Chicago Cubs players ventured out of the clubhouse Monday morning to watch a gentle snowfall at PNC Park.

After spending nearly two months in the warmth of Arizona, the weather provided the team with a cold reality check as they prepared for the 2013 season opener.

But the snow ended a couple hours before game time, and the Cubs were ready to go.

Jeff Samardzija was on top of his game, throwing eight shutout innings to lead the Cubs to a 3-1 win before 39,078.

"It's one of them special days that comes around once a year," manager Dale Sveum said beforehand. "He's got the mound, and we'll see what happens."

What happened was Samardzija dominated through eight innings, allowing two hits with nine strikeouts and one walk.

Then came the scary ninth, where Carlos Marmol pulled a disappearing act.