ST. LOUIS -- Jeff Samardzija matched a career-low on Thursday, lasting 3 1/3 innings, in the Cubs' 12-1 loss to the Phillies, but manager Dale Sveum said if the team didn't make a few mistakes, the outcome might have been different.
Samardzija is not the concern, Sveum said, and there are no plans to give the right-hander a break.
"We took the reins off, obviously, and there's no holding back," Sveum said of Samardzija, who was shut down in early September last year when he reached his innings limit. "As long as we feel he's not getting tired or losing velocity, we don't have any plans to do anything."
Samardzija has given up 12 earned runs in his last 9 1/3 innings. He's also been asked often about a possible contract extension often. Could that be a distraction?
"Last year, he had a bad month as well," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said Friday. "He got through it and threw well at the end of the season. I'm hopeful he can get through this down stretch and get going. Last year, the way he finished up the season with his last start, he had a lot left in the tank. I don't think he's getting tired -- he might be pressing. He's gotten through this kind of stretch before and we're hopeful he can get through it again."
Hoyer said there has been some dialogue between Samardzija's agent but added that "nothing has changed on that front."
"I don't see that as a huge issue," Hoyer said. "I certainly hope it's not."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.