Game two between the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals was a highly anticipated game across Major League Baseball. There are two reasons why people were interested in this game. The first, of course, is the pitching matchup.
The Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals each had their aces on the mound.
Lucas Giolito and Jack Flaherty faced each other for the first time in their Major League careers. This is a story because they were in the same rotation at Harvard-Westlake High School. Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves was also a part of that rotation. The current White Sox pitching coach, Ethan Katz, was also the pitching coach for those three at the school as well. Other schools facing them couldn’t have been much fun.
Lucas Giolito outdueled his friend in this one. He went 6.0 innings and only gave up two runs on six hits. Only one of those runs was earned. He punched out five which is actually a low total for his standards but good enough to defeat the Cardinals. The White Sox need Lucas Giolito to be amongst the best and he looked like it in this one.
It was also a special night in the umpiring community. Joe West broke the Major League record of “most games umpired” as this game was his 5,376th game. He was behind the plate in this one. Some people might not like him but he has certainly been decent if the league kept bringing him back that many years. He seemed to enjoy himself throughout.
Jose Abreu continued his hot streak in this game. He hit a towering two-run home run and from that point on it felt like the game was going to end up in the White Sox favor. It ended up being the case and that shows how important Jose’s bat is to the rest of the group. He had four runs batted in which is what he is known best for these days.
Another hitter that deserves some shine is Nick Madrigal. He had three more hits in this one and one of them led to an RBI. He also scored a run himself to cap off a great day at the plate. When he is in that nine-hole, he is the best in the game at that role. Nobody has ever had 3,000 hits out of that spot in the lineup but Nick Madrigal just might do it. He is so good and only getting better.
Some people were worried about Liam Hendriks after he walked one batter on Sunday. It was in a high leverage situation which made it worse but that doesn’t define him. He was put in another dirty ninth inning but this time it was a save situation. With the bases loaded and no outs, he struck out the side to get the White Sox the win. It was as good of a performance as he’s had all season long.
The White Sox will have a chance to sweep the Cardinals out of town today in an afternoon tilt. Carlos Rodon is going to face John Gant. Both of them are having really nice seasons so far so it will be interesting to see which one will prevail. Hopefully, the White Sox bats are able to explode like they did yesterday.