Jeff Samardzija proving he's a workhorse

May, 6, 2014
May 6
Rogers By Jesse Rogers
CHICAGO -- Despite Chicago Cubs manager Rick Renteria's insistence he's not going to make a habit of letting his pitchers throw upward of 125 pitches, starter Jeff Samardzija is hoping he proved something Monday night.

"As a pitcher, it's your job to every day go out and when you get those situations, to prove they made a right decision," Samardzija said after throwing a career-high 126. "It's good to get the job done and put it in the back of their mind there is no reason to take you out."

[+] EnlargeJeff Samardzija
AP Photo/Gene Puskar"It's good to get the job done and put it in the back of their mind there is no reason to take you out," Jeff Samardzija said after his 126-pitch outing Monday.
In other words, Samardzija hopes to have earned the trust of his manager after getting out of a ninth-inning jam against the Chicago White Sox as pitch No. 126 was hit for an inning-ending double play. The Cubs went on to lose the game 3-1 in 12 innings, but Samardzija made his point.

"It's a gamble," Renteria said. "It's not a high-percentage gamble when a manager does things like that. ... I put myself in a no-win situation, potentially.

“If he doesn't get that double play, I'm not going to let him face that next hitter."

Renteria felt he had a lot to lose -- including the health of his ace -- and little to gain, but Samardzija was throwing so well he let him finish the inning. It doesn't mean he will next time.

"Would I do it again?" Renteria said. "I couldn't tell you if I would or would not."

It all depends on the situation and how efficient Samardzija is on that given night.

One thing is certain: The more often Samardzija throws that many pitches, the less likely Renteria will let him do it again.

Samardzija said he felt fine on Tuesday and is thrilled with his progress this season, despite the team's 1-6 record when he starts. His ERA is 1.62.

"It's a good sign, to be here in early May and throw that many pitches," he said.

Jesse Rogers | email

Chicago Cubs beat reporter
Jesse joined ESPN Chicago in September 2009 and covers the Chicago Cubs for and ESPN Radio 1000.



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Anthony Rizzo
.284 25 56 71
HRA. Rizzo 25
RBIA. Rizzo 56
RA. Rizzo 71
OPSA. Rizzo .917
WJ. Hammel 8
ERAJ. Samardzija 2.83
SOJ. Hammel 104