Samardzija's historic stretch of bad luck continues with Cubs

Samardzija's historic stretch of bad luck continues with Cubs
May 10, 2014, 10:45 pm
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Tony Andracki

At some point, does this become almost laughable?

The only certainty in the game of baseball this season is the same scenario that played out Saturday night: Jeff Samardzija pitched great, but he still can't get a win.

[MORE - Cubs go silent behind Samardzija again, shut out in Atlanta]

Samardzija hasn't given up an earned run since April 29 in Cincinnati and he's only surrendered 12 runs (nine earned) in eight starts this season. He continues to extend his record-setting modern-day winless streak.

In those eight starts, the Cubs have scored a grand total of 15 runs and they've been shut out three times, compiling a 1-7 record in Samardzija's games. The 29-year-old starter boasts the second-best ERA (1.45) in Major League Baseball, trailing the leader by just 0.02 points (Johnny Cueto has a 1.43 ERA).

All eyes were on Samardzija Saturday for other reasons, too, after a week-long debate over the 126 pitches he threw against the White Sox Monday night.

[RELATED - After all that, Jeff Samardzija feels like he’s just getting started]

After stating PitchCountGate was an issue that should remain for Cubs uniform personnel only, Samardzija had this to say:

“It’s different for everybody,” Samardzija said. “You don’t bring kids up through the system and coach every kid the same. There’s different things you do for different guys. Do I want to go out and throw 128 pitches every time? Absolutely not. Hell no.  

“But there are times (when it’s called for) and times when it needs to get done and someone’s got to do it. It’s unfortunate that we’re getting to a point in the game to where this is becoming news.

“It should be the other way around: ‘Why did this guy only throw 75 pitches and then come out of the game after five innings? What’s that about?’ I just think the light’s in the wrong direction.

Ironically, Saturday night, Samardzija threw just 69 pitches through his six shutout innings. However, he was forced to endure a rain delay that lasted more than an hour and coming off the 126-pitch outing, it was expected the Cubs would have a shorter leash with their ace.

[RELATED - Hoyer on Samardzija pitch-count story: ‘should probably die’]

Immediately after Samardzija was removed, Brian Schlitter gave up the only two runs of the game and Samardzija again ended up with a no-decision.

He is slated to start next in the finale of the Cubs-Cardinals series in St. Louis Thursday.