In case you were doing something better than watching the Cubs last night (I was watching B-movies on Netflix), you might have missed another depressing Cubs loss. Jeff Samardzija continued his recent trend of not pitching very well.
“I’m beginning to notice about the 80-pitch mark, the ball gets up,” Sveum said. “Even though there’s no velocity (drop), the ball gets up and that’s where the walks start coming in. So we’re going to have to monitor that because it’s definitely getting to be a pattern.”
Jeff’s season is definitely not headed in the right direction.
Samardzija said he feels “better” than he did early in the season when he went 2-0 with a 1.03 ERA in four starts. Since then he’s 1-5 with a 5.95 ERA over his last seven starts.
“It’s just those times when there are runners on base, you need to really bear down and make your pitches,” he said. “I left that splitter up to Montero, which was a big pitch. Those are make or break times in the game.”
So, Mr. Sveum, the D’Backs had a late scratch from a lefty starter to a righty, but you stayed with the same old crappy right-handed hitting lineup. Any explanation?
Sveum said he had time to change the lineup but believed it wouldn’t make much of a difference against Collmenter, whose “funky” delivery makes it especially difficult for anyone who hasn’t faced him several times.
“We had no prior history with him. None of our hitters had ever faced him,” Sveum said. “I saw it last year. For [hitters who’d] never faced him before, he’s a completely different pitcher. He’s a guy you have to face three, four, five times before you get a reading on that arm slot and everything.”
So you don’t think any of the Cubs hitters would have hit him. I’d still rather give Bryan LaHair a shot there than Jeff Baker. But maybe it’s just me.
One of those right-handed hitters who was in the lineup Friday night was Darwin Barney. He finds himself facing uncertainty with most of the roster on the trade bloc.
‘‘If anything, it just creates an unknown,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not necessarily an anxiety, but it’s just a feeling of what-if. But that goes away really fast because you go to the cage, start working, getting ready for your day, and it just feels like it couldn’t happen. Until it does.’’
He laughs a little at that.
‘‘You just never know,’’ he said. ‘‘You have a job to do, and that’s what’s first and foremost, and that’s what we all focus on.’’
If it does turn to anxiety, maybe someone could get Darwin a prescription for Xanax.
As for today’s game, you’ll have to wait till 9:10 Central to watch. If you make it that late you’ll get to see Paul Maholm (4-5, 4.88) against Ian Kennedy (5-7, 4.13). You’ll be able to watch either on CSN or on the Major League Network. Lineup for tonight: