The Chicago White Sox are coming off a strong 10 game stretch where they went 6-4 against the Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, and Boston Red Sox. Hopefully, the nice start to June will carry over into the middle of the month.
On Monday, it was the Cleveland Indians in town. Lucas Giolito was on the bump for the good guys. There have been many fans calling for Giolito to be sent down to the minors given his issues with his command through the first two months of the season. Heading into Monday night’s contest, Giolito had 31 strikeouts compared to 39 walks on the year.
However, Kevan Smith being back may have helped boost the confidence of the young 23-year-old right-hander. I wrote about it last week:
That’s right, the same Giolito who came into Tuesday night’s game with an ERA of 7.53. Something about Giolito seemed different when he took the ball against the Twins. His pitches had more life and for once, he didn’t look discombobulated on the mound. His velocity was up as well. His fastball sat at 93mph throughout his start.
Maybe, it was his catcher, Kevin Smith. In almost 40 innings, Giolito has a career ERA of 1.83 when Smith is behind home plate. After giving up two runs on six hits in six innings pitched, Giolito lowered his ERA to 7.08. Baby steps.
In the first inning, the same Giolito that pitched against the Twins last week showed up. His fastball got up to 94.4mph, as it took him only 12 pitches to get through the Indians. The Indians failed to get a hit through the first three innings. Then came the top of the fourth.
With two outs, Giolito walked Yonder Alonso and Melky Cabrera. Lonnie Chisenhall singled to give Cleveland a 1-0 lead. Then catcher Yan Gomes made it 3-0 after hitting a double. The Chisenhall and Gomes hits weren’t the frustrating part of the inning. It was the two, two-out walks. The old Giolito was alive and well in the fourth.
Michael Brantley added a solo homer in the fifth to make it 4-0.
The Sox offense had a hard time figuring out Carlos Carrasco. Through five innings, the Sox offense managed just two hits against the right-hander. For whatever reason, Carrasco pitches much better on the road for the Tribe.
After giving up a single to leadoff the sixth inning, Giolito’s night was finished. He finished the night after 5.1 innings pitched giving up four earned runs while walking four and striking out three. It wasn’t his worst start of the season, but the inconsistency is still there.
Carrasco, on the other hand, was dominant. He went seven innings giving up just two hits while striking out 11. It was an impressive outing, to say the least. The Sox would go onto lose 4-0. It was an ugly night on the South Side.
The Sox will host the Tribe again tomorrow night at Guaranteed Rate Field. First pitch is at 7:10 pm. In case you missed it, my colleague Patrick Flowers did a great job of summarizing what Rick Hahn had to say about the rebuild, which included talking about Eloy Jiminez and Michael Kopech. Check it out below.
The White Sox will be sending outfielder Avisail Garcia to Charlotte for a rehab assignment, Luis Robert won't be in Kannapolis long, and a pair of positive injury reports. #WhiteSox #MLB https://t.co/oeRjNlYAzm pic.twitter.com/asDuWHzs3z
— The Loop Sports (@TheLoop_Sports) June 11, 2018
Follow Nick on Twitter: @TLS_Petrusevski–Feature Photo Credit: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune