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updated: 5/16/2014 7:50 PM

Same-old, same-old for Samardzija

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  • Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija allowed 4 runs Friday to the Brewers, but only 2 were earned. His record is 0-4, but he has a 1.62 ERA. He is winless in his last 15 starts dating to Aug. 30 last year.

      Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija allowed 4 runs Friday to the Brewers, but only 2 were earned. His record is 0-4, but he has a 1.62 ERA. He is winless in his last 15 starts dating to Aug. 30 last year.
    Associated Press

 
 

The Cubs keep finding more ways not to get Jeff Samardzija a win.

Samardzija admittedly did not have his best stuff Friday at cold and raw Wrigley Field, where the Cubs lost 4-3 to the Milwaukee Brewers.

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The ace of the Cubs pitching staff ran his pitch count to 31 in the first inning and made it through only 5. Samardzija gave up 4 runs, but only 2 were earned as his teammates in the field didn't have their best stuff either on a 38-degree day.

The record reads 0-4 for Samardzija, but with a 1.62 ERA. He is winless in his last 15 starts dating to Aug. 30 last year.

"No, I'm not happy about it," he said. "It's not like it goes unnoticed. Obviously I want to win. Being a starting pitcher, you have a big say in how the game turns out. Obviously my record isn't what I want it to be. Obviously I need to do a better job.

"Like I said before, I'll go back to the film and watch what happened. Can't forget to tip my hat to Milwaukee. They're playing well right now, and they put some good at-bats (together). There are some things we need to improve on. We'll go to the film. We'll go to the bullpen and work on it and be ready to go the next start."

Samardzija may not want to watch the film of this bizarre game.

The Cubs made 2 errors in the first inning as the Brewers scored twice. Left fielder Junior Lake misplayed a single by Jonathan Lucroy, and shortstop Starlin Castro made a throwing error on Lyle Overbay's grounder.

Catcher Welington Castillo was charged with a passed ball as Milwaukee scored 2 more in the second.

Castro said he didn't want to blame the weather for his errant throw, but he noted the conditions weren't great.

"I was playing in the hole, and I was trying to throw the ball right away," he said. "Sometimes when it's cold you don't grab the ball pretty good."

The strangeness then set in with the offense.

Second baseman Darwin Barney hit a 2-run homer off Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse in the bottom of the second. In the third, Junior Lake led off with a homer to left field. The Cubs got 2 more hits that inning, but then they did not put up another until Castro led off the ninth with a single.

"We're still trying to find the balance between the things we get that are working and then the offense coming together," said Cubs manager Rick Renteria, whose team fell to a season-worst 14 games under .500 at 13-27. "But we still have to keep playing. We still have to execute, and we still have to find a way to get it done."

The Cubs bullpen shut down the Brewers, but the offense couldn't get Samardzija off the hook for a loss.

"It's too bad," Barney said. "He comes out every fifth day and pitches and competes. We want nothing more to give him some run support. Same story today."

What had to hurt even more was that before the game, Renteria insisted that the Cubs had played well behind Samardzija all season. In Renteria's eyes, Samardzija's win-loss record looks a lot different than it does in the morning paper.

"Jeff's an excellent pitcher," Renteria said. "He's obviously turning into one of the premier guys in the league. To put a stigma on him right now based on what's happened, he's controlled everything he absolutely can control. He's pitched winning baseball. He may not have any victories on the end of his record sheet, but for me, he's won every single time he's gone out there."

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