White Sox

Samardzija's game continues to mature

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Samardzija's game continues to mature

Walking the first three batters is not the way to start a game. Jeff Samardzija knows that. But hes learning that's no time to panic.

Instead Samardzija settled down, pitching his way out of the jam with minimal damage, giving up only one run. That proved pretty important in a 3-2 Cubs victory Saturday.

As a pitcher, Im starting to learn its not over until its over, Samardzija said. You need to claw your way and keep as many runs off the board as you can. You never know whats going to happen on offense.

With the bases loaded, Samardzija got Carlos Beltran out on a grounder to second that scored Skip Schumaker. Lance Berkman then struck out before Yadier Molina grounded out to end the threat.

Im happy I came out of that inning just giving up one, Samardzija said. Theyve got a lot of pop in the middle of that lineup, so you need to get those early outs. It kind of calmed me down, though, to tell you the truth. It gives you a little confidence boost when you get out of that.

Samardzija was coming off his best start of the season when he pitched eight shutout innings allowing only one hit in a 2-0 victory at Pittsburgh on Monday. After a disastrous June in which he was 0-4 with a 10.41 ERA, Samardzija has only one loss in his past five starts (2-1, two no-decisions).

At one point Saturday, Samardzija retired 10 of 11 batters.

The bottom line was he got all the outs when he had to, Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. He did a nice job. He kept us right in the game. The first inning and his last inning, he was in a big mess and he got out of both of them with minimal damage.

The Cardinals tied the game in that sixth after Samardzija once again loaded the bases. This time he did it with two walks and a single, but the results were the same. The Cardinals only scored once.

Berkman, who started the rally with a one-out walk, scored on a sacrifice fly by Daniel Descalso. Samardzija struck out Cardinals starter Joe Kelly to end that threat.

That allowed the Cubs to earn the win with a two-out, bunt single by Reed Johnson that scored Tony Campana in the seventh.

Samardzija left after six innings, having allowed two runs on three hits with six walks and seven strikeouts in a 104-pitch performance.

For us to hold them down to two runs, thats saying something about Jeff, first off all, who didnt have his best stuff today, Johnson said.

Its all part of Samardzijas continuing education as a big-league starter.

Back in the day, it probably would have been a different (result) for me, Samardzija said. But Im starting to learn how to pitch in those situations and how to get out of them with minimal damage.

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.