The Pittsburgh Pirates ran into their version of James McDonald last night. Jeff Samardzija relied on two pitches to one-hit the Pirates with an Andrew McCutchen infield single being the only damage created by the Bucs. If the Shark covers first base, he might have been looking at doing something special in the ninth inning.
But Samardzija was lifted after throwing 99 pitches as Cubs skipper Dale Sveum went to closer Carlos Marmol. Josh Harrison just missed ripping a double to open the ninth as Samardzija was seen shaking his head in the Chicago dugout.
“That was no doubt the best stuff [Samardzija] had,” Sveum said. “He had his two-seamer working, he kept the ball down, elevated when he wanted, obviously had his split working and he could get back in the count with his slider. It was impressive. I don’t think I’m on his Christmas list right now, but … ”
Harrison would reach on an infield single, but was stranded as Marmol retired the Bucs next three hitters.
The winning streak is over Buccos fans. But don’t overlook the eleven strikeout effort the team got from starter Erik Bedard.
The Reds stomped the Astros putting Pittsburgh one-and-a-half games behind the NL Central lead.
Paul Maholm goes today against James McDonald. Perhaps JMac can return the favor against the light hitting Cubs offense.