Lucas Giolito’s top 10 games in a White Sox uniform
Lucas Giolito had a transformative 2019, going from the pitcher with the worst statistics in baseball to the ace of the White Sox staff. He’s only been on the South Side for a little more than two seasons, but he’s already turned in some impressive performances, many of them, unsurprisingly, from last season. Here are his 10 best outings in a White Sox uniform.
10. Aug. 25, 2018 vs. Tigers
The 2018 season was an objectively bad one for Giolito, but he took what he learned that year and turned it into an All-Star campaign a year later. The highlight performance of Giolito’s 2018? This August outing against the division-rival Tigers. He struck out six hitters and walked just one during seven innings of one-run ball.
9. May 12, 2019 vs. Blue Jays
Giolito faced the Blue Jays in back-to-back May starts. The second might have made this list had it not been shortened to five innings by a South Side rainstorm. Giolito pitching through the downpour was a memorable sight from the 2019 season, even if he didn’t consider his complete-game effort a real one. But a few days earlier, he was just as excellent against the Blue Jays, striking out eight in seven one-run innings.
8. July 31, 2019 vs. Mets
The Mets came to the South Side at the end of July, their power arms just dominating the White Sox bats in those three games. But the White Sox were able to match with their own ace in one of those contests. Giolito went up against Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, keeping the Mets to one run and striking out nine of them over his seven innings. Alex Colome coughed up three runs in the ninth that day, but Giolito went toe to toe with deGrom in a fantastic pitchers’ duel.
7. May 28, 2019 vs. Royals
Giolito has fared rather well against the Royals in his career, and things were no different during a 2019 season where he fared well against most everyone. In this May start he went eight innings against the division rivals and gave up just three hits. He struck out 10 in his first double-digit strikeout game since 2017, the first of six during his All-Star season.
6. Sept. 3, 2017 vs. Rays
Giolito’s first double-digit strikeout game in a White Sox uniform came in just his third start with the team after being promoted from Triple-A Charlotte. He fanned 10 Rays hitters over seven one-run innings, giving up just three hits. Given what happened in 2018, it’s easy to forget how good Giolito was in his first taste of the majors the year prior. He had a 2.38 ERA in seven starts.
5. June 2, 2019 vs. Indians
Perhaps his finest performance ever at Guaranteed Rate Field, Giolito walked none and struck out nine in 7.1 shutout innings against the Indians at the beginning of June. He outdueled Zach Plesac, who held the White Sox bats well in check.
4. May 7, 2019 vs. Indians
That performance at the beginning of June was a near carbon copy of this one from the beginning of May, when Giolito held the Indians to zilch on the scoreboard while surrendering just three hits over 7.1 innings. He struck out eight batters in this game.
3. June 8, 2019 vs. Royals
Giolito against the Royals again. This one was a complete shutdown, 7.2 scoreless innings that featured 11 strikeouts and only three hits. Giolito in his career at Kauffman Stadium: a 2.78 ERA in seven starts.
2. May 23, 2019 vs. Astros
On to what are hands down the two best outings of Giolito’s career. He shut down the eventual AL champs in Houston to kick off Memorial Day weekend, throwing the first complete-game shutout of his career. He punched out nine Astros hitters and walked only one, giving up just four hits. To throw a shutout is one thing. To do it against a team that ended up with 107 wins is another.
1. Aug. 21, 2019 vs. Twins
Giolito outdid even that game in Houston with this remarkable performance in the Twin Cities. He tossed another complete-game shutout, this one featuring 12 strikeouts, only three hits and no walks. The division-rival Twins also reached the 100-win mark in 2019, making this the second shutout of the season for Giolito against a 100-win team.
BONUS: July 9, 2019 vs. NL All Stars
Giolito went from the starting pitcher with the worst statistics in baseball in 2018 to an AL All Star in 2019. He pitched the top of the fourth inning against a murderer’s row of NL hitters. After walking Freddie Freeman to start the frame, he got three straight outs, including retiring eventual NL MVP Cody Bellinger on a strikeout.