Samardzija pitched eight scoreless innings with just five hits allowed and eight strikeouts during Saturday's extra-innings win over St. Louis. He didn't factor into the decision. There have been some ups and downs to start 2017 for Samardzija, but the veteran appears to be settling into a nice groove. In particular, he's struck out 41 batters over 36.2 innings through his past five starts while allowing just 11 earned runs and a single walk. The buy-low window won't be open much longer. Samardzija projects to face the Cubs at Wrigley Field in his next start.
Samardzija (1-5) held the Reds to three runs on nine hits over 6.2 innings Sunday, striking out eight in an 8-3 win. The Shark was hittable in this one, but he managed to reach back for his strikeout stuff to escape trouble. The veteran's ERA still sits at an unsightly 5.26 on the season, but his career-high 10.7 K/9 is contributing to a 3.63 FIP, which is actually lower than the 3.90 mark that accompanied his 3.81 ERA last year. The main culprit of his early struggles has been untimely hits, as his 59.4 left-on-base percentage is easily the lowest of his career. If and when his luck turns around, we could see a Samardzija that better resembles last season's fantasy-relevant version.
Samardzija (0-5) gave up six runs on 10 hits while striking out nine without a walk over seven innings against the Mets on Tuesday. While it's great that he was able to keep the ball in the strike zone, there's certainly such a thing as being around the plate too much. Samardzija was particularly guilty of that in the first inning, as he allowed the Mets to rally for four runs, but he did at least manage to give his team some length and his fantasy owners some whiffs. The veteran righty has an impressive 53 strikeouts in 46.1 innings, but he's also winless with a 5.44 ERA. The smart money's on a course correction -- he has a 3.43 FIP and 2.87 xFIP -- but his team context doesn't do Shark any favors, as the Giants have only won 11 of their 34 games this season.
Samardzija fired a gem Wednesday, holding the Dodgers to one run (zero earned) on three hits while striking out 11 over eight innings. He did not factor into the decision in the Giants' extra-inning win. The 32-year-old was in vintage form Wednesday, throwing 70 of his 101 pitches for strikes without walking a batter. After surrendering a leadoff single to Andrew Toles, the Shark went on to retire 16 straight Dodgers hitters. His only blemish was an unearned run that was the result of a misplayed popup by Joe Panik, which allowed Yasiel Puig to reach third and eventually come home for the club's only run. Samardzija's overall results (0-4, 5.03 ERA) aren't where fantasy owners expected them to be, but he has turned things around of late with a 1.20 ERA and a 16:1 K:BB ratio over his last two starts. Even if we factor in his poor outings, the veteran has maintained an elite 4.6 K/BB ratio. Once his unusually low strand rate (59 percent) returns to the mean, we should see his ERA follow suit.
Samardzija went seven innings while giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out five Friday. He did not factor into the decision in a 4-3 win over the Padres. This was the type of pitching line Samardzija owners hoped for when they drafted the starter this season, as opposed to the high-strikeout, high-ERA guy he was over his first four starts. It was just one start, and it did come against the lowly Padres lineup, but it was a step in the right direction. The Shark's next two starts come in pitcher-friendly venues (Dodger Stadium next Wednesday and Citi Field the following Tuesday), so there is a good chance he could carry Friday's success and parlay it into a streak of usable starts.