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Levine: Samardzija Winless Streak Persists

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Jeff Samardzija. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Jeff Samardzija. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Bruce Levine Bruce Levine
Bruce Levine covers both the Cubs and the White Sox for CBSChicago.co...
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(CBS) – To a man, the Cubs feel they owe starter Jeff Samardzija a better effort on the day he starts. On Friday, it wasn’t just a lack of run support that led to his fourth loss without a victory. Samardzija’s teammates committed three errors and a passed ball contributing to a 4-3 loss.

Samardzija would be the first to tell you that this own lack of command was also a contributing factor in the loss to the Brewers. The five-inning, 98-pitch outing was his shortest  of the season.

Despite a bone chilling 38-degree temperature reading at game time, the pitcher and manager Rickey Renteria refused to use the cold weather as an excuse.

“Both sides had some (trouble), but that is a part of it,” Renteria said. “All of us have played in this weather. In between innings you throw the ball and make sure you have a better grip on it. You make the adjustments you need to.”

The Cubs lost their major-league high 27th game, putting them on a record losing pace that would skyrocket to more than 100 losses at this pace. Errant throws by Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and a passed ball by Welington Castillo led to two unearned runs.

The Cubs and their starter were down 4-0 after an inning and a half. Samardzija refused to blame his teammates, instead reflecting blame back to his own inconsistent pitch management.

“I am not happy about it,” he said. “It is not like it goes unnoticed. Obviously, I want to win and being a starting pitcher you have a big say in how the game turns out.”

He added: “I need to do a better job. I will go back to the film and watch what happened . I tip my hat to Milwaukee; they are playing well right now. So, I will go to the bullpen and work on it and be ready to go next start.”

Despite the below-superior start for the Cub ace, he still has not allowed more than three runs in any appearance this season. In fact, he has allowed three earned runs only once; the other eight he has given up two or less.

“We feel bad,” Castro said when asked about the lack of run support all season for Samardzija “He has done a great job for us.”

The luckless Samardzija is now winless since his last 15 starts dating back to August 30, 2013. He has a combined 0-6 record with a 3.30 ERA over that period of time. Samardzija saw his ERA go from 1.45 to a still-outstanding 1.62. He is second in the National League.

 

 

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