The ERA doesn't paint a pretty picture, but Jeff Samardzija was much better in 2017 than that number would indicate. He struck out nearly a batter per inning while shaving his walk rate to just 1.4 BB/9, finishing 13th among qualified starters in K-BB percentage (20.4). He finished 79th in xwOBA among 280 major-league arms with at least 1,000 pitches thrown according to Statcast, ahead of guys like Justin Verlander, Masahiro Tanaka and Kyle Hendricks. Samardzija also exceeded 200 innings for the fifth consecutive year, and that kind of bankable workload is increasingly hard to find in today's game. Home runs were an issue for Samardzija away from AT&T Park, and the Giants' offense will likely struggle to provide consistent run support, but nonetheless the arrow is pointing up for Samardzija despite his age. His recent struggles and team context will likely depress his cost more than it should in 2018 drafts and auctions.
Samardzija allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out four batters in six innings Wednesday against the Diamondbacks. He didn't factor into the decision. Samardzija alternated between good and poor starts in September, ending things on a positive note by notching his third quality start in five tries this month. The lone run he conceded came from a Jake Lamb homer, but aside from that, he was able to stymie the potent Diamondbacks offense. He deserved the win, but closer Sam Dyson conceded three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to blow the contest. Samardzija will finish the season 9-15 with a serviceable 4.42 ERA to go along with his 1.14 WHIP and 205:32 K:BB.
Samardzija (9-15) took the loss Friday against the Dodgers, giving up four runs on five hits and two walks over 4.1 innings while striking out four. He threw only 56 of 96 pitches for strikes before getting the hook. Samardzija is ending the season with a whimper, losing his last three starts with a 6.50 ERA over that stretch despite a solid 17:3 K:BB in 18 innings. He'll face one more tough matchup before putting 2017 in the books, taking on the Diamondbacks on the road Wednesday.
Samardzija (9-14) took the loss against the Diamondbacks on Friday, giving up three runs on six hits over eight innings while striking out seven. It was his eighth quality start in his last 10 outings, and Samardzija has a strong 3.26 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 59:14 K:BB in 69 innings over that stretch. The 32-year-old righty has had an erratic campaign, but he appears to be ending it on a high note heading into next Friday's road start against the Dodgers.
Samardzija (9-13) allowed six runs on eight hits -- including four home runs -- and one walk across 5.2 innings Saturday, taking the loss against the White Sox. He struck out six. Shark suffered a serious case of whiplash in the 13-1 drubbing, and he's now allowed 28 homers in 29 starts on the year and 1.33 per nine innings. This forgettable outing stopped his run of three straight quality starts and a stretch of seven in eight games. He'll carry a 4.47 season-long ERA into his next expected outing Friday, a home clash with the Diamondbacks.
Samardzija held the Cardinals at bay Saturday, tossing seven innings and allowing one run on two hits and two walks while striking out nine. He didn't factor into the decision. Shark was efficient with his outing by facing just three more than the minimum, but he unfortunately couldn't get the win due to lack of run support. Samardzija has been excellent as of late, allowing just two earned runs and producing an 18:4 K:BB in his last three starts. His ERA and WHIP now sit at manageable 4.31 and 1.14 marks, respectively, and he'll look to improve those figures further when he takes on the White Sox next weekend.