I hereby present a completely unbiased look at Lucas Giolito’s ascent to one of the best pitchers in baseball —
[Hi, Bitmoji. This is super sweet. We know you’re a big fan of @LGio27. Thanks for stopping by.]
Giolito was named American League Pitcher of the Month for May on the basis of a 5-0 record over 6 games, a 1.74 ERA, a whopping 46 strikeouts over 41 1⁄3 innings against only 10 walks, and an absurd 0.823 WHIP.
[No, Bitmoji, I can’t give those to Lucas for you. I don’t actually know him; he doesn’t hang out with occasional contributors to South Side Sox. Sorry I can’t help. Nice balloons, though.]
This development is particularly gratifying for all parties involved — Giolito himself, the front office who traded for him, and the fans who have watched him — after a 2018 campaign that saw a 6.13 ERA, only 125 strikeouts to 90 walks, and a 1.477 WHIP. And on the heels of Tim Anderson’s —
[Yes, we know you love TA, too. You’ve been a champion of his long before the bat flips made it cool.]
On the heels of Tim Anderson’s American League Player of the Month award for April, it feels like this thing called a “rebuild” might actually be showing some progress. It’s the first time White Sox players have received back-to-back monthly honors since Jake Peavy and Chris Sale in 2012, and while that season ultimately didn’t leave the best taste in our mouths, it was the last time the Sox were watchable on a regular basis.
[Uh, yeah, you said that already. And I’m trying to write an article here, so ... ?]
Giolito has been so dominating that his starts have become must-watch, which is catnip to any true baseball fan. Sure, home runs provide bursts of adrenaline and excitement, but good pitching is a slow burn, almost an exquisite torture. While I myself listed Scotty Pods’ Game 2 home run as my favorite White Sox memory, the most satisfying memory of that postseason was the “El Duque inning” in Game 3 against Boston. Good pitching is —
[Seriously, Bitmoji, you’ve got to stop before somebody calls the police.]
There’s much else to like about Giolito besides the obvious recent performance: His rapport with James McCann has been a joy to witness; he once wore a “Stick Talk” T-shirt in a post-game interview; he’s a former top prospect who seems to be reaching his potential, when so many don’t; he seems smart, and I’m a sucker for the brainy-brawny combo; he was one of only two Sox roster-mates who joined Tim Anderson on a tour of the Negro Leagues Museum last April; and —
[What do you want?!?!?!? Now I don’t remember what I was going to say next.]
Um ... uh ... oh, right! Giolito’s success has been attributed to an uptick in velocity, a devastating changeup, and a Buehrle-esque tempo (side note: wouldn’t it be awesome if he became Mark Buehrle, but with a 95 mph fastball?). It remains to be seen how long Giolito’s incredible run can last, but for now, all of us White Sox fans are grateful for the beautiful pitching. Now, about the rest of the rotation ...
[Okay, now you’re just getting weird. Let’s get you down for a nap, okay? Maybe I can finish this article later ...]