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Jeff Samardzija is Inigo MontoyaMy sport-lovin’ heart goes out to the Blackhawks fans among you. Losing a lead, and then losing in overtime is bad enough – but when a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals is on the line, I can only imagine. I’d say that Cubs fans can relate – 2003 and all – but, well, the Blackhawks just won it all last year, and won it a few years before that, too. So, you know. I actually can’t relate. But I still feel bad.

  • Not that you would expect any different from a competitor like Jeff Samardzija, but he emphasized after getting thumped by the Brewers yesterday that all of the trade rumors swirling are not a distraction for him. (Cubs.com) As I said yesterday, I don’t think one crap start is going to torpedo Samardzija’s trade value or anything like that, so long as it doesn’t become a pattern (or isn’t a reflection of a larger problem). I think that’s especially true given that it was just an odd series: Travis Wood, like Samardzija, was hit hard early by Brewers batters who played like they knew what was coming. I’m not *saying* there was sign-stealing or pitch-tipping going on, but (1) Samardzija and Wood are very good pitchers who almost never get lit up like that, (2) it was a little weird how dominant pitchers were in the series when John Baker was behind the plate (including half of yesterday’s game), and how much they were blasted when Welington Castillo was behind the plate (which at least makes you wonder whether something was more “detectable” when Castillo was catching), and (3) the Brewers have been accused of home-park shenanigans several times in recent years.
  • That all said, it could have just been a matter of some hits strung together (they weren’t all rockets) and Samardzija missing his spots (he did more than a few times). Five of the eight runs he gave up came with two outs – a reminder of how easily a “bad” outing can look like a “decent” one. Samardzija had good velocity and decent movement on his offspeed stuff, so if I’m betting, he’ll be fine. I wouldn’t want to be the Marlins (whom Samardzija faces next).
  • Anthony Rizzo was ejected yesterday after very vocally disagreeing with some calls from home plate umpire Jerry Meals. According to Brooks Baseball, Rizzo was right to be annoyed: not only was strike three outside the zone, so was strike two. You never want to see your best hitter ejected, but, at least in this case, Rizzo was right.
  • Javier Baez was hit by a pitch yesterday, and, although he stayed in the game for a couple innings, wound up leaving after his next at bat. Watching on MiLB.tv, it looked pretty ugly, with Baez starting his swing, and the high and tight pitch hitting his right hand/wrist area. Baez stole a couple bases after that and played another couple innings, but he had a throwing error on his first chance after the HBP, and then left the game after his next at bat (which included a couple swings and misses). We don’t yet have an update, and hopefully it’s just a situation where the area swelled/tightened up as the game went on (that’s just the body being the body), and not a break or anything else like that.
  • Luis Valbuena is dealing with a mild abdominal issue, and Welington Castillo was pulled yesterday after feeling some back stiffness. They’ve got the off-day today to recover, so hopefully this isn’t a DL situation.
  • Starlin Castro gave love to Manny Ramirez, and I couldn’t help myself:

  • Yo: that show with the fight? Even when you think you know there’s going to be a twist, and even when you’re right, the show still throws you for a loop. I can think of only a handful of times in my television viewing history where I’ve had a literal – literal – jawdrop moment: a certain episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ involving a moped, another episode of ‘Game of Thrones’ (and you know which one), and then (at least) one episode of ‘LOST’ (dat Season Three finale, man). Happened to me again last night with GOT.

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