Pitchers’ Duel Impacts Z-Meter Standings

In a rare bit of kismet, two of the starting pitchers we are following on their journey through the Bus Leagues met in Kodak, Tennessee last night. Southpaw Clayton Kershaw drew the road start for the Jacksonville Suns (Dodgers), as they faced the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs), and righty Jeff Samardzija.

Samardzija became known to U.S. sports fans as a wide reciever at Notre Dame, but his minor-league career has been working in his favor so far. In last night’s head-to-head matchup with Kershaw, the less-heralded Cubs prospect took home the win in a hard-fought pitchers’ duel. The 2-0 score probably reflects a slight differential in seasoning, as Kershaw, 20, gave up the two runs in the first inning before settling in. Samardzija, 23, acknowledged that his mental approach to the game has matured.

“I was throwing the sinker early and often in the count,” said the former Notre Dame All-American wide receiver. “I had good command and worked in some of my other pitches as the game went on.”

“I have a little different approach this year,” he said. “I don’t mind letting the hitters hit the ball. You got to have confidence in the guys behind you.”

[milb.com]

By not trying to strike every batter out, Samardzija was able to pitch into the seventh inning, which has been a rarity in his career so far.

Kershaw did get the best of the matchup in one area, however, striking out eight batters. Samardzija was victimized twice at the plate.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. It sounds like Samklaj;lkase really gets what it takes to be a successful pitcher. I think there are guys in the majors who don’t quite grasp the “I don’t need to strike everybody out” concept.

    Reply

  2. There’s a reason we called this tee shirt Cool.

    Reply

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