In the Giants' frustrating series at Wrigley Field, at there was at least one clear bright spot -- Jeff Samardzija.
The Giants lost 1-0 to complete a three-game sweep at the hands of the Cubs, but to no fault of Samardzija. The former Cub showed the side of him that the Giants wanted when he was snagged in free agency back in 2015.
He's just about cut last season's ERA in half, as he now boasts a sterling 3.44 ERA in 2019.
The Giants didn't play their best baseball during the recent road series, but that shouldn't take away from how Samardzija has been pitching.
“I think we missed an opportunity, but I don’t think it’s crippling,” Samardzija told reporters after the game, via Kerry Crowley of the Mercury News. “I think we’ve kind of shown here over the last couple of months that we can hang around and play some good ball and then we get hot.”
And July and August have been scorching for him.
In nine games, he's 5-2 and the Giants have compiled a 7-2 record in those games. Across 56 frames, he's boasted a 2.09 ERA and a minuscule 0.86 WHIP. And he's limiting batters to a .182/.235/.338 line.
Bochy has noticed it too. In the midst of his farewell tour -- the Cubs gifted him a No. 15 tile from the Wrigley Field wall to match his uniform number before the game -- he admitted it's been fun to watch what Samardzija has been doing.
“It’s a great story, isn’t it?” Bochy said. “What he’s done, how well he’s pitched, how consistent he’s been, it really is.”
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The Giants manager did wish the team could have done more, however.
"It's hard to pitch a better game than what `Shark' did today," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's a shame we couldn't find a way to win that one for him."