San Francisco Giants at Chicago Cubs
When and Where: Thursday, Aug. 22, Wrigley Field, Chicago, Ill., 2:20 p.m. EDT.
Homecomings are nice, but a victory for Jeff Samardzija would be more meaningful and helpful to the wild-card hopes for the San Francisco Giants.
The one-time Cubs pitcher again bids for this first victory at Wrigley Field as an opponent Thursday when the Giants try to avoid a three-game sweep by Chicago.
Samardzija looks to extend road winning streak
Samardzija (9-9, 3.54 ERA) has gone 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA in seven starts since the All-Star break as San Francisco has remained in the thick of the wild-card chase and has recorded quality starts in four of them.
Jeff Samardzija thinks player options should be changed https://t.co/CRPBJMtr4n
— HardballTalk (@HardballTalk) August 21, 2019
The right-hander was in line for a victory Friday against Arizona when he departed after yielding two runs in 5 1-3 innings, but San Francisco’s bullpen squandered a 7-2 lead in the eighth before the Giants eventually won 10-9 in 11 innings.
Samardzija is no stranger to the Friendly Confines, having pitched collegiately nearby at Notre Dame before pitching from the Cubs from 2008-14 before being dealt to the Oakland Athletics. Samardzija has made two visits as an opponent, with the most recent one a 5-1 loss in 2017 when he served up three solo homers in seven innings.
But he has been at his best of late outside San Francisco, going 5-0 with a 2.66 ERA in his last seven starts. Samardzija has held all but one opponent under two runs in that stretch and has 41 strikeouts in 44 innings.
The righty is 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA in three career starts versus the Cubs, with six home runs given up in 17 innings. Kris Bryant is 4 for 9 with a homer and a double versus Samardzija, and Jason Heyward is 3 for 16 with a pair of home runs.
Hendricks looking for run support after tough luck outing
Kyle Hendricks (8-9, 3.37) has just one win in his last 10 starts and is 1-5 with a 3.96 ERA in that span. The right-hander has given up more than two runs just once in the last seven, but the Cubs have not provided him much help offensively with 12 runs in those games.
His overall run support average of 3.63 runs per start is the second-lowest mark in the majors, behind only Miami’s Sandy Alcantara (2.65).
#MLB 2019 Pitch Quality Ranking (Week 20)
by Location (min 400 pitches)
— MLB Quality of Pitch (@qopbaseball) August 18, 2019
Hendricks had nothing to show for a stellar outing versus Pittsburgh on Friday, holding the Pirates to one run and three hits over seven innings as he bounced back from his worst start of 2019. He was in line for a victory after the Cubs took a 2-1 lead in the eighth, only to see the bullpen collapse in the ninth for a 3-2 loss.
The righty has been tough on NL West opponents at home, going 2-1 with a 2.14 ERA in three starts. Hendricks may only be 4-2 at Wrigley Field but he has a 1.98 ERA there in 10 outings while holding opposing hitters to a .194 batting average.
He is 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three starts against the Giants at home, with four of the six runs scoring on three home runs over 19 1-3 innings. Hendricks is 3-2 with a 2.47 ERA in seven lifetime matchups with San Francisco.
Deadline day acquisition Nicholas Castellanos continued his outstanding run in Wednesday’s 12-11 victory, going 4 for 5 with a homer in three RBIs. He has homered in three straight games and is hitting .392 with eight homers in 19 games since arriving from Detroit.
Castellanos, who is 7 for 10 in this series, is just 1 for 12 with four strikeouts against Samardzija.
The Giants are:
- 13-32 in their last 45 games vs. starters with a sub-1.15 WHIP.
- 7-19 in Samardzija’s last 26 road starts vs. above-.500 teams.
- 17-36 in their last 53 during game 3 of a series.
The Cubs are:
- 11-5 in Hendricks’ last 16 home starts.
- 10-2 in Hendricks’ last 12 Thursday starts.
- 16-5 in their last 21 home games vs. the Giants.