Jeff Samardzija picked a good time to have one of his best starts of the season. The former Notre Dame pitcher/wide receiver struckout six in 8.1 innings to lead the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 win over arch rival St. Louis.
Samardzija (4-7) earns his first win since May 27 after allowing just a pair of runs on seven hits, including a sixth inning Carlos Beltran home run. The Cardinals have the best offense in the National League and their 45 wins still lead all of baseball.
"I'm watching film five days before and trying to find some weaknesses," Samardzija said of his preparation for the matchup. "You can look as hard as you want and you're not going to find it. You just know your margin of error against this team is real small and you've just got to deal with it."
Samardzija also did it while being matched against St. Louis ace Adam Wainwright (10-4). Wainwright entered the game with a 2.18 ERA. He and Detroit's Max Scherzer are the first 10-game winners in baseball this season.
The six strikeouts have Samardzija tied with Seattle's Felix Hernandez for fourth in the MLB with 110 Ks for the season. Texas hurler Yu Darvish is at the top of the charts with 137 strikeouts. Scherzer has 116, while New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey leads the National League with 115.