Following last night’s dramatic victory, capped by an 8th inning blast courtesy of Javy Baez, the Cubs gear up again for a clash with the San Francisco Giants. Tonight, Kyle Hendricks will square off against a familiar face to Cubs fans: Jeff Samardzija.
During his 7 1/2 years as a Cub, Samardzija often took the brunt of criticism from an increasingly frustrated fanbase, yet most would argue that it was warranted for a couple of reasons. First, he just wasn’t very good. Despite a decent season-long ERA tally in 2014, Samardzija just always seemed on the cusp of giving up a big home run at a bad time.
But what really began to irk fans was his attitude. An outspoken guy, Samardzija made his feelings clear during the 2014 season, as the Cubs front office pleaded with him to stay, wait out the struggles, and flourish once the plethora of talent in their farm system had developed. But Samardzija wanted no part of it. He blasted the Cubs’ “wait till next year attitude”, opting to say goodbye in favor of what he believed to be greener pastures.
Still, Samardzija has seen his vision go unfulfilled. With this season becoming only his second with a winning record as a starter, Samardzija again sits on the cusp of irrelevance as the Cubs look to send him packing early this evening. And with Madison Bumgarner looming in game 3, you can bet the Cubbies are going to look to capitalize on tonight’s opportunity against Samardzija.