Bears

Samardzija struggles as Cubs fall to Dodgers

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Samardzija struggles as Cubs fall to Dodgers

LOS ANGELES -- Chad Billingsley won his third straight start since coming off the disabled list, batterymate A.J. Ellis hit two solo homers and had an RBI single, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.

Billingsley (7-9) allowed a run and four hits in seven innings, struck out seven and walked two. The right-hander lost five consecutive starts with a 6.21 ERA during a stretch before going on the disabled list with elbow pain, and since then has allowed just two runs in 20 1-3 innings. This is the eighth time in his eight-year career that he has won as many as three straight starts, but he has never won more than four consecutive starts.

Billingsley, in the second year of a four-year contract that will pay him more than 41 million, had been 0-4 with a 4.70 ERA in his previous eight starts at Dodger Stadium since beating Pittsburgh 4-1 in his first home start of the season on April 11.

Jeff Samardzija (7-9) gave up five runs and eight hits in 5 13 innings without walking a batter and struck out three. The former Notre Dame wide receiver had a 1.91 ERA over his previous five starts after surrendering nine runs over 4 1-3 innings in a 17-1 loss to the New York Mets on June 27 at Wrigley Field.

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Who deserves the blame in the Bears loss to Miami?

David Haugh, Adam Jahns and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel. The Bears lose a rough one in Miami as Matt Nagy goes conservative at the end zone. Does the rookie coach deserve all of the blame? Dave Wannstedt joins the guys to discuss.

Plus the guys discuss the Cubs’ newest hitting coach/scapegoat, Brandon Saad’s upcoming healthy scratch and Bobby Portis betting on himself this season. 

Listen here or in the embedded player below!

Cubs executive Jason McLeod reportedly linked to Giants' GM opening

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USA TODAY

Cubs executive Jason McLeod reportedly linked to Giants' GM opening

Is this the offseason that Cubs executive Jason McLeod finally becomes an MLB general manager?

According to Bruce Levine, the Giants are reportedly interested in McLeod, the Cubs senior vice president of scouting and player development, for their vacant general manager position.

McLeod joined the Cubs' front office in 2011 alongside Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer. Before the Cubs, he spent six years in the Red Sox front office and two in the Padres' (with Hoyer, who was San Diego's general manager from 2010-2011). 

Of course, the Giants' reported interest in McLeod doesn't necessarily mean that he will interview for the job. However, it's worth noting that McLeod interviewed for the Twins' general manager job in 2016; he also withdrew his name from consideration for the Padres' general manager job in 2014. 

In addition to the Giants, McLeod's name has been linked to the Mets' general manager vacancy. This is more speculation, but the point is that it seems to be only a matter of time before McLeod is hired as general manager elsewhere.

For what it's worth, though, McLeod is under contract through 2021 and has previously said that he is grateful to be with the Cubs. 

“I’m exceptionally grateful,” McLeod said. “All of us are. Look at where we are at this moment in time with this team," McLeod said in 2016. "I can’t imagine a better environment, a better culture to work at in baseball.

"We’ve been together a long time. We’re friends. We’re good. We embrace the fact that we are good. And we challenge ourselves to be even better.”