Run Support Historically Bad For Cubs Jeff Samardzija
Monday night for Jeff Samardzija was just a microcosm of what has gone wrong for him in his time with the Chicago Cubs. Completing nine innings without an earned run results in a win on most nights. But not for Samardzija, and not for the Cubs.
The Cubs only scored one in support of their ace and even then the run that came in was that of Samardzija on a sac fly after he had doubled to leadoff the bottom of the sixth inning. Run support has been a disaster for the 29-year-old who is still 0-3 despite a 1.62 ERA. The Cubs have only scored a total of 15 runs in seven Samardzija starts.
Over the past three seasons Samardzija, tied with Hiroki Kuroda, has started the second most games (29) in all of baseball with two or less runs scored on his behalf. The only starter who has more than those two is surprisingly Edinson Volquez with an astounding 37 games.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Samardzija is the first pitcher since 1900 to start the season with seven consecutive starts of five-plus innings, allowing three runs or fewer and receiving no victories.
In the live ball era (1920-present), Samardzija is the only pitcher in baseball to have a sub-2.00 ERA while not recording a win in his first seven starts of a season. The last pitcher to accomplish that feat was George Dumont in 1917 with his 1.94 ERA. It should be noted that Dumont did have a win due to an eight inning relief effort in between starts.
Like most in his position, Samardzija has to be frustrated but he has yet to show it.
“You do your job,” said Samardzija to the media Monday. “I’m just going out and doing my job and doing my part to win a ballgame. I can’t control things on the outside. It’s not my job. Every fifth day is my job and that’s what I’m going to continue to do.”
This year the right-hander has improved while the Cubs continue to rebuild. Unfortunately — or maybe fortunately if you view the trade favorably — for Samardzija, his hometown Cubs will be looking to trade him within the next two months.