CHICAGO -- A decade after he was drafted by the Cubs, Jeff Samardzija will make a postseason start at Wrigley Field. He'll do it in orange and black.
Manager Bruce Bochy named Samardzija his Game 2 starter, with Madison Bumgarner and Matt Moore lined up for the games at AT&T Park. Samardzija will be available out of the bullpen for any games after Saturday's.
"Jeff is throwing the ball well," Bochy said. "You look at his work the last six or seven games, it's really his turn. He earned this."
Samardzija has a 2.45 ERA in his past 10 starts. One of the few duds came September 1 at Wrigley Field, when Samardzija had a long first inning and got charged with three runs in four innings. Bochy said Samardzija's ability to settle in later in that start eased some concerns, and Samardzija shook it off during a press conference Friday.
"It was just one of those days, man," he said. "Baseball is a funny sport."
Samardzija pitched seven seasons with the Cubs and spent another year across town with the White Sox. He said he was not nervous when he returned last month, but rather "excited." There are only a handful of current Cubs who were teammates.
The experience of spending so many days here has left Samardzija with a simple approach.
"Just look at the flags," he said. "It's really the only thing that matters."
With a go-to sinker and returning curveball, Samardzija is confident he can keep the ball down even if the wind is blowing out. The appearance will be his first start in the postseason. He pitched one inning out of the bullpen for the Cubs in 2008.
"(Bochy) has confidence in me and I'm not going to let him down," Samardzija said.