Caress of Steel. Cubs 4 Pirates 3

Caress of Steel. Cubs 4 Pirates 3

Jeff Samardzija threw the Cubs first complete game of the season and was crazy sexy cool-like dominant as the Cubs defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3 at PNC Park. A rocky 1st inning saw the Pirates get out to a quick 2-0 lead. But a home run by Alfonso Soriano quickly cut the lead to 2-1.  And thanks to Dale Sveum’s odd managerial decisions, the Cubs found themselves with Tony Campana and David Dejesus getting on base in succession in multiple innings. This led to garbage runs on a double play and a sacrifice by Luis Valbuena. Shark would mow the Pirates down until the 7th when a Starlin Castro Rock star move at short would allow Rod Barajas to get to second base. He would score on the one legitimate Samardzija mistake. But Dale not only let Samardzija hit in the 8th, he allowed him to finish the game. David Dejesus would drive in a hard chugging but slow moving Wellington Castillo for the winning run in the 8th. Hot damn 2 in a row. Let’s take the blue pill and see how far the rabbit hole goes…




Shark emptied the tank, so we’re going to empty our clip of compliments on him, seeing as how it’s his last start. How awesome was Jeff Samardzija? Somewhere between really awesome and really effin awesome, that’s how awesome. 9 innings, 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits, striking out 9 while walking one. (That’s Samardzija’s 12th game where he’s allowed 1 walk or fewer. Let that marinate for a while.) The first inning found him a little amped, and with home plate umpire Scott Barry using an obscure strike zone, things could have gotten ugly. But, like he’s done so many times before, Sammy settled down, and got in a groove. He was even the one calming Castro down after his error. Jeff Samardzija has been the highlight of the Cubs season. When you consider where, he came from, what was expected of him, how he adjusted, excelled, and for what he can become, His growth in 2012 absolutely dwarfs anyone else on the team. It’s truly exciting to think what he can become.




Dale Sveum decided to go quirky with his lineup, batting Jeff Samrdzija 8th and letting Tony Campana bat 9th, thus acting like a second leadoff man. Now I have to be inherently against a move like this as it is a move popularized by Asshat Emeritus Tony LaRussa. I understand that this lineup kind of fell bass ackwards into success.  It allowed Campana to bat leadoff twice, and Campana would score tying and go ahead runs. But Samardzija came up with runners on base 3 different times. And two of those at bats wound up with the inning over and runners stranded. But results are results, which means we might see this lineup some more.  Lord help us.




Tony Campana drew a walk. Tony Campana got on by singling to center. Tony got on by going the other way with a ground rule double. And he reigned havoc on the Pirates because of it. I don’t have Campana penciled in anywhere on future Cub lineups. But if he takes the underdog approach to hitting, I.E. doing whatever it takes to get on base, then he becomes a damn fun player to watch.


So, two in a row. Honestly didn’t think it would happen. But it was a true kick watching Shark end his year on a high note like that. Chris Rusin tries to rebound from his nightmarish performance against the Nationals as the Cubs go for the…hehe… sweep tomorrow. The hopefully Arguello shuts me down for the year so I don’t have to watch Cubs-Astros. I doubt that happens.


Bears tomorrow, so expect a wrap late. Enjoy your evening.




Leave a comment
  • Glad to see Shark go out with a bang. Would have liked to see him get double digit wins, but the offense let him down this year so he will finish the season tied for team lead at 9 with Maholm. Bummer, I wish he had one more start.

  • Felzz, I think you guys should do some contest where folks get to guess all of the references that you've made through your posts. Winner gets...oh, I don't know. Something fun.

    Also, I'd love to see Campana get on base enough to merit a 4th outfielder role. Fast don't lie.

  • In reply to mosconml:

    Haha Thanks moscomni.

    I suppose that's a possibility. Although the hope is the Cubs will be more interesting. It is, after all, a Cubs blog.Not a felzz blog. But maybe next year, if things get reaaaal slow.

    Hopefully Campana can string a few of these games together and the boy can see the light.

  • Honestly, I was never really worried about Shark moving to SP. His success doesn't surprise me. What has surprised me is his increase in velocity and his ability to maintain that deep into games all season. He was still consistently sitting @ 95-97mph in the 8th inning. Even with that one bad month earlier this year, he still had a rock solid year. His numbers for the 2nd half are legit top of the rotation-esque..... So maybe he is more than our de facto Ace. I'd still feel better if he was battling Garza for the #2 spot, but he does have the potential to challenge for a Cy Young award in 2 years if he continues.

    So far as Campana, speed is the one thing that you cant teach and it never ever slumps.... It's probably not his fault given our history of teaching & developing players. But somebody needs to make him an excellent bunter, the whole repertoire of bunts..... I gotta believe if he learned how to drag bunt that his OBP goes up .100. If I was Sveum, I'd fine him every time he hits the ball in the air. Defensively, he mitigates some of his speed, though he still has excellent range... He's not going to log many assists though. Still makes a solid 5th outfielder, if he can get on base more. Otherwise he's reduced to a pinch-running specialist and those guys don't typically warrant a roster spot. He's definitely a game changer when he gets on base though...

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Well I'm glad you saw it Hoosier. Because I didn't. Not as much being a starter. Or the endurance. He's too good an athlete not to have that. And I new the fastball would be there. But I didn't think the splitter would develop into a 1B type of pitch, and I didn't think he would be able to adapt and be that much tougher a 3rd time through a lineup. or that his pitch process would come along that well.

    I totally agree with you on Campana. He better be 3-5 for next year's bunt tournament.

  • How good is Sharks splitter?

Leave a comment