May 15, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs starting pitcherJeff Samardzija
(29) scores on a home run during the second inning against the Colorado Rockies at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports
After his worst start of the season last time out, Jeff Samardzija bounced back with an effort that exceeded the definition of a quality start. The Cubs ace made quick work of the first and a David DeJesus lead off homer in the bottom half gave The Shark a quick 1-0 lead. The Rockies tied it up in the second with the help of a one out walk, but the former Notre Dame wide out then proceeded to keep the visitors off of the scoreboard through the fifth inning. During that stretch the righty racked up four strikeouts, and when the Rockies hitters weren’t swinging and missing, they had to settle for ground ball outs most of the time, with The Shark inducing four of those as well.
Samardzija’s only other mistake was a solo shot he allowed in the sixth. On the mound he would finish with eight innings pitched while allowing five hits with seven total strikeouts. But number 29 did some heavy lifting on the offensive side of the game as well. In fact it was his two run homer in the second that broke a 1-1 tie, with Darwin Barney along for the ride after he doubled. This was all with two outs after a strike em out throw em out situation where Luis Valbuena apparently stopped running because he thought it was ball four to batter Dioner Navarro.
The Shark’s line up mates padded a 3-2 to lead to a comfortable 6-2 margin in the bottom of the seventh. The insurance runs were compliments of back to back RBI singles by infield cornerstones Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo before Alfonso Soriano tallied the final Cubs run with a ground out RBI. The bullpen took care of the final three outs in the game despite allowing an unearned run to make it 6-3. James Russell did his job by striking out Carlos Gonzalez, who burned the Cubs with two homers on Tuesday night. Veteran Kevin Gregg was then called in despite the non save situation and it was his own defensive error that lead to the run. However the veteran righty would get the help of his center fielder DeJesus on a line out to center to end the game and keep intact his 0.00 ERA.
The Cubs picked up their second straight series win in a row and did so against a plus .500 team. The North Siders are just six games under .500 at 17-23 despite the rocky start to the 2013 season they have endured. After the off day on Thursday, the Cubs will look to make it three series wins in a row and maybe even put together a win streak of more than three with a sweep of a Mets team that comes into town with just as many losses and less total wins on the season.