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Bad Lucas: The Final Chapter

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White Sox go down 10-0 in a sneeze, battle back for a 12-4 final

Chicago White Sox v Minnesota Twins - Game Two
Six-ERA Club: This rare shot was snapped during the brief time Lucas Giolito was in the game on Friday night.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

What’s left to say about these 2018 Chicago White Sox?

After a competitive opener marked by a solid Reynaldo López start, at least, the White Sox were annihilated in the nightcap by a Minnesota Twins club that is simply not good at all (by far the worst second-place team in baseball this year, and perhaps in recent memory), 12-4.

And, believe it or not, that score makes the game seem much closer than it was.

That’s because we got a heavy, parting, this-will-keep-you-through-the-winter dose of Bad Lucas, without even a Ryan LaMarre crosstown-two-step in left field to pin most of the damage on. Giolito was howlingly bad, allowing seven earned in just 1 13 innings, five hits, four walks, for an 11 game score. Somehow, it was only the third-worst start of the season for Giolito, who also coughed up seven earned in 1 13 in one other game, and also spun a two-inning, nine-ER gem as well.

And to say “somehow,” as if it’s a shock, is disingenuous. Of course it’s believable, because Giolito sports an ungodly high 6.13 ERA for the season, fattest in the majors. Mop-up man Rob Scahill nearly faced as many batters in the game as Giolito.

Before WIN05 could even get to his second hot dog watching at home, the White Sox were buried, 10-0. Giolito allowed three two-out runs in the first, and started his second and final inning with four straight walks. He was bounced from the game down 6-0, throwing just 25 of 56 pitches for strikes.

Hector Santiago and/or sheer arm fatigue kept the Twins from making a hard push for 20 runs. The lefty’s role has been a pretty thankless one, and frankly he’s been pretty replacement level this year, but his seven Ks over 4 23 innings looks pretty sweet, especially if you’re willing to overlook the seven hits, four earned and two walks. And the fact that Santiago burned through a starter’s load (97 pitches) without even throwing a full five innings.

Anyway, José Rondón (second in the organization in homers behind Daniel Palka) hit his sixth White Sox homer in the third, Kevin Smith his third of the season in the fifth. A late “flurry” came with Yolmer Sánchez tripling in Yoán Moncada, and Palka singling in Yolmer, in the eighth.

Moncada was 1-for-3 with a walk before getting another backwards K to end the game (slider under the zone, of course), giving him 215 whiffs on the season. He also picked up his 20th error on the season when a grounder went through his legs, and was spared another E as he dropped a pop in center in the fifth that was scored a double.

The White Sox are now a season-worst 36 games under .500, with an ever-more realistic shot at dropping 100 games this year. The first and best of two cracks left to sidestep that indignity comes tomorrow night, behind Carlos Rodón.