Looking for a cure for what is bothering your offense? Turn to the Padres. The Cubs have looked like a completely different team in this series compared to the losing streak and pick up a series win with the decision today. We’ll aim for a sweep, yes you read that correctly, a sweep tomorrow.
Jeff Samardzija continues to look amazing in his transition from the bullpen to the rotation. Every time I watch him pitch, I’m amazed at the transition. I wish I would have saved the comments people were leaving on the site when he was struggling in the bullpen just a year or so ago. If I wasn’t so lazy, I’d look back and see if I can find them. What I came away most impressed with in this outing was the efficiency with which he worked. He kept his pitch count all game long and exited with just under 95 thrown over the course of seven strong innings. The only lapse where his inexperience shone through a little was in the 5th, when Everth Cabrera could have basically walked to third on the steal. Samardzija never even turns his head and hadn’t even delivered the pitch before Cabrera was already on third. Aside from that, and a bomb given up off the bat of Carlos Quentin, I was more than pleased once again with what we got out of the Shark, including the offense he provided with a bloop single to help his cause.
As I was watching the game, I began to wonder who the All Star representative would be for the Cubs, assuming we’ll only have one. I think Samardzija has to at least be in the conversation, does he not? More than likely it will be Starlin Castro, but I think I’d vote for Samardzija over Castro at this point because of how unexpected the success has been for him compared to the expectations on Castro. Thoughts?
From a Padres perspective, you have to think they come away from the game wondering how they got hosed on the call at first base in the 7th. It was an inning changer that may have prevented them from stealing some momentum late. On a ground ball to the pitchers mound, Samardzjia’s throw pulled Castro off the bag, which allowed the runner to get in safely at second. A relay throw to first was called an out when it was pretty clear that the runner was also safe. Instead of bases loaded and one out, the Padres were left with second and third and two outs. It turned into no runs, and even led to one of the more amusing manager moments I’ve seen in a while. Both Dale Svuem and Bud Black were both out to argue the calls on the field. I’m not sure what Dale was arguing about. He really should have considered the call at first base a gift a shut his mouth. It’s like complaining when your parents get you an X-Box 360 for Christmas because they didn’t get you the kinect accessory to go with it.
A few minor notes:
- Country Joe West has some nasty belly sweat
- It seemed to me, and maybe it’s not the case, that Alfonso Soriano’s stance today at the plate was a little more closed than normal. Did anyone else notice that or was I just making that up?
- The strike zone against the righties seemed rather odd on calls inside. West seemed to really be calling the inside pitch to righties, especially the high inside strike. I am on a backup computer or I would pull up the heat maps to look at them.
- Chet West was a guest on ESPN 1000 in Chicago with Jonathan Hood and Jeff Dickerson the other night. You can listen to it here