Can Jeff Samardzija rebound from Opening Day?

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Five days ago right-hander Jeff Samardzija didn’t have a quality start in his Chicago White Sox debut, and Saturday is his chance to make all of us to forget about what was hopefully a small bump in the road.

The White Sox are starting to get a little desperate as they have began the season with four consecutive losses, including Samardzija’s Opening Day loss to the Kansas City Royals.

In that forgettable start, Samardzija pitched six innings and in it he finished by allowing five earned runs on six hits and three walks. For a pitcher who had 200-plus strikeouts last season, he tallied just one this past Monday.

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Samardzija also allowed one home run in the game at Kauffman Stadium, plus he didn’t have the type command he’s accustomed to having when he takes the mound in a MLB game.

He’ll enter Saturday’s start with a 7.50 ERA and will oppose Minnesota Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey, who has yet to make a start this season.

Speaking of his pitching command, according to JJ Stankevitz of CSNChicago.com, Samardzija isn’t worried:

"“Command is something that can click when a pitcher gets into a good rhythm — which Samardzija admitted he wasn’t able to find after throwing out of the stretch so frequently Monday — and the White Sox are confident the 30-year-old right-hander will rebound sooner rather than later.”"

Lets hope he can, in fact, rebound from that start.

This start Samardzija will pitch at U.S. Cellular Field for the first time as a White Sox starter, but in that first start of the season in KC, Samardzija had 46.7 percent of his pitches seen in the strikezone, according to advanced stats on FanGraphs.com. The site also says Samardzija’s K-BB% was -7.1 in the season opener.

Their stats also say the opposition made contact with 90.7 of the pitches thrown when they were swinging at those aforementioned pitches.

With all of that mentioned, the question still remains about will Samardzija be able to bounce back from the unfortunate start from Opening Day?

Though it is a valid question, especially with what we all watched in the season opener, but I’m going to take the safe answer and say yes he can.

Last year Samardzija didn’t allow five or more earned runs in a game until June 1 against the Milwaukee Brewers, so maybe he got that bad start out of the way. He most likely won’t have many “bad starts.”

The Twins beat the White Sox 6-0 when the Good Guys sent out their No. 5 starter in the rotation, plus the bullpen (except for Dan Jennings) didn’t help matters much.

Samardzija didn’t have the best of springs, we know that, and we know his first White Sox start was bad as well, but it was just one start.

Against a team like the Twins, who will most likely struggle against above average pitchers all season, it makes sense that they will have their struggles against Samardzija as well on Saturday, giving him an advantage.

Well, at least that what we’re all hoping happens in this weekend start by the RHP, because it would be a tough way to start the season with five straight losses, and two starts without a Samardzija win in the record books.

How do you think Samardzija will pitch in his White Sox home debut?

Next: White Sox baffled in home opener

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