Roll away the dew. Cubs 8 Giants 4.

Roll away the dew. Cubs 8 Giants 4.

The hype surrounding the fact that Jeff Samardzija hadn't gotten a win in his last 16 starts had reached ridiculous levels a week or two ago. Whether it led to a debate on the importance of the win as a stat, led to another analasys of why Samardzija might try and force his way off the team, or yet another "woe is us" pity party about how the bullpen puckers up tighter than a snare drum on Samardzija starts, the conversation becomes less and less baseball focused and would chock on whatever flotsam and jetsam was handy. It needed to stop. And I'm happy to report, it has stopped, behind his arm AND his bat, Jeff Samardzija led the Cubs to a victory over the team with the best record in the national league- the San Francisco Giants. The Giants actually tagged Shark for a run in the first inning but Nate Schierholtz picked the right time to get his first home run of the year in the third inning. Kung Fu Panda would put the Giants up two with a two run homer of his own. But the Cubs came right back with three of their own, including one on a Jeff Samardzija double to right field. Samardzija would then give the Cubs the lead for good when he scored on Emilio Bonifacio's single. The Cubs would add two more in the 6th thanks to Wellington Castillo and Darwin Barney- who each singled in a run. Then Anthony Rizzo would double in Junior Lake, and Luis V would knock home Rizzo and the scoring would be complete for the night. Any suggestions for dinner?

I'M NOT GONNA WASTE MY TIME ARGUING WITH A MAN WHOSE LINING UP TO BE A HOT LUNCH.

Cannot tell you how happy I am the whole "When will Jeff Samardzija get a win?" conversation is in the rear view mirror. The guy has been aces. He was great today, striking out 10 in 7 ip. And he didn't lose it when the team got down 3-1. Samardzija seems to have taken on an added role to make sure he gets the ball to the 8th inning man at the very least. For him to strike out 10 and still only throw 109 pitches through 7 innings is a very nice job. Everyday Grimmy and the Regular Rimirez kept the Giants at bay……No pun intended.

HOLTZ THE KETCHUP. HOLTZ THE LETTUCE….

Good time for Nate to break out of his season long funk. Two for four with an RBI knock and two valuable runs scored. While I doubt this will turn into a Soriano like hot streak, it was nice to see some production out of a guy who has struggled all year. And who last year was actually fairly good. Hopefully a few more games like this from Nate will bring his numbers to a neighborhood close to respectability. I don't think he's a trade chip. But he can and should be "Useful".

THE PURPLE EVOLUTIONIST

Darwin Barney also had a very strong game and has had a good couple of weeks. While everyone has written Barney off as all field and no hit. And that's mostly true. But Barney is a really good athlete with good hands and should be able to do more positional hitting than he's been doing. And since pitchers like Samardzija are gonna want his glove in the field, he's gonna get more playing time than most Cub fans are going to be happy with.

So the Cubs are above .500 on this road trip. Yes tonight will be about the giant monkey off of Shark's back and what not. But I'm seeing a young team take a next step here. Junior Lake has earned himself playing time and left field. The infield defense is at it its tightest and the pitching has been really really good. The lineup could use a bat, but it always had that problem. Interesting to see how these next two games play out. Tim Hudson takes the mound for the Giants tomorrow against Jake Arrieta. Happy holidays. And onwards.

 

Boxscore

 

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  • Barney made a nice catch in the eight inning that I am sure Jeff liked. Also Barney is batting .290 in his last 10 games. I think he is useful to this team but his days may be numbered. Nice win for Shark. Now let's get some more.

  • In reply to John57:

    Barney has been at his best of late - both offensively and his usual solid defense. He is what he is - and that is a glove guy who can occasionally give you decent offense.

    On a better team - he would be a solid utility IF.

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    In reply to drkazmd65:

    Barney has been at his best defensively?

    Like when he gave up the go ahead run on a dumb error in Shark's LAST START?

    That recently?

    He is an AWFUL player and there is not one guy on the roster that deserves playing time less.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    One bonehead error,.... and suddenly the guy is 'awful' defensively after 3 years of solid defense? Given - his margin for error before the 'boobirds' start going after him with his generally marginal offense (which itself - has been OK of late) is pretty narrow,.....

    There have been plenty of 'bad' plays for the Cubs this year that have cost Shark (among others) wins over this season. Can't really single him out.

  • I can't believe Samardzija only has one win. He should have more than that. I hope the team can rally around him and get him 2 wins...

    Ahhh, never mind.

    So the worst team in the NL beats arguably the best pitcher in the AL last week and then gets their ace his first win of the year against the best team in the NL.

    Gotta love baseball.

  • Yes - Samardzija has now gotten a win under his belt. Whatever. The guy has been doing his job all season - nice to see the team give him a lift today.

    Wins - as an individual pitchers' stat are largely meaningless. What's better in my mind is that the team is winning as much as losing of late - and except on those days where the starting pitching collapses early - they are in all games.

