A’s: Samardzija revels in late outpouring of support

Jeff Samardzija got bailed out by A's offense Friday against Baltimore

Jeff Samardzija got bailed out by A’s offense Friday against Baltimore

For most of Friday night, you could forgive Jeff Samardzija if he’d started to wonder where this vaunted A’s offense he’d heard about had gone to.

With the Cubs, for whom he made his first 17 starts, Samardzija knew he wasn’t going to get much offense.

It’s not supposed to be like that with the A’s, who have scored more runs than 28 of the other 29 big league teams.

But Oakland got him four runs his first time out, just two runs in his second start and the A’s had just two runs through eight innings Friday before Josh Donaldson turned that around with a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Samardzija was in the clubhouse when he saw it. What followed next, creation of the walkoff tunnel down the third base line, the pie in Donaldson’s face and the dumping of the Gatorade container, is something that Samardzija could get used to.

“The first thing I said when I came here was that I love how these guys play the game from the first out to the last out,’ Samardzija said. “They don’t quit.’’

About Donaldson, Samardzija said you can tell by looking in his eyes that he likes late-inning pressure situations with the game on the line.

“I’ve only been here a couple of weeks,’’ he said, “but I think Josh Donaldson is at his best in big situations.’’

Samardzija said he found fault only with himself. The A’s gave him a 1-0 lead and he lost it, then got him into a 2-2 tie, and he let that slip away was well.

“They gave me a lead and they gave me a tie, and I gave them both back’’ he said. “I’ve got some things to work on.’’

John Hickey

A longtime baseball writer three years into in his second go-round covering to the Oakland A's beat after a dozen years covering the Seattle Mariners. Covered the A's through the late 1980s and 1990s.