CHICAGO — Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson praised Cubs starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija’s performance after Saturday’s game and again Sunday morning, but he also had strong words for the right-hander after hearing of a couple on-field snipes.
Samardzija exchanged words with D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy and third base coach Matt Williams at different times in Arizona’s 12-4 win, and Gibson was asked Sunday if he’d seen the interactions.
“It’s part of the game,” Gibson said. “Whatever. He didn’t get the win, did he? Maybe the next time he should just shut the f— up and pitch.”
Samardzija apparently stared down Williams after the end of an inning Saturday and shouted “What are you looking at?” Williams responded, “I’m not looking at you,” and said after the game he had not said anything to prompt Samardzija’s comment.
Samardzija said something to Kennedy as well after Kennedy reacted to a high-and-tight pitch early in the game.
The D-backs came out on top, but Samardzija had been dominant most of the night. He allowed one run on three hits with 11 strikeouts before issuing two walks and a fielder’s choice in the seventh inning and getting the hook.
Despite the critical comment, Gibson was complimentary of Samardzija, who has emerged as the Cubs’ ace.
“He’s throwing the ball really good this year,” Gibson said. “I told (bench coach Alan Trammell) before the game I hope we can hang in there and get his pitch count up.
“He’s got good stuff. His split is really good, his slider’s good. He threw the way you’re supposed to throw. Those two-seamers were disappearing.”