Jeff Samardzija saw all the excitement surrounding Anthony Rizzo’s Cub debut on Tuesday night. He decided that he needed some of that action, and proceeded to give up 9 runs in 4.1 innings. That makes a total of 25 runs allowed in his last four starts. Any ideas on why he’s becoming the starting pitcher we all expected to see at the start of the season?
“It could be (hitting a wall physically), it could just be confidence, it could be mechanical. It could be all of the above,” Sveum said. “Obviously the magic question is which one it is. That’s where you get in these scenarios sometimes, which one is it? There’s a number of things sometimes – concentration level, trust in your stuff. When he gets in trouble, he doesn’t get Strike 1, either. That’s a big thing. Today we didn’t get Strike 1 too often.”
Or could it be a case of the old “dead arm”? This is his first time as a full-time starter, after all.
“For me it’s more mental right now than physical,” Samardzija said. “My body feels great. That’s not the issue. My pitch count was down going into the fifth. You just have to make those in-game adjustments.”
Time for a visit to the old sports psychologist. Just because he sucks right now doesn’t mean that he intends on sucking in the future, though.
“I want to be a very huge part of this,” he said. “I’m not as young as those guys are age wise. I still have a fair amount to learn and I’m learning that right now. This is the process where we’re at.
“In the professional sports you have to win right now and you have to put up results now. This isn’t a two-year plan for me or a year plan. This is a four-day plan. When I come out the next time it has to be better and it’s going to be better.”
Inspiring words, Jeff.
Even though he managed to steal the front page of this post from Anthony Rizzo, we’ll check in on how the young first baseman’s day went yesterday.
Rizzo was 1-for-4 with a strikeout and a double to show for his second-game results as he watched the Mets use a friendly southwest wind to hit four home runs.
“Yeah, it was a good day to be a hitter,” said Rizzo. “I heard there haven’t been to many days like this (with the wind blowing out) then again that is the game.”
How did he look facing his first lefty starter as a Cub?
“He had some good swings today,” said manager Dale Sveum. “He stayed on most everything and every pitch. There were some fastballs, and he took some good swings while shorting up and hitting a double off of the wall.”
At least there’s that.