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Gamethread: Royals vs White Sox

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The South Siders look to claim the series, Lucas Giolito looks for another quality start

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals
White Sox starting pitcher Lucas Giolito pitches against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Wow, déjà vu. Didn’t Lucas Giolito face the Royals last Wednesday? Hopefully, the outcome will be a little better than a 3-2 loss because the Good Guys are at their home base.

The White Sox aim for a win against Kansas City tonight in game two of the series. Tim Anderson and the boys blew out the Royals last night, 7-1. Dylan Cease was magnificent. His pitch movement was the best it’s been all year — tying his career high with 11 strikeouts. Cease is now tied for third with teammate Carlos Rodón among American League pitchers with 149 strikeouts. Lucas is fourth with 143, so almost surely Giolito will leapfrog his teammates tonight.

With the additions of Ryan Tepera, Craig Kimbrel, César Hernández, and the return of Luis Robert this weekend (supposedly), it looks like the playoff roster is slowly coming to fruition. The White Sox are in win-now mode. Don’t be surprised if Rick Hahn moves to a six-man rotation, featuring Michael Kopech, heading into the playoffs. The big dogs need some rest.

Giolito is coming off of three quality starts in a row. Over his last seven games, the righthander has gone 3-2, with a 3.32 ERA, and 40 strikeouts. He is 8-7 on the season, with a 3.67 ERA, and has one of the highest swing-and-miss rates in Major League Baseball. He has definitely found his groove. Giolito has been relying a little less on his changeup this year and a little more on his slider. Although his fastball is his most-used pitch, it would be fun to see him mix it up a bit more after seeing the Royals only a week ago.

Chicago’s lineup is close to being at full strength. Since Eloy Jiménez has claimed the 4-spot, Yoán Moncada is hitting sixth behind Gavin Sheets, who is starting tonight in right field. Adam Engel has the night off, and Brian Goodwin will be starting in center. Zack Collins will get the start behind the plate and bat ninth.

Carlos Hernandez is pitching for Kansas City. He is 2-1, with a 4.98 ERA, and 42 strikeouts. He’s pitched 34 13 innings this year, and only 49 total innings in the majors. The Sox can have a tough time figuring out new pitchers, but let’s hope they latch onto him the second time around.

The game will start at 7:10 p.m. CST. NBCSCH will have coverage, along with ESPN 1000, and MLBTV for its subscribers.

So sit back, relax, and remember: You are not watching a replay!