Jeff Samardzija made his spring training debut this past weekend and despite only pitching one inning, his debut got him some good reviews from manager Lou Pinella as well as the Cubs fans in attendance.
Here’s a few excerpts from some articles on his performance Saturday:
The game featured the spring training debut of Chicago rookie Jeff Samardzija, the former Notre Dame standout wide receiver who spurned a possible future in the NFL to join the Cubs. The 22-year-old right-hander retired the A’s in order in the sixth, setting down Eric Chavez, Mark Ellis and Travis Buck, then left to a standing ovation from hundreds of Cubs fans who attended the game.
“That was impressive,” Piniella said. “You can tell he’s played before 80,000 fans before.”
From the Cubs official website:
This crowd didn’t bother him at all. He faced the middle of this Oakland lineup, he went right after [Eric] Chavez and a couple other left-handed hitters, and I think he was having fun out there, which is really important. It’s going to be exciting for him.”
Samardzija looked like a natural in Cubs blue.
“This is the first of anything,” Samardzija said. “You want to get out there, get your shot, and work through it. It was nice to get out there. It was real good to throw some early strikes, which used to do me in.”
From the Chicago Daily Herald:
Fast start: Rookie pitcher Jeff Samardzija made quick work of the A’s in Saturday’s sixth inning. He retired the side in order on 8 pitches (5 strikes). He also broke the bats of Mark Ellis and Travis Buck.
According to the Cubs, Samardzija’s fastball clocked between 94-98 mph and averaged 97. The former football star at Notre Dame received a standing ovation from the 10,074 in attendance.