Ninja Jae-Kuk Ryu's Cardinals!
A nice night for the Golden Boy last night as he throws 5.2 shutout innings against the fading Cardinals to further deter their playoffs hopes. Samardzija did give up six hits and four walks against just one strikeout, so he was constantly working out trouble, but he got 8 groundballs and two timely(as if they are never not timely for a pitcher) double plays by Pedro Feliz to help the cause.
Mike Quade and Geovany Soto came away impressed.
"To me -- and I haven't seen him since Spring Training -- he did a lot of damage with his soft game," Quade said. "He threw some good splits, some good sliders. ... He did a good job against a nice club. It's a real good start."
"He looks more aggressive, throws with more conviction and isn't afraid to baby it in the zone," Soto said.
Ninja says he worked on his offspeed pitches while down in Iowa and mastered picking up groupies for a hopeful 2011 run around Wrigleyville.
"Being down there all year, you get a lot of opportunities to throw [offspeed pitches]," he said. "It's not live or die situations all the time. Not only that but [catcher Geovany Soto] calling pitches [Monday], he showed confidence in me to throw those pitches. A lot of times that's what it takes -- throw it two or three times in a row and that gets it going for the rest of the game."
He'll throw again Saturday against the Marlns and the Cubs say Ninja will be considered for a starting spot no matter how he fares the rest of the season.
In draft pick news, the Cubs slightly improved play has them at the 8th spot right now and in danger of catching the Brewers for the 9th spot as they're just 3.5 behind them with 18 to play.
10 pts for catching the title reference.