Jul 5, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija (29) talks with teammates in the Oakland Athletics during the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Samardzija Starts Sunday After Being Traded from Worst to First


Back in May, I wrote about Jeff Samardzija stopping his lengthy winless streak when he was in San Francisco:

On Monday, Major League Baseball’s best winless pitcher toed the rubber at AT&T Park. Heading into that ballgame, Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija led the majors with a 1.46 ERA and had given up the fewest home runs among qualified National League pitchers.

Therefore, even with his win on Monday, Samardzija is still on the trade block as the Cubs continue to rebuild. On the same day that the Boston Red Sox (who are in the Samardzija sweepstakes) stopped their 10-game losing streak, Samardzija snapped his own streak of 16 starts without a victory.

Who knew that the next time he was in California he would be pitching for a new team? Although Samardzija had only had three quality starts in the last month (six total starts), he still is among the ten best National League pitchers in strikeouts and home runs per nine innings this season.

The rich got even richer with the acquisition of the tall right-hander originally from Indiana. The Oakland Athletics enter their game on July 6 as the one MLB team with a triple-digit run differential as well as the only one that has scored at least five runs per game this season.

After playing for the sub-.500 Chicago Cubs, Samardzija takes the mound on Sunday for baseball’s best team as he faces Drew Hutchison and the Toronto Blue Jays. While the A’s rank second overall in ERA and WHIP out of 30 teams this season, they had simply average pitching in June – 15th in each category.

In Samardzija’s first appearance as an American Leaguer, he pitches against the 23rd different team of his MLB career. In his 15 career interleague appearances, he has a 4.61 ERA (his overall career ERA: 3.97), but all he has given up in his 16 interleague innings this season has been one unearned run. He looks to continue his 2014 success against the American League on Sunday.

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