Impressed by Chris Sale’s performance from the bullpen, Nate Jones wasn’t too shabby, either.
Jones followed Sale’s 15-strikeout showing with three of his own to help the White Sox establish a franchise record with 18 on Sunday afternoon. The White Sox previous high was 17, established against the Minnesota Twins on Sept. 13, 2014.
“Watching it from afar it’s pretty awesome, it’s pretty unbelievable,” Jones said. “I think he had nine through four, and somebody said that in the bullpen and it was like ‘No chance.’ I hate to say it, but you kind of expect it from Sale, like it’s just like a normal outing. He’s that dominant and he does that well and we just didn’t realize it, but it was a tough act to follow. It was awesome to watch.”
Sale struck out the side in the first, fourth and seventh innings.
[MORE WHITE SOX: Chris Sale again shows why he's an ace]
With his pitch count at 116 after seven innings — “The best thing we did is we got his pitch count up enough to get him out of there,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said — Sale exited and Jones took over.
Jones struck out pinch-hitters Kyle Schwarber and Chris Coghlan with Dexter Fowler sandwiched in between. Jones threw strikes on nine of 13 as mixed his slider and a curve in with a fastball that touched 99 mph.
The 18-strikeout showing is the most by a major league team in a nine-inning game since the Los Angeles Angels struck out 20 against Seattle on Sept. 25, 2012.
“Not bad,” catcher Tyler Flowers said. “Nate threw the heck out of the ball, too.”
White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito isn't having a great season, but at least it looks like his Twitter account could pass a background check.
A Twitter user dug through some of Giolito's tweets from his teenage years. He didn't find much in the way of hateful, mean or angry tweets. Instead, he found candy, touch tanks at the aquarium and animated movies.
The tweet got plenty of attention on the platform, leading Giolito to comment on it. Giolito took the joke with a good sense of humor and made a joke at his own expense.
This kind of makes you wonder what else would qualify as Giolito's "dark side." Maybe this will spawn a series of Lucas Giolito facts like the very tame version of Chuck Norris or The Most Interesting Man in the World.
Tonight, White Sox Triple-A affiliate Charlotte (44-52) will go head-to-head with the Pawtucket Red Sox (45-49) on NBC Sports Chicago at 6 p.m.
Top pitching prospect Michael Kopech (2-5, 4.88 ERA) faces William Cuevas (5-3, 3.21 ERA) at BB&T Ballpark. The flame-throwing Kopech is coming off an 11-strikeout performance in his last start when he completed six innings of work and allowed only four hits and one earned run.
Kopech has been inconsistent for the Knights this season, but leads the International League with a whopping 122 strikeouts. He had a forgettable month of June, when he went 1-4 with a 5.46 ERA, but he looks to be getting on the right track recently.
Charlotte’s batting lineup is highlighted by White Sox No. 1 prospect Eloy Jimenez, who has performed well since his promotion from Double-A Birmingham in mid-June. The powerful hitter has a .283/.348/.483 slash line with three home runs in 60 at-bats with the Knights.
Reliever Ian Hamilton (2.71 ERA), who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 18 White Sox prospect, has served as the team’s closer since his June promotion to Triple-A. The 23-year-old has converted four of five save opportunities with Charlotte, making him a player to monitor during tonight’s game. He has 10 strikeouts with only two walks in 9 2/3 innings.