Monday, May 26th, 2014. The date will live in Chicago Cubs history as the day the team didn’t suck enough to blow a 8-4 lead against the San Francisco Giants, and gave starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija his first victory in 16 starts.
If you follow the MLB from time-to-time, you might have heard of Samardzija’s bad luck. But how bad were the Cubs during this winless streak?
Really bad. Let’s look at the proof.
In Samardzija’s 11 starts this season (including Monday’s start) the Cubs offense has supported him with 32 runs. Two of those runs came from Samardzija driving in runs himself, so the real number is 30.
In those same 11 starts, Samardzija hasn’t given up more than three earned runs, hasn’t walked more batters than he has struck out, and has maintained an ERA under 2.00. Basically, Samardzija has been pitching like an all-star just with no wins to show for his performance.
Samardzija has been so ridiculously good that it’s embarrassing how badly the team behind him has played, and that’s saying something when said team hasn’t won the World Series since 1908 and has been swept in the first round of its past two playoff appearances.
But Samardzija’s bad luck isn’t just a string of bad luck or a sign of the “Cubs being the Cubs.” No, the Cubs lack of support on Samardzija’s starts has broken an MLB record, and not the good kind.
Samardzija’s 16-start victory drought was the first time in 100 years a pitcher with an ERA below 3.00 didn’t register a win in 16-plus starts. To find the last time something like this has happened to a pitcher in the major leagues, you have to go all the back to 1915 to the New York Giants’ pitcher, Rube Schauer when the Giants couldn’t produce a win for Schauer for nearly two years.
I guess the icing on the cake after all of this is Samardzija only went 0-6 in the 16 game winless streak compared to Schauer’s record of 0-16. Even with that fact, I am still disgusted at the Cubs.
If I were Samardzija, I’d get out of Chicago and find a team that plays like the team that knows what a talent it has on the mound.