Samardzija (5-11) allowed just a single run on four hits and two walks while striking out eight Pirates in seven innings en route to a 2-1 victory Wednesday.
This was easily Samardzija's best start since early June, as he'd been a train wreck lately, having allowed 31 earned runs in 42.2 innings spanning his prior seven starts. That said, he seems to be suffering from some bad luck. Despite not generally being known as a control artist, the veteran righty has an impressively low 1.1 BB/9 this year, which doesn't jive with his 4.85 ERA. A career-high 16.7 percent HR/FB rate, an uncharacteristically high .329 BABIP and an uncharacteristically low 65.6 percent strand rate have conspired to inflate Shark's ratios, so there's plenty of potential for him to turn the tide over the season's final two months.