Photo credit: @NBCSGiants
By Jeremy Harness
For the past couple of years, the jury has been out on Jeff Samardzija. However, on Thursday afternoon, it was the offense that let him down, less than 24 hour after scoring 11 runs.
Samardzija clearly pitched well enough to beat the Chicago Cubs and salvage a game from the three-game series, but the Giants could not bring a single run across, and that resulted in a hard-luck 1-0 loss at Wrigley Field.
As a result, they were swept right out of Chicago, in a series that would have gone a long way in continuing their push for the second wild-card spot in the National League.
The right-hander, who started his pro baseball career with the Cubs after starring in baseball as well as football for Notre Dame, went seven strong innings and gave up only a run on two hits, walking one and striking out four.
Meanwhile, the Giants had all kinds of trouble with Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks, who threw seven shutout innings at them, giving up only three hits – one of those coming off the bat of his pitching counterpart, Samardzija – and striking out seven and not walking anybody.
From there, the Giants managed only one hit off the Cubs’ relievers, as they flew away from Wrigley Field two games under .500. As expected, the National League as a whole has improved since the All-Star break, as the second wild-card spot holder, the St. Louis Cardinals, have a 68-58 mark at press time.
The Giants are now a full six games out of the wild card, and they clearly have a ton of work to do in this next month if they are going to have a chance to make a serious run at the postseason.
The Giants head to RingCentral Coliseum to take on the A’s for a two-game weekend series starting Saturday night at 6:07 p.m.