Chicago White Sox: Big rebound victory for Lucas Giolito

The Chicago White Sox needed a big game from Lucas Giolito and he bounced back.

Lucas Giolito bounced back in a big way on Wednesday against the Cleveland Indians in the final game of the three-game set in Cleveland. In a rough 2020 debut in which he surrendered 7 earned runs in just 3.2 innings, Giolito struggled mightily against the Minnesota Twins. He came back strong with 6 shutout innings after the Chicago White Sox dropped a doubleheader to Cleveland on Tuesday.

Giolito engaged in a quality pitching duel with Cleveland’s Zach Plesac, and both right-handers put on a show. Giolito’s stuff was as good as ever, sticking with his fastball-changeup combination and hitting his spots with ease. He mixed in his slider every now and then as well, which padded his already stellar two-pitch arsenal.

Giolito finished the night with six strikeouts and just two walks in six innings of work while allowing no runs. His fastball changeup mix was extremely sharp, with his fastball in the mid-90s and his changeup coming in around high 70s; making for a great mix of the two pitches. His command was nearly perfect, leaving the Cleveland lineup struggling to adjust.

In addition to the impressive stats, Giolito showed great poise throughout the game. After starting the bottom of the fourth with a walk to Cesar Hernandez and then a single by Jose Ramirez, Cleveland had runners on the corners with nobody out. Giolito stayed composed and attacked the zone to strike out Francisco Lindor for the first out of the inning.  He then located a high inside fastball to Carlos Santana, who grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Giolito found himself in similar trouble in the 6th inning, with a similar scenario to the fourth inning with singles by Hernandez and Ramirez to put runners on first and third, this time with two outs. Giolito proceeded to walk Lindor on four pitches to load the bases. He then pounded the zone against Carlos Santana to escape a jam once again.

The White Sox offense broke open the game in the top of the 9th with Tim Anderson smacking a leadoff double to left-center and Yoan Moncada drawing a walk. José Abreu was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs and Yasmani Grandal followed with a sacrifice fly to right, driving in Anderson to end the shutout. The Sox put together a four-run frame, with a sac fly from Eloy Jimenez and a two-run single by Luis Robert. Alex Colomé closed out the ninth to secure a 4-0 victory.

White Sox fans can take a breather now that their ace is back after his rough outing against the Twins. Plesac was as sharp as he’s ever been and had a near-perfect outing for the Indians, firing eight shutout innings and accumulating 11 strikeouts along the way. A stellar pitching duel between the two American League Central teams.

It was a great start by Giolito and while the offense struggled a bit, they managed to get to LHP Brad Hand in the 9th to earn their second victory of the season. It was a good game by the Sox with room for improvement for the offense and Alex Colomé. The White Sox return to action on Friday, July 31st in Kansas City for a three-game series with the Royals.