Lucas Giolito’s complete game win last time out was a tad tainted, what with it only going five innings before a deluge. But there was absolutely no doubt about his mastery tonight, as he held the mighty Houston Astros to four singles and showed complete command throughout the game. The result was a 4-0 Chicago White Sox win and a pleasantly surprising series split in Houston.
Giolito threw 77% of his 107 pitches for strikes, and the strikes came from all of his pitches, in all quadrants. The only time an Astro reached second was in the third, on a questionable HBP and Lucas’ only walk of the night. He only got 11 swinging strikes, six of those on sliders, but still struck out nine, against a team noted for not whiffing. His fastball sat regularly around 95 mph, topping 97 on occasion.
The only batter to hit Giolito well consistently was Michael Brantley, who had two hits and a couple of sharp outs. Yuli Gurriel did have a 105 mph liner to left, but it ended as one of two, shall we say, interesting, catches by Eloy Jimenez on the night.
Eloy was more conventional at the plate, rocketing one 414 feet in the fourth:
Want to see what happens when 112.5 MPH exit velocity meets 19° launch angle? pic.twitter.com/ngiTRpTFWO— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 24, 2019
That blast was just an insurance fourth run, because the Sox already had put together a three-run third against Astros rookie Corbin Martin. Martin had cruised through the first two innings on 26 pitches, but after Yolmer Sánchez started the third with an opposite-field double off the scoreboard, Martin’s control went haywire. He walked Charlie Tillson wildly, grooved one to Yoán Moncada for an RBI double, then another to Tim Anderson for an RBI single, and threw a pick-off try into roughly row Q to send in the third run of the inning.
That was more than Giolito needed, as he turned the Astros into Astro naughts:
The win sends the Sox off to Minnesota on a decidedly high note. The first game of the three-game series, as the Sox try to turn the Twinkies into Ho-Hos, will be tomorrow night at 7:10 Central, with Reynaldo López facing Jose Berrios. Ali White’s got the coverage, so there’s an adequate chance for another double-homer Eloy game, torrential rain, and/or Reylo love.