It isn’t very often that a ball club with a 33-62 record is the definitively better team in any given game.
That, however, is exactly how Sunday afternoon’s contest against the Royals shook out, as the White Sox obliterated their division rival by a score of 10-1.
That being said, the story of the game, contrary to what a glance at the score would tell you, was not any of the bats, who did have a fantastic outing. It was instead all about the man on the mound, Lucas Giolito.
Giolito threw a gem today, allowing jack squat after a rocky first inning. He went six and a third frames, fanning six Royals and using mainly a lively fastball to produce swings and misses. Giolito’s performance was his second consecutive excellent start, after an equally dominant outing against Houston.
After an extremely tumultuous first half of the 2018 season, the once-top prospect who came over in the Adam Eaton trade with Washington seems to be turning it around. His control, despite continuously high walk totals, seems to be much better as he’s not leaving as many pitches up in the zone for hitters to feast on and drive him out of games early.
The key for Giolito has always been confidence, and recently it seems like he has some of his, for lack of a better word, swagger back. Heading into the All-Star break, it will be intriguing at worst and exhilarating at best to see him start to string together more solid efforts in an attempt to get himself back to the potential superstar he once was for years in Washington and for a short time on the South Side.
One thing Giolito certainly didn’t lack today was run support. The White Sox absolutely feasted on Kansas City pitching, as they have for a very good portion of this season. Burch Smith, Brian Flynn, and Enny Romero combined for nine earned runs over the first five innings of the ballgame.
Doing the damage for Chicago were Daniel Palka, Leury Garcia, and of course, Yoan Moncada, who each produced three hits on the day. Moncada finished a triple shy of the cycle (the home run came from the right side) and Palka took the lead for good in the first inning with a laser into the right-field bullpen.
The White Sox, with the obvious exception of Jose Abreu, are off until Friday when they begin a west coast road trip in Seattle and Los Angeles. They’ve had a mostly abysmal first half at the big league level but that is to be expected in an obvious rebuilding year.
Overall, this season has shown positive signs from the players at the major league and minor league levels who are supposed to be the future of the franchise. There should be a couple promotions relatively soon as well as we head into the dog days of late July and August.
Follow Jack on Twitter: @JS_92_ –Feature Photo Credit: Jim Young/AP