Baseball / Sports

Hard-luck Jeff Samardzija has more of the same as Cubs lose

CHICAGO -- The pity party is over in Jeff Samardzija's world.

Winless since August despite a 1.62 earned-run average this season, Samardzija (0-4) was on the losing end again for the Cubs on Friday as the Brewers emerged with a 4-3 victory.

"I'm not happy about it. It's not like it just goes unnoticed," Samardzija said of his record. "Being a starting pitcher, you have a big say in how the game turns out. Obviously, if my record isn't what I want it to be, I need to do a better job."

Losers of 10 of their last 12 games, the Cubs succumbed to Brewers starter Kyle Lohse (5-1), who went seven strong innings despite a sluggish start.

The game-time temperature was 38 degrees as light drizzle exacerbated the already unpleasant playing conditions.

"We call that lake effect," Samardzija said with a smile. "I felt pretty good. Woke up at 7, went and got some breakfast and, pretty standard. I just grabbed the clothes farther on the right side of my locker that are a little longer sleeve and a little thicker. But we're used to that."

Samardzija did admit the inclement weather made it difficult to get a good grip on the ball.

"I made a couple of adjustments, I thought, in the last few innings that made a difference," he said. "I started grabbing it so hard ... I had to be nice and easy with it and get a little better control."

Samardzija didn't have his best stuff, allowing six hits over five innings with three walks and six strikeouts in 99 pitches. He also threw a wild pitch, and his teammates did him no favors defensively as Junior Lake, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro committed errors and catcher Welington Castillo allowed a passed ball to help the Brewers to a pair of unearned runs.

"We feel bad because (Samardzija) did a great job for us," Castro said. "We have to pick him up. He pitched a great game."

The Brewers took a 2-0 first-inning lead on Jonathan Lucroy's RBI single and an error on left fielder Lake. Then Castro made a throwing error on Lyle Overbay's ground ball to allow another run to cross the plate.

"It was a play in the hole and I tried to throw the ball right away," Castro said. "It's cold, you know, sometimes you don't grab it pretty good."

The Brewers made it 4-0 in the second after Elian Herrera led off with a double. Logan Schafer drew a one-out walk before the runners advanced on a passed ball. Jean Segura then drove in two runs with a base hit.

Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer in the second to pull the Cubs within 4-2 and Lake homered leading off the third, but that was it.. In fact, after two singles in the third, Castillo bounced into a double play and the Cubs didn't have another baserunner till the ninth.

Samardzija is winless in 15 starts since Aug. 30. He has gone 0-6 with a 3.20 ERA during that stretch.

"It's too bad," Barney said. "We want nothing more than to give him some run support. So, same story today.

"We were one hit away from tying it up. But unfortunately we couldn't put another run across."

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