I spent most of the day watching the Chicago Cubs today. Okay, not literally but it seemed like it. The game went 13 innings and lasted about 4 hours and 45 minutes. They lost to the New York Yankees, which is bad enough, but what's worse is what happened to their pitcher, Jeff Samardzija yet again.
I feel so bad for Samardzija. (Pronounced Suh-mar-ja.) He has the lowest Earned Run Average in the National League...and has yet to win a game. He's had two games where he was leading, but the Cubs' bullpen blew it in the nine inning. Today, he pitched seven more innings of shutout ball and left the game with a 2-0 lead. So, though he had the lowest ERA in the league coming into the game, he lowered it further still, to 1.46. So, he gives up an average of a measely 1-1/2 runs a game, and has zero wins. As I said, he left leading 2-0. And in the ninth inning...sigh. The Cubs' closer Hector Rondon gave up two wins, to let the Yankees tie the game, and took away the chance to win from Samardzija. Alas, the team's bullpen has actually been getting strong the last month, but...well, they just couldn't hold on this time.
As annoyed as I was, I can only imagine how pissed off Samardzija is.
The worst thing though is that I suspect that this makes it all the more difficult for the Cubs to sign the guy when he’s a free agent at the end of the year. If he likes what he sees about the team’s future (and they do have some top prospects coming), they have a chance of re-signing him, but otherwise I suspect they’ll trade him before the year is out. After all, if you're that good a pitcher, wouldn't you like to win a game on occasion...? This would be a shame, having lived through his growing process as a rookie to the point where he’s now a serious #1 pitcher, and then likely losing him. If they do, hopefully they’ll get something at least reasonable.
What makes this all the more bizarre is that last night the lowly Cubs faced the Yankee's Masahiro Tanaka, who was 6-0, but dating back to his career in Japan had won 36 games in a row. And the Cubs somehow beat him.
I suspect that Jeff Samardzija would have liked at least some of those runs from the night before...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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