Jeff Samardzija's value to other teams seems to be growing with each passing start.
He's also pretty valuable to his present team, the Cubs, even though his teammates have a funny way of showing their appreciation.
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Samardzija tossed his fourth straight quality start to begin the season and his seventh straight dating to Sept. 17 of last year, but all he has to show for it is a record of 0-2. He kept his ERA to 1.29 Friday by tossing 7 innings of 6-hit ball, allowing just 1 earned run (3 total) in a 4-1 defeat to the Cincinnati Reds.
Cubs batters have scored a grand total of 4 runs in his starts this season.
"Wow," said manager Rick Renteria, who was none too happy with the rest of his team Friday. "You know what? He did a great job."
Samardzija's name has come up in trade rumors since the end of last season, and those rumors only intensify as he and the Cubs show no signs of coming to a long-term contract agreement.
The ace of the staff, Samardzija has not shown any signs of the lack of support bothering him.
"Keep working, keep pitching and keep going," he said.
For the season, Samardzija has tossed 28 innings, giving up 23 hits while walking seven and striking out 22.
"You just keep going out and doing your work," he said. "It's all you can do, is go out and have quick innings and get that offense back in there. Today was a tough day to hit with that wind (blowing in). It's just the way it goes sometimes. Just go out and keep doing your work and understand everybody's doing their job, and you can't let it get to you, for sure."
The Reds have gone 10-1 in their last 11 games at Wrigley Field. They won 14 of 19 against the Cubs last year.
"I don't know," said Reds manager Bryan Price. "Knock on wood, if I were to say anything about that, for sure. Any time you have winning streaks there's a lot of things that go right, that go your way. We've had some games where we've scored a lot of runs and given up a lot of runs.
"We've had some battles into extra innings. We've been (in) a million different types of games it seems like the last few years here and somehow we've ended up on top. Believe me, we don't take it for granted that we're coming in here to win all the games. I mean, we want to but we don't take it for granted at all."
Cubs manager Rick Renteria is in his first year on the job, so he's getting his first look at what the Reds have been doing to his new team.
"I really haven't kept up with that history," he said.
Pitcher Jake Arrieta returned to Wrigley Field, fresh off a solid rehab start for Class AA Tennessee. Arrieta is recovering from a shoulder ailment that he went to spring training with. He'll throw a bullpen session with pitching coach Chris Bosio watching him. It's likely he'll start another rehab game next Monday for Class AAA Iowa. It's possible the Cubs could activate him following that start if all goes well.