Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jeff Samardzija pitches complete game for last start as Cubs win 4-3 over Pirates

The Cubs won the second game of the three-game series 4-3 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park Saturday night.  Following last night's win, this was the team's first back-to-back victory on the road since July 23-24, which coincidentally was also at PNC Park.

Jeff Samardzija made his last start of the season since the team wants to be cautious and save his arm from wear and tear since this is his first full season as a starter (vs. a reliever).

The Shark ended his season in style as he pitched his first career complete game and allowed three runs on four hits while striking out nine batters and walking just one.  This was Samardzija's ninth win of the season.

“That was a special night for him and the team to win two in a row after what just happened in Washington,” manager Dale Sveum said.  "It was big for him to be that so-called No. 1 guy to step up and give us back-to-back wins for the first time on the road in I don’t know how long.”  

Jeff Samardzija ended his first season as a starting pitcher on a strong note by earning his ninth win and first complete game (photo from
Speaking of Washington, catcher Steve Clevenger was fined and suspended for one game (which took place tonight) for his involvement during the brawl during Thursday's game against the Nationals.

One twist to tonight's lineup was that Samardzija batted eighth, ahead of outfielder Tony Campana.  Sveum said he wanted to try this because he liked the idea of having two leadoff men in Campana and David DeJesus.  Sveum said, “It took 138 games but I finally did something right, huh?  It worked.”

Alfonso Soriano hit his 27th homer of the season tonight while David DeJesus had an RBI single in the eighth to give the Cubs a 4-3 lead. 

Second baseman Darwin Barney extended his errorless games streak to 124 straight games tonight, which tops Ryne Sandberg's overall National League record which was set between June 21, 1989 to May 17, 1990. 

Tomorrow the Cubs and Pirates will play the final game of the three-game series at 12:35pm CT.  Chris Rusin will start for the Cubs and try for his first win.

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