How Overwhelming Was Lucas Giolito Against the San Francisco Giants on Sunday?
The first seven outs recorded by the Chicago White Sox-starter came via strikeouts.
The Giants only got a ball into play in the third inning, when number 9 batter Austin Wynns lined out to third base.
Giolito gave the Sox just what they needed to complete a three-game sweep, enabling one run on three hits in six innings while beating the Giants 13-4 to 30,155 in Oracle Park.
All weekend, the Sox looked like the team many had projected in the preseason. They had 17 hits on Sunday to complete a 4-2 trip.
“We played six games as hard as we could, and to come out (Sunday) after we win the series (Saturday) and put so much effort into it shows you how special these guys are,” said Sox manager Tony LaRussa. “It starts with (Giolito). He mowed them down in the beginning.”
Giolito looked good from the start. And he said he felt good.
“This is probably the best change I’ve had in a while,” said Giolito. “(Catcher) Seby (Zavala) did the sequencing really well. Mixing up the change-up, getting to the slider at the right time, using tunneling, popping heaters in and out to lefties and righties. We were able to work relatively efficiently.
“I got a really nice lead, the attack did its thing, the defense behind me was excellent. All in all pretty good.”
Giolito finished off a fine performance against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim, California, on Monday, giving up two runs on six hits in six innings.
“I feel like the end of my last start and for most of this start I felt like myself,” said Giolito. “Able to make the pitches I wanted to make.”
He struckout seven and walked while improving to 5-4 and lowering his ERA from 5.19 to 4.90.
“He was really good,” Zavala said. “His work over the past few weeks has really shown the last two outings.”
Zavala had three hits and three RBI’s. Gavin Sheets and Andrew Vaughn also rode in three. Leury García had three hits and scored three runs.
The Sox got some timely hits and took advantage of the less-than-stellar Giants defense to take the lead in the third.
With one out, Tim Anderson grounded out short for what should have been an inning-ending double play, but Donovan Walton threw wildly to second base. The ball entered foul territory, leaving Josh Harrison third and Anderson second.
The Sox cashed in with a two-out, broken-bat single to the right of Luis Robert for a 2-0 lead.
The Sox had another big hit with two outs an inning later when Zavala García drove in with a single to the middle. Sheets batted in three in the fifth with a double to the left to make it 6-0.
“We’re waving the bats well,” Zavala said. “We’ve always been good at swinging the bats, just hitting balls right at people. They’re starting to fall now and things are starting to move our way.”
The attack gave Giolito enough to work with.
“I don’t know if there are words to describe how good he really was,” Harrison said. “You saw it from the start of the game.”
Giolito didn’t concede a hit until the fourth, when Joc Pederson popped shallow to the left. Anderson still had a long way to go and was given a glove, but the ball went out for a single. Later in the inning, third baseman Yoán Moncada made a great spinning flyout on a pop-up.
Austin Slater singled and Pederson brought him home with a double in the sixth. But Giolito retired the next three, including a nice flyout on a pop-up by Harrison on second base.
“Both plays were pivotal,” La Russa said of Moncada and Harrison’s catches.
Harrison had two hits, two walks and scored three times.
He singled and scored on an eighth of five runs as the Sox excelled in all areas before a crucial stretch of 19 straight games against American League Central opponents – including 15 in the 14 days leading up to the All-Star break.
“We have come to play this series,” said Giolito. “This is the baseball brand that the Chicago White Sox is all about. It’s been a tough year to say the least, dealing with the injuries, dealing with some tough runs, some losing streaks. But I feel like we’ve been able to put our foot on the gas in this series.
“It makes me feel good. I think it gives the team a good feeling to go back home with some of these division games ahead.”