A good friend of mine and fellow baseball fan Craig Skochinski wrote up a piece about Jeff Samardzija that was so fun to read, I just had to share it with everyone here. Thanks Craig! Hope you readers enjoy Craig’s work: Cubs fans had little to cheer about in 2012 and heading into 2013, well …. let’s not talk about that. One bright spot for fans was the emergence of Jeff Samardzija, who had a breakout performance for the Cubs; toeing the rubber 28 times, throwing a career high 174.2 inning pitched, striking out a very impressive 9.27 batters per 9 inning, the 4th best K/9 in the bigs behind only Scherzer, Darvish and Gio Gonzalez. Jeff also posted a very solid 2.89 BB/9 IP, along with a 3.81 ERA, 3.55 FIP good for 3.3 WAR (all numbers fangraphs). Look at any numbers you want, the man had a very good year. You don’t need advanced metrics or me to tell you he had a good year, regardless I’m far more interested in the how, why and whether we can expect this to continue.