Jeff Samardzija pumped his fist vigorously Saturday night after working out of a major jam in the eighth inning.
Samardzija released his emotions after striking out the Padres' Logan Forsythe with the bases loaded as the Chicago Cubs held on for a 3-2 win.
“He bore down and got two huge outs" manager Dale Sveum said after Samardzija (8-11) retired Jedd Gyorko on a fly to left and striking out Fosythe. "That’s why you leave a guy like that in the game."
Samardzija limited the Padres to one run after loading the bases with no outs in the eighth. The inning started when Samardzija issued his first walk of the game to pinch hitter Mark Kotsay.
But Sveum showed full confidence in Samardzija who struck out seven and remains on track to reach the 200-inning and 200-strikeout marks with 176 1/3 innings and 175 strikeouts with probably six starts left.
Samardzija has allowed three runs in his past 20 innings dating back to the fourth inning of his start against Cincinnati on Aug. 13.