Found May 16, 2013 on Baseball News Source:
Coming off of his first season as a full time starter, Chicago Cubs ace Jeff Samardzija was looked upon as the go-to man for the Cubs alongside Edwin Jackson. A lat muscle strain at the beginning of spring training pushed back Matt Garza’s 2013 debut into late-May (as projected), heightening expectations for Samardzija and Jackson to step up and lead the Chicago rotation towards victory. Nearly one month and a half into the season, Samardzija and Jackson have a combined two victories. Whenever the number 1 and 2 pitchers for a team have a combined total of two victories at this point in the season, a serious problem must be occurring with that particular club. That particular club happens to be the Cubs; however, win totals are quite deceiving, as a struggling offense has produced little run support for Cubs starters, wherein Chicago boasts a team ERA of 3.76, eighth best in the NL. Despite an inconsistent start to the season by Edwin Jackson (6.02 ERA in 43.1 IP), the Cubs starting rotation has been one of the few bright spots for the Cubs this season. Samardzija has pitched at the helm of the overachieving rotation, as witnessed in the Cubs’ 6-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night. The Chicago ace went 8 innings, surrendering 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 7.  Samardzija threw 105 pitches, but looked sharp up through the eight inning, maintaining good speed on his fastball and displaying great pitch location. For a period between the second and sixth innings, Samardzija retired eleven batters in a row before surrendering a home run to Reid Brignac. While Samardzija looked sharp on the mound, the highlight of the night came in the second inning when Samardzija homered off of Colorado starting pitcher Jon Garland to centerfield. The home run would put the Cubs ahead 3-1 and was Samardzija’s second career home run, the first occurring on September 23, 2009 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Although he had to provide his own offense to secure the victory, Samardzija was still able to get his second victory of the season, his first since opening day. As the summer stretch approaches, Chicago must find solutions to remedy the inconsistent offense and bullpen pitching that has plagued the 2013 season. Chicago Cubs Fantasy News Samardzija remains a fantasy pitcher who will suffer from lack of run support. He will get the Pirates in his next start and has struck out 64 batters in 56 2/3 innings. He also now owns a 3.49 ERA through nine starts. Matt Garza could rejoin the Cubs’ rotation after one more rehab start with Triple-A Iowa.
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