Friday, May 18, 2012
Was Samardzija's Pitch Intentional?
That's the key question about the pitch that Jeff Samardzija threw that hit Paul Konerko just above his left eye.
Did Samardzija throw the pitch on purpose?
Well, obviously, Samardzija denied it was intentional. Just ask Cole Hamels what happens when you don't. I mean, Robin Ventura said Phil Humber's pitch behind Bryan LaHair was unintentional because he knows if he says it isn't both he and Humber will get suspended.
But what's the truth?
Go ahead and look at the replay of Konerko's home run. Notice how before the camera angle changes, Samardzija is staring Konerko down as he admires his home run?
That's certainly not enough evidence to base anything on, but consider this.
On May 7 of this season, Atlanta's Jason Heyward hit a home run off of Samardzija in the second inning. In the seventh inning of that same game, Samardzija hit Heyward with a fastball up at his shoulder.
Today Paul Konerko homered off of Samardzija in the first, and was drilled by an "errant" splitter in the face in the third inning.
Samardzija has given up four home runs this season. He's drilled two of the guys who homered off of him later in the game.
The only two he hasn't drilled were Gordon Beckham and Washington's Adam LaRoche. What do they have in common?
Well, Samardzija was pulled from the game after Beckham homered off of him on Friday.
LaRoche hit his home run in the ninth inning of a game on April 8.
Samardzija just never got the chance.
It'll be interesting to see what happens the next time Samardzija faces either the Nationals or White Sox this season. Then we might get our answer.