The good: It was hard to do any better than starter Jeff Samardzija did Wednesday, especially since his chance for making the starting rotation was probably on the line. The right-hander changed speeds well and delivered six scoreless innings. His spot as either the third or the fourth starter in the rotation seems secure now.
The bad: It’s one thing to not score with a runner on third base and nobody out, but the Cubs couldn’t get somebody to hit a ball 70 feet. Samardzija stepped up with a fifth-inning leadoff triple, but Tony Campana hit a squibber to third base, Blake DeWitt fouled out along the third-base line and Starlin Castro popped out on the grass part of the infield toward second base.
Outside the box: Ian Stewart seems to be settling into a comfort zone after missing a few days in the middle of the Cactus League schedule with a tight quadriceps muscle. Stewart doubled and singled to the right side. He also played nine innings at third base, a good sign that his legs are feeling just fine.