White Sox

Jeff Samardzija's one-hitter paces White Sox to win over Tigers

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Jeff Samardzija's one-hitter paces White Sox to win over Tigers

DETROIT -- Welcome back, Jeff Samardzija.

Locked in the worst stretch of his career, the White Sox starter was a Victor Martinez bloop single away from perfection on Monday afternoon. Samardzija threw a one-hit shutout and Carlos Sanchez provided just enough offense as the White Sox downed the Detroit Tigers 2-0 at Comerica Park in Game 1 of a split doubleheader. Samardzija, who earned losses in eight of his previous nine starts, credited an adjustment he made after watching video of previous games as he needed only 88 pitches as he dominated a Miguel Cabrera-less Tigers offense.

“Me and (video coordinator Bryan Johnson) got together on the film between starts and think we found something that was essentially tipping my pitches, half the way,” Samardzija said. “When you find that, it gives you a little extra confidence.”

The final portion of the 2015 season has gone so poorly for Samardzija that the only time he wasn’t booed in his last home start on Tuesday was when Robin Ventura pulled him in the fourth inning.

[SHOP: Buy a Jeff Samardzija jersey]

Since Aug. 2, Samardzija had a 9.24 earned-run average with 71 hits, 22 walks and 12 home runs allowed in 49 2/3 innings. But the same guy who opponents had a .336/.403/.621 slash line against in the previous nine games cruised in the opener of a four-game series against Detroit.

“He just seemed to be on today all the way through,” Ventura said. “Low pitch count. But just command and everything. He didn’t seem to fall behind. I think that was the biggest thing. He just didn’t give in.

“Obviously, the best game he’s pitched here this year.”

Not only was Samardzija efficient -- he never went to a three-ball count and only had nine at-bats in which he threw two balls -- he yielded few hard-hit balls. While Martinez erased Samardzija’s bid for perfection with an opposite-field bloop single in the fifth inning, no other Tigers reached base and they had a total of three-hard hit balls.

Samardzija struck out six and didn’t issue a walk.

“It was pretty obvious on a few things I was doing, especially for my fastball and when it was coming,” Samardzija said. “For me, it’s such a big pitch. I’m always throwing my fastball that if they know it’s coming it really takes an edge off what I’m doing out there. Hopefully we can continue to get better and keep watching film and make sure there’s no other things in there and if there is we can clean them up.”

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The right-hander said he isn’t usually big on watching footage of his performances. But given the way teams had teed off on his fastball of late (.360 since Aug. 2, per brooksbaseball.net), Samardzija worked closely with Johnson between starts.

“I try to be an in-game guy,” Samardzija said. “But there are some times where you need to get out there and maybe watch an old game when you did really well or watch the past game and what happened. For me that was the case. I needed to go back to my last couple of starts and see why good pitches were getting tattooed. It’s not a fun feeling so you definitely want to fix it as fast as possible.”

Sanchez helped to make the effort stand up with a 3-for-3 showing. He and Adam Eaton helped give Samardzija take the lead in the third inning when Sanchez doubled with two outs and scored ahead of Steven Moya’s throw home on Eaton’s RBI single.

Sanchez blasted a solo homer to leftcenter in the sixth inning off Kyle Ryan, who allowed two earned runs and six hits in seven innings.

“(Samardzija) was outstanding,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “He deserved all of the credit for this win. We are there to help all of our pitchers and try to get some wins. It was very, very good today for him.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Rick Hahn gives an update on the state of the White Sox rebuild

In this episode of the SportsTalk Live Podcast, Danny Parkins (670 The Score), Chris Bleck (ESPN 1000) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join David Kaplan on the panel.

Ryan Pace’s offseason begins. Josh Sitton and Jerrell Freeman are gone, but what will he do with Kyle Fuller?

Plus, Rick Hahn joins Kap from Glendale, Ariz., to discuss the state of the White Sox rebuild, how tough it is to keep their best prospects in the minors and why Jose Abreu is so important for his young team?

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast on The Three Amigos: Jimenez, Robert and Adolfo

The White Sox three outfield prospects are creating a lot of buzz at spring training.

On this edition of the podcast, Micker Adolfo tells Chuck Garfien about a conversation they all had about one day becoming the starting outfield for the White Sox. Adolfo talks about his longtime friendship with Eloy Jimenez, his impressions of Luis Robert, Luis Basabe and the White Sox future.

But first, it's a conversation with MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez who has great insight on many of the White Sox players: Jimenez, Robert, Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu. He tells an amazing story about why Jimenez decided to sign with the Cubs when he was a teenager, how much Abreu is revered in Cuba and much more.

Listen to the full episode at this link (iOS users can go here) or in the embedded player below. Subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts.