This is just the build-up to the bucket of pig's blood, right?
For a guy roundly dismissed as another stupid Hendry contract (especially by WAIW) before 2011, the Samardizja experiment appears to be producing dividends long, long after even the ND brahs stopped buying those stupid green and gold #29 Cubs shirts. Even after a 2011 in which he was merely the least-bad part of one horrifically shitty bullpen, the general consensus seemed to be more "eh, why not?" than "SIGN THIS MAN." Then he shows up as some sort of pirate/creepy uncle hybrid. What I mean to say is that success was by no means guaranteed. Or, you know, expected. We're still not going to about-face and become giant Samardzija fans, but any time he can stick it to Dusty Baker and his dumb toothpick, it's a solid groove.
Bryan LaHair, he of many recent befuddled postings, hit another home run last night, taking him above Starlin Castro for the lead in RBI. I find myself scared and confused at a Cubs player performing way above expectations. I think I'm just afraid that if LaHair's success continues, the racist ghost of Cap Anson is going to rise up and stalk the earth once again.
Ian Stewart also hit a homer last night, which, you know, good for him and such. It brings that hitting line up to a healthy .173/.247/.296. And I'm not even singling him out, because David DeJesus has been sliding that way for awhile, ready to hang out with Geovany Soto and his .259 slugging percentage. It's why I've been reading a lot of minor league reports lately.
After last night's start, Samardzija - WHO IS STILL NOT CALLED SHARK, DAMMIT - equaled his career number of games started prior to 2012. Let's play a fun round of "Where the Fuck Did This Come From?"
2 GS, 8.1IP, 13H,10ER, 3HR, 1BB, 7K 10.80 ERA, 1.680 WHIP
3GS, 16.0IP, 16H, 11ER, 3HR, 14BB, 7K 6.19 ERA, 1.875 WHIP
This was a guy who Hendry had insisted was starter material, and that son of a bitch was perpetually divorced with reality. But then something weird happened in 2011, long after his "young pitching sensation" level had worn off. He became perhaps the second-best reliever in the pen (to Sean Marshall).
88.0IP (all in relief), 64H, 29ER, 5HR, 50BB, 87K, 2.97 ERA, 1.295 WHIP
So that was weird. But we were so busy watching the wheels fall off and rejoicing when Hendry got the boot that not a lot of people noticed. And now here we are, wondering if finally, at age 27, he's starting to earn those Hendry paychecks. He's already more than a third of the way to his innings-pitched number from last year, so fatigue is definitely a factor. But compare the line below with the stuff you saw above, when he was labeled a "phenom" by obnoxious fans of the movie Rudy.
(3-1) 31.2 IP, 29H, 12ER, 10BB, 32K, 3.41 ERA, 1.232 WHIP
So that's where we're at so far. All because he's carrying a grudge against Wasting Away in Wrigleyville. Thanks a lot, asshole.