The Chicago White Sox took care of business in a big way today, capping off a six-game west coast swing by sweeping the San Francisco Giants in a 13-4 victory in the finale.
This game was medicine. It was balm. It was chicken soup for the South Sider’s soul. Sure, it was Lucas Giolito versus whoever the Giants could find in their bullpen, but we’ve seen it happen too often that the White Sox find new and innovative ways to lose games that they should have won without breaking a sweat.
We live in a world where fans have been conditioned to think the best way to protect their hearts is by having low expectations. Thankfully, that’s not the story of today. Today, the team came out and reassured us with a dominant performance. Lots of things went well today, so, let’s break it down.
Is Giolito back?
It’s too early to tell if Gio’s last two starts will signal a complete return to form, but one thing’s for sure — the California sunshine seems to have done a lot of good for the North Hollywood native. After muddling through an ugly month of June, Gio came out today and absolutely mowed the Giants down. In his second consecutive quality start, Giolito’s changeup was looking sexy and making batters look downright silly. In fact, the first seven outs of the game were strikeouts. Gio went on to complete six innings of work, allowing just one run on three hits.
Get ’em on, get ’em over, get ’em in.
From top to bottom, the White Sox went to town on the Giants bullpen, exploding for 17 hits. (Well, except for Yoán Moncada, who was the only South Sider without a hit today. I’m sure Twitter will respond to that in a calm, fact-based, and appropriate way.)
José Abreu extended his hitting streak to eight games, and Luis Robert found his stroke for his first hits of the series, including a bases-clearing double that opened up the scoring in the second inning.
The Giants could not even find relief when facing the lower third of the White Sox batting order. Leury García, Josh Harrison, and Seby Zavala kept the pressure on the Giants all afternoon, peppering the field with a combined eight hits. Zavala’s day was most impactful, as the backup catcher went 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs and two doubles, including this one in the eighth inning:
The most reassuring part of the offensive performance was that the White Sox were able to capitalize on a few bases-loaded situations. They scored five runs with the sacks packed, including this bases-clearing double by Gavin Sheets . . .
. . . and this Andrew Vaughn single that scored a pair.
This is a happy place, so we won’t talk about Vince Velasquez’s portion of the ninth inning, but we will show you José Ruiz closing things out:
Could this win be the turning point in the 2022 season? Well, we’ll find out in short order. These next few weeks will make or break the season, as White Sox will spend the next 19 games facing teams from the AL Central, including seven games against the first-place Minnesota Twins.
Enjoy today’s win, Sox fans. Slam a few victory beers, revel in scoring double-digit runs, and then get ready. Starting tomorrow, the White Sox will show us if they are capable of the uphill battle to overtake the division and become genuine contenders.
To put it another way? Don’t stop now, boys.