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Samardzija shares NL Player of Week Award

Cubs righty sets sights on 200-inning mark after wins against Nats, Padres

LOS ANGELES -- Jeff Samardzija's two dominant outings last week netted the Cubs right-hander co-National League Player of the Week honors, but he's got his eyes on another mark for the season.

Samardzija, who was 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA last week, could finish his second full season as a starting pitcher with 200 innings.

"That's the plan," Samardzija said Monday. "You can't take anything for granted. We're still not there yet and we'll keep doing what we do."

"That's what pitchers strive for," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said about reaching 200 innings, "and to have 200 strikeouts with it as well, he'd move into pretty good company. To go into your second year as a starter and accomplish both of those things would be great."

Samardzija, who has logged 176 1/3 innings and 175 strikeouts entering his next start Friday against the Phillies, shared the NL award with Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez (2-0, 0.64 ERA).

The Cubs starter threw a Major League-high 17 innings in two starts against the Nationals and Padres last week. He went the distance against against the Nationals last Monday, scattering six hits and striking out five in his third career complete game and second of the season.

He followed that performance by holding the Padres to two runs in eight innings at Petco Park, striking out seven, to earn his first career weekly award.

"It's obviously well-deserved," Sveum said. "Those were two dominating starts that he had."

"It's good to be recognized," Samardzija said, "but you always have to score runs to win games and I had some pretty darn good defense played behind me to win those games, and that always helps. If you want to pitch deep, you have to be efficient early. Any of those plays the guys make help later."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.
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