White Sox: Lucas Giolito’s masterpiece has been years in making

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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Lucas Giolito’s performance on Tuesday night for the Chicago White Sox has been a long time coming.

Lucas Giolito has thrown plenty of gems in a Chicago White Sox uniform but none have been better than his performance on Tuesday night. Giolito threw the first no-hitter of the 2020 season en route to a 4-0 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates. The game showcased just how far he has come as a pitcher while making a little history along the way.

There have been 19 no-hitters in White Sox history but none of them included more than 10 strikeouts. Giolito fanned 13 hitters. Giolito is also just the third pitcher in Sox history to have consecutive 13 strikeout starts.

The no-hitter was kept alive with the help of some good defense. Tim Anderson, who has received plenty of criticism for his defense, made a great throw across his body to Jose Abreu who scooped it out of the dirt to nab Bryan Reynolds for the second out of the seventh inning.

Then, with two outs in the ninth and an 0-2 count, Erik Gonzalez laced a line drive to right-field but Adam Engel was able to track it down to preserve the no-no. James McCann called a great game behind the plate. The battery of Giolito and McCann were on the same page all night with Giolito only shaking off the catcher once.

Lucas started the season with high expectations but walked off the mound on opening day after getting shelled by the Twins allowing 7 runs in an embarrassing start to the season. Six starts later he was joined on the mound by his teammates celebrating history.

This is not the first time Lucas Giolito has tossed a no-hitter. He also threw one in high school in Santa Monica. After being drafted by the Washington Nationals he had to undergo Tommy John’s surgery to repair an ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. In 2016 the Nationals traded him to the White Sox in a package for Adam Eaton. The Sox had high hopes for their new pitching prospect but he got off to a rough start. In 2018 he led the American League in walks and earned runs. On top of that, he was third in the league in hit by pitches and fourth in walks.

He struggled in the first inning and had a tendency to unravel after letting on a few baserunners. He was in danger of becoming a bust for the White Sox.  In 2019 he proved the doubters wrong by going 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA and earning a trip to the All-Star game. He won AL pitcher of the month in May after throwing a complete-game shutout against the Houston Astros.

His efforts were rewarded with the opening day nod of the 2020 season. An honor that also came with the title of an ace but also high expectations for a White Sox team ready to contend. As mentioned before, his opening day start did not go as planned as he exited in the fourth inning and was tagged with the loss. Just like he did after the 2018 season, he showed his mental toughness and bounced back.

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His mental toughness was on full display on Tuesday. He started the ninth inning filled with adrenaline while on the verge of history and missed badly with a changeup. But he was able to collect himself and execute his pitches after falling behind 2-0 and punch out Jarrod Dyson. Two batters later he experienced the thrill of a lifetime. He has come a long way and earned his place in the history books. White Sox fans should be proud to call him their ace.

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