On April 28, Jeff Samardzija walked San Diego Padres outfielder Jabari Blash on four pitches. The first pitch looked like it caught the outside corner, then the San Francisco Giants right-hander threw two fastballs inside and one outside for ball four.

Samardzija didn't walk another batter until May 25, when Ian Happ of the Chicago Cubs took a 3-2 fastball a little up and out of the strike zone. Between walks, Samardzija struck out 47 batters. In fact, he may even have been pitching around Happ, or at least pitching him very carefully. There were two outs and a runner on second with Jason Heyward on deck; Happ was red hot at the time and Heyward wasn't.

Since that walk to Happ, Samardzija has struck out 16 more batters, including 10 in his last start against the Milwaukee Brewers. He has had 59 strikeouts and one walk during his past seven starts, becoming the first pitcher to have 50-plus strikeouts and one or fewer walks in a seven-start span. Samardzija starts Saturday against the Minnesota Twins and Jose Berrios in a fun matchup. I'm fascinated by this new approach. Samardzija has basically decided, "I'm not going to walk anybody. I'm not going to beat myself."

This idea isn't new; it's that Samardzija appears to be taking it to the absolute extremes, and it's hard to argue with the results. Through that April 25 start, Samardzija had a 6.32 ERA with a 35-10 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He has a 2.98 ERA in his past seven starts.