Monday: Samardzija gets a try at the Giants looking for his first victory of the season. He’s famously lost winning bids in a variety of fashions, including bullpen meltdowns like last Wednesday’s affair against the New York Yankees. A 2-0, ninth-inning lead evaporated for the hard-luck pitcher, and now, he gets another chance on the big stage of a holiday matinee against the best team in the National League. Whatever the outcome, it should make for some good drama. Samardzija starts usually do.
Who’s hot/who’s not: Junior Lake hit his sixth home run of the season on Sunday while seeing his batting average rise to .273. He’s now 19 for his past 56 (.339 average), with three of the hits being home runs. He has the Cubs' longest hitting streak of the season, as he had hit in nine straight games ending on Saturday. He picked up where he left off on Sunday, giving the Cubs an early lead.
Mike Olt is in another slump, going zero for his past 11, including three strikeouts in four at-bats on Sunday. His 45 strikeouts are now second on the team despite being eighth in at-bats.