White Sox

Back with White Sox, Jake Petricka searching for groove

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Back with White Sox, Jake Petricka searching for groove

After missing time with a forearm injury, Jake Petricka still isn’t entirely up to speed in terms of mechanics and feeling sharp.

The day after he made his 2015 debut, the White Sox reliever said he’s healthy and in a good spot. He just needs a little more fine-tuning.

Petricka -- who had 14 saves and a 2.96 ERA in 2014 -- threw balls on nine of his 18 pitches in a scoreless inning on Wednesday, walking one batter and giving up a hit.

“Normal soreness so it’s a great feeling,” Petricka said. “Just got to get back in the groove from last year.”

[NBC SPORTS SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

One part of Wednesday’s appearance had flashes of 2014 as Petricka got out of trouble with a double play. He induced 12 double plays last season, which was tied for third-most among American League relievers. But Petricka also felt like his mechanics aren’t quite where he prefers.

Manager Robin Ventura expects that given Petricka missed the end of spring training and had only faced hitters twice before Wednesday. That’s why he wanted to Petricka to pitch for the first time with a big cushion.

“Yesterday you’re making sure to get him in there to see what it looks like,” Ventura said. “You can see he was a bit erratic at first and that’s the stuff you would go through in spring training and he hadn’t had all that many appearances. You’re kind of feeling it out as you go.”

“It’s not as smooth as he normally is when he goes out there. But at the end you saw some of the swings that guys had … It was more like what you’re used to seeing with him so it was a good adjustment.”

[MORE: Adam LaRoche still adjusting to new life in American League]

Petricka watches film after every game. He noticed a slight difference from Wednesday, a “small fix” he intends to make with pitching coach Don Cooper.

“There’s a little pause yesterday,” Petricka said. “Take away the pause and it will probably fix everything else. Little things like that.

“I just have to find that groove I had last year and I know everything else will take care of itself.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: What it would take for the White Sox to sign Manny Machado

It might be a long shot for the White Sox to sign free agent Manny Machado, but here on the White Sox Talk Podcast, we like dark horses. Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Vinnie Duber discuss what it would take to bring Machado to the South Side. Plus, is he "the" guy the White Sox are targeting this offseason? Will the Rockies listen to trade offers for Nolan Arenado a year before he reaches free agency? Plus, Chuck talks about a cost-controlled, All-Star on a rebuilding team that could be an answer at third base.

Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

On this day in 2005: White Sox pitchers put the CG in Chicago

Mark Buehrle. Jon Garland. Freddy García. José Contreras.

The 2005 White Sox had four consecutive complete games to finish off the 2005 ALCS — Contreras took his turn in Game 5 against the Angels 13 years ago Tuesday. How special was that run of starting pitching to finish that series? Consider the following six statements:

— No team has had more than two complete games in a single postseason, let alone a postseason series, since.

— There has been a grand total of four complete games in 188 postseason games (through Monday) since the beginning of 2016.

— Those 2005 White Sox remain the only team with four complete games in a single LCS (which went to a best-of-seven format in 1985).

— They are the only team since the 1968 Tigers (in the World Series) with at least four complete games in any postseason series.

— They are the only team since the 1956 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete games in a series. (The Yankees had five in a row: Games 3 through 7.)

— They are the only team since the 1928 Yankees (in the World Series) with at least four consecutive complete-game wins in a series (Games 1 through 4).

Take a moment to look back and appreciate what Don Cooper’s troops were able to accomplish in that series. The way the game is played nowadays, we will never see it again.