Chicago White Sox: Giolito showing he still has ace stuff

(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
(Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images) /

Lucas Giolito of the Chicago White Sox has flashed moments of brilliance but has failed to put it together consistently this season. In Friday night’s game, Lucas Giolito provided another reminder to everyone that he is still the ace of this staff.

The right-hander was brilliant against the Tampa Bay Rays. He tossed seven innings of two-run ball with eight strikeouts, no walks, and only three hits allowed.

His fastball-changeup combination is his bread and butter but he was able to work in his slider effectively. It accounted for swings and misses. He only needed 13 pitches to make it through the first inning. That inning included two strikeouts of Brandon Lowe and Nelson Cruz to bookend the inning.

Giolito attacked the strike zone and still kept the Rays on their toes. He threw 56 of his 90 pitches for strikes and racked up 24 swinging strikes. He was in line for the win until the bullpen collapsed in the eighth inning.

The Chicago White Sox needs Lucas Giolito to be at his best for the rest of the season.

Regardless, this was exactly the type of start the White Sox needed against a good team. Since July 4th, the Rays own the MLB’s best record at 28-11 while also leading the league in home runs (68) and runs per game (6.2). Their lineup also features notorious Sox-killer Nelson Cruz.

Giolito, however, cooled off the red hot Rays. He has been doing this against good teams all year long. Against the Astro’s he threw a complete game giving up only one run and striking out eight. Against the Brewers, he worked six innings and only allowed one run.

Another standout performance against a dangerous playoff team is a great sign for the White Sox. These are some of the best lineups in the league and Giolito seems to pitch better when he faces them. We saw this last year in the playoffs too.

When the moment is bigger, Giolito pitches better. In his first-ever playoff start, he allowed one run on two hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings. He retired the first 18 batters he faced.

If Lucas Giolito can keep turning in quality performances like this then it could be game over for the American League. Lance Lynn and Carlos Rodon line up to be the 1-2 starters in the postseason but don’t forget about Giolito. He wants to show everyone who the ace of the staff really is.

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