’s no secret just how dominant he’s been.
It’s a little sad that it’s come to this point (as it did with Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza before him), but the reality is the reality. If a trade is certain, then I hope Samardzija keeps dominating, I hope the Cubs get a haul, and I hope Samardzija leads some team to the playoffs.