    Here's hoping that Arietta gives 6 solid innings tomorrow.

  • I go half way on this….

    Wins haven't devalued. They've definitely changed. But they're still important. And while everyone acknowledges there are more factors that go into a win, they still count. For example what will bring back more in a trade…. Jeff Samardzija…….Or Jeff Samardzija who is on a 7 game win streak……? They're the same guy, but the second guy will bring back more. Whatever, the Cubs should be winning more games that Shark pitches, this really shouldn't be "news"

    Would love to see Arrieta get an a multi game roll. I've never seen it before. So for him to do that would really be a plus to the Cubs going forward.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Well said felzz. Since I was the guilty party who inadvertently started "Win"-geddon on an earlier thread, what you said was all I was trying to impart: Wins have been eclipsed by numerous other metrics as a measure of an individual pitcher's (and rightly so). They are not however meaningless, they just have a much lower correlation with a SP's efficacy than many of the new measures. In the recent case of winless Samardzjia the lack of W's had next to zero correlation with the guy pitching at a career best clip. Guy was doing all he could, just unlucky and judging by Pyth O/U it looks like the Cubs have been as well.

    All that said, it was a great day of baseball on a great day for our country - glad to see Jeff personally and the Cubbies as a team get the W!

  • In reply to felzz:

    I have to disagree. I don't think Shark with a 7 game losing streak or a 7 game winning streak will affect what he would bring back in a trade. Front Offices are way too smart to be measuring a pitcher's value on something that can be completely independent on the way the guy is actually pitching.

  • In reply to felzz:

    How about Epstoyer turn of the phones and give arguably the best pitchrer in the lleague whatever he asks He appears bulletproof and clearly wants to stay here.

  • Wonder now if the Royals will end up being desperate and empty the farm for Samardjia?

  • In reply to Holy Cattle:

    funny I was gonna bring this up.. also, the Royals arent hitting all that much either.. and isnt Svuem on that coaching staff??

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Feldman sure made them look bad yesterday. Yes, our former Feldman.

  • Nice win for the club. So happy for shark. I am glad we were able to rough up Cain's replacement. Nate hit that one a long way.

  • Renteria has these guys playing good ball right now..

  • They've played some good games against good teams. It's a glimmer.

  • It took some 40 games, but Ricky Ticky seems to have finally arrived at a stable line-up. In the past 10 games, since the start of the Milw. series, this has been the main lineup:

    Boni, CF (9 times)
    Lake, LF (9)
    Rizzo, 1B (10)
    Castro, SS (10)
    Valbuena, 2B/3B (8)
    Castillo, C (8)
    Schierholz, RF (7)
    Barney, 2B (5)

    In this time frame, Olt has started 7 games at 3B (5 of these games in the 7th or 8th spot).

    I'll let the rest of you debate the significance of these trends.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Only real significance IMO is that on average - the team has been playing well under this configuraion. I say let's ride this one for a while.

  • Just a thought. Shark is probably the most popular pitcher since, gulp, Greg Maddux.

    I'm amazed going around reading cubs fans postings around the internet. One thing seems solid, most want to EXTEND Shark.

    As for me, I'm ok with a trade or extension. But, even though the Cubs say they won't do things on public pressure, I think trading this guy "could" be a big mistake.

    Not just logistically, but from a fan perspective as well. Can't remember a Cubs pitcher being this popular in recent memory. Can you?

  • Wood, Dempster, Zambrano before he went nuts, Ted Lilly?

    Personally, I've never been all that hot over Samardzija until this year. He turned a lot of people off initially with his contract demands out of the draft. And then it took 3 or 4 seasons for him to learn to pitch after being drafted only to look like a relief pitcher after all the build up. If it hadn't taken him 7 seasons to realize he has a defense behind him and he didn't need to strike everyone out he would have had a contract extension years ago.

  • Anyone else pissed off that Shark came back out for the 8th inning when he was 100+ pitches already? The guy is probably going to get traded in the next 6 weeks, why even risk another inning when they were up by 4 runs...

  • In reply to Northside Neuman:

    I think Renteria was trying to get Shark the win that he deserves and maybe. If he was going to be able to get batters out there was no harm done. But soon as he walks or gives up a hit he was going to get taken out. It just happened to be the first batter. Keeps the bullpen rested as well putting him back out there if he was able to get batters out.

  • In reply to Northside Neuman:

    Oh yes. I was. Totally not necessary.

  • Hopefully the Cubs can keep the bats and the run support going with the rest of the road series that unfortunately is only going to get tougher with Hudson and Lincecum in San Francisco and a three game series at first place Milwaukee, Putting the ball in play like yesterday is what the cubs need because the balls will fall eventually. Way to many strikeouts so far.

  • Alcantara to play outfield tonight for I Cubs

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Interesting,.......

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