I wasn't buying it, but I'm now convinced that Jeff Samardzija is indeed a better pitcher. Samardzija had not started since midway through the 2010 season when he made 3 starts. He had a 6.19 ERA in those 3 games. Compare that to the 5.71 ERA he has through the same number of games this season. Much to my surprise, he has improved by about half a run per game.
Maybe not. He's allowed 7.02 RA so far this year and in 2010 it was only 6.19. He allowed 16 hits in 16 innings back in 2010. This year he's allowed 22 hits in 16.2 innings. As bad as things are for Samardzija right now, he can look back on those 3 starts in 2010 as the peak of his career as a starting pitcher.
The good news is that he is throwing more strikes this season. The bad news is that they're getting hit all over the field. In hindsight, it looks really stupid that I predicted Samardzija would win the Cy Young award. In my defense, I don't think anyone could have predicted this. I don't care what anyone says, Jeff Samardzija's failure so far is easily the most shocking thing in the 2012 MLB season.