D-backs halt Cubs’ streak; walks haunt Jeff Samardzija
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org June 1, 2013 11:58PM
Updated: July 3, 2013 7:07AM
A handful of pitchers carry the kind of reputation that gives their teammates an edge on the field.
Jeff Samardzija might not have that reputation yet — but his performances are building a case for it.
“I played for a long time, and there were certain guys that when you woke up in the morning, you’d think ‘we have to score a few runs today because this guy is capable of throwing shutouts or giving up just one or two,’ ’’ Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
“That’s in your mind-set — a guy throwing strikes, powering guys away and competing like he [Samardzija] does.
“I don’t care who you are—you know the one guy on the other team who is pitching [and] you’re going to have to scratch out runs one way or another.’’
Samardzija had good stuff again Saturday — but his 11 strikeouts through six innings weren’t good enough to overcome two walks that got him into trouble in the seventh.
They led to a three-run inning before a four-run inning off Carlos Marmol (2-3) in the eighth turned the game the Diamondbacks’ way.
Paul Goldschmidt’s grand slam off Marmol was one of two four-run innings for the Diamondbacks in their 12-4 rout that ended the Cubs five-game winning streak.
The Cubs had three hits off Ian Kennedy (3-3), two by Nate Schierholtz, who doubled home a run in the first and homered in the seventh.
The only other hit was David DeJesus’ first-inning double.
“Those walks in the seventh hurt,’’ Samardzija said. “Those things happen. The outcome was a little skewed because we battled them the whole game. But they’re a first place team for a reason.’’
The Diamondbacks scored four more in the ninth off Zach Putnam, who was just recalled from Class AAA.
He was one of six Cubs pitchers before it was over. Of the eight walks issued, four came from Samardzija and three from Marmol.
“The bottom line is you walk eight guys, you’re not going to win many games,’’ Sveum said.
Samardzija gave up a leadoff home run to Gerardo Parra. But the Cubs came back with three runs for him in the first after a 2 hour 21 minute rain delay.
He was at his best again in the third and fourth, striking out six in a row after leaving the bases loaded in the second. He had eight strikeouts at the end of four innings.
“The one thing when you’re dealing with power guys like Samardzija — and not to take away from anyone’s bullpen — but when you have a guy who left the seventh or eighth and is still throwing 97 and has thrown 90 pitches, even if he was at 100 pitches, it’s hard to find someone in your bullpen who has that kind of stuff,’’ Sveum said.
There is also the psychological advantage of keeping his dominating pitcher in the game.
“If you take that guy out in the 8th inning, the other team is thinking ‘thank God,’ ’’ he said.
Sveum didn’t get to see much of his starter’s latest outing. Umpire Joe West ejected him in the second after arguing a call at first by Toby Basner.
It was the second ejection this season for Sveum.
“Joe was fine. I was saying my piece and I was out there long enough,’’ Sveum said.