CINCINNATI -- Until Jeff Samardzija gets his first win of the season, most of the talk surrounding the tall right-hander is going to be about the fact that he hasn't won yet.
That's just how it is, and no one understands this more than Samardzija. It's not that it's impossible to do what he's doing -- stringing together quality start after quality start, without a single 'W' to show for it -- but the law of averages, baseball teaches us, dictates that eventually, he's going to get a win. It's just the way this game works.
But in order for a starting pitcher to add a win to his record, a lot of other things have to go right, too. His team has to score runs for him. His bullpen has to hold the lead. The defense needs to keep the mistakes to a minimum.
While the Cubs have shown positive signs throughout April, despite their poor record, the issue has largely been having all facets of the game working together on the same day, at the same time. That surely has contributed to the Cubs not winning a single series as the first month of the season winds down.
Looks like the to-do list in May is already filled out.
"We need to be able to put it together," Samardzija said. "We learned this first month that to win big league ballgames, you have to put all phases of the game together. Not just one can show up. You have to pitch, play defense and get a hit.
"These good teams that are playing, they do all three and they do it every day. We need to come with the same attitude and understand you have to win all three phases of the game every day to win a big league ballgame. That's what needs to happen."