In the ongoing triumph that is Lucas Giolito 2019, the tall righthander again stymied the Kansas City Royals, winning his eighth straight while whiffing a career-best 11 in a Chicago White Sox 2-0 squeaker on Saturday afternoon.
There’s not a ton to report from this one beyond Giolito’s dominance. He held the Royals to three hits and two walks, lowering his ERA to 2.28 and throwing 74 of 111 pitches for strikes. Baseball isn’t just a funny game; in the context of Giolito’s climb from baseball’s worst pitcher in 2018 to possibly its best a year later, it’s downright insane.
As you can see above, it wasn’t just that Giolito was dealing and managed to pile up 11 strikeouts, it’s how those strikeouts were executed. When a pitcher hurls as daintily as Gio did today, it’s called “painting”; from a batter’s standpoint, it’s far more excruciating — call it “extracting a tooth with pliers.” Five of Giolito’s career-best 11 Ks were looking, and that’s not just due to the Royals being sorta crappy at hitting.
Just look at that second inning nonsense; each Royals batter participating in Luc’s “strike out the side” parade proceeded directly to the clubhouse for a straightjacket.
The other big, big, big highlight of the day (aside from Ned Yost redassing his way out of the game,
whoo boy there’s not more of a tired-old-man manager in baseball than this dude), was Eloy Jiménez going yard (his seventh on the year, and yes, seventh on the road, why you hate me on the South Side Eloy?).
And that, natch, prompted a prompt from the peanut gallery:
Wait, wait, another highlight. Can’t believe Yost somehow didn’t get tossed over this instead:
Watch the replay all the way through. Merrifield might have had some kind of weird case, if there was garbage blowing across the infield or something. But his own teammate is stealing a base and he steps out of the box — and acts ticked off he wasn’t granted time? On a stolen base attempt? Wiffleball rules or something, man.
There were just eight hits total in the game, with the White Sox getting five, and only Jiménez’s homer was for extra bases. So that jackalope Brad Keller pitched a mighty OK ballgame for K.C. today, too, eight innings, five hits, two earned, a walk and four Ks.
All righty then, I’m back to formulating new polls, people. The lovely and talented Ashley Sanders is on the coverage for tomorrow’s rubber match, pitting Reynaldo “Honest, He Doesn’t Know Where the Ball is Going” López against Glenn “If I Stare at My Hand After I Release the Ball, it Means I Wasn’t Throwing at TA’s Head” Sparkman. Should be a spicy one. Catch it at 1:15 p.m., and WGN has the broadcast double-dip.
And, the end note: MOAR GIO: