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Jeff Samardzija ends his season on a high note

Sep 9, 2012, 10:25 AM EDT

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Jeff Samardzija entered Saturday’s start against the Pirates with full knowledge that it would be his last. Over the next couple of hours, he pitched like a man wanting to make a grand final statement.

The former Notre Dame wideout struck out nine batters in a complete-game victory at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park, allowing just four hits and two earned runs while fanning nine. He threw 120 pitches — 81 of which were strikes — as the Cubs rolled 4-3.

Samardzija was merely a setup man last season and seemed destined to remain one for the rest of his career, but the rebuilding Northsiders decided to give him a crack in the rotation this spring and may have found themselves a top-end starter to build around.

The 27-year-old will finish up with a 3.81 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP and a 180/56 K/BB ratio in 174 2/3 innings. He topped out at 88 frames in the Cubs’ bullpen last year, which is why he’s being shut down prematurely.

  1. gloccamorra - Sep 9, 2012 at 11:05 AM

    The Padres are doing the same thing with Andrew Cashner. If this catches on, where are the effective set-up men going to come from? This also raises the question: are managers, pitching coaches, and evaluators guilty of Hollywood-style typecasting?

    • meteor32 - Sep 9, 2012 at 1:19 PM

      Cashner was a starter with the Cubs before he got injured. He was moved to the bullpen after his surgery to decrease his work load. It’s a bit different than Samardzija who was in the bullpen because before last season he’d been ineffective.

  2. wethog66 - Sep 9, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    The Cubs are shutting down a pefectly good starting pitcher for no apparent reason?

    Pathetic.

    • protius - Sep 11, 2012 at 4:16 AM

      I don’t know if this is going to make you feel any better, but they’re also laying off two 21 year old beer vendors, who carried 197 total cases this, their first season. The NL norm is about 195 and don’t want these kids hurting their backs this early in their careers. We all remember what happened to Bix Bidderbeck in 86.

      211 his first season; 234 his second season then boom, he shot right up to the top 488 cases his third year, and by September 15, he couldn’t stand up straight to take a proper piss. That’s why they handle the kids these days all careful like; try and make them bloody last.

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