A couple of first-time all-stars made their debut today as Lucas Giolito and James McCann made the most out of their opportunity by coming up strong on the big stage. Jose Abreu made his third all-star game appearance where he got the least playing time coming in at the top of the seventh inning.
The festivities started with a pitching battle between Justin Verlander vs Hyun-Jin Ryu where the two of them gave up zero runs a piece paving the way to a pitchers duel all night long. It wasn’t the home run party we have seen all year or like the Derby, instead, we had ourselves a 4-3 ballgame where pitchers like Giolito dominated. It just happened to be Cleveland’s own Shane Bieber who received highly questionable MVP honors. Joey Gallo would go on to hit what would be the game-winning home run which should have for sure won him the highly touted award.
However, our White Sox had themselves a day. Giolito would come in to pitch in the top of the fourth where he got off to a shaky start. He would be the first White Sox righty since 2005 to appear in an ASG. Lucas would go on to walk Braves First-basemen Freddie Freeman on four pitches to start his debut. It looked like his start vs the Cubs was carrying over. Giolito couldn’t find his release point against the veteran slugger, but the nerves would quickly go away the next three batters. Lucas came in facing the 3-4-5 hitters for the National League and he knew he better figure it out quick because after Freeman came NL MVP candidate Cody Bellinger. What did Lucas do? He did the same thing he has been doing all year, struck him out looking. He would then go on to get Nolan Arenado and Josh Bell to ground out to end the inning.
No we didn’t get the Giolito to McCann connection many of us wanted but we got the next best thing, pure dominance on the biggest stage for our ace. Lucas who grew up in a Hollywood family was ready for the bright lights.
Giolito after ASG inning: “If you want to compete at this level and stay here a long time, you have to have confidence that you’re better than everybody else every time you’re pitching. That’s what I take into games, whether during the season or an All-Star Game, one inning.”
— Vinnie Duber (@VinnieDuber) July 10, 2019
Hats off to you Mr. Giolito, you made the South Side very proud.
James McCann also happened to have himself a night. McCann appeared just two innings after in the sixth where he would go on to finish the game. James found himself in a great situation where he would be up against Brandon Woodruff in the seventh. After a Matt Chapman walk, McCann did what he does best and singled to right-center fielder advancing Chapman to third where Matt would, later on, score the third run for the AL.
On the defensive side, McCann made another huge play yet again. With runners on second and third and two outs in the eighth, the NL was starting to get hot. A two-RBI single by the polar bear himself, Peter Alonso, put the NL within one run to make it a 4-3 game. Long-time Royal and White Sox killer Mike Moustakas hit a pop up toward the third-base side where McCann would tumble and make a basket catch to end the rally.
As for Abreu, he only received one at-bat himself which came in the bottom of the eighth where he grounded into a double play to end the inning.
All in all, it was a very successful night for our White Sox representatives. The South Side is in good hands over the next several years where we could see even more of our Sox being voted in and represented in the ASG.
Follow Anthony on twitter (@anthonyp332) for more White Sox news and opinion.