White Sox 9, Tigers 0: Lucas Giolito seals sweep with strong seven

White Sox win

At the end of his seven sterling innings, Lucas Giolito had to challenge himself, because the Tigers weren’t doing much for him.

Staked to a 5-0 lead and a pitch count approaching 100, the White Sox battery decided to see how many consecutive changeups they could call before they felt compelled to change their plans.

The answer: Nine.

He struck out Niko Goodrum and Christin Stewart entirely on changeups. Both times he got ahead 0-2, and while both Tigers could lay off a third, they couldn’t lay off a fourth. It wasn’t until falling behind 1-0 to Cameron Maybin that McCann decided to switch to a fastball. That was fine. Giolito ended up striking out the side on 15 pitchers, the last of which blew past Maybin’s bat at 97 mph.

It was that kind of afternoon for Giolito, who struck out 13 on the day in what ended up being the White Sox’s fifth straight win. The White Sox gave him a 3-0 lead as soon as they could, so he didn’t really have to overthink it. He only ran into one tough innings, when Detroit loaded the bases over the course of four batters with two singles and a Yoán Moncada error on a chopper. Giolito responded by striking out Goodrum and Stewart to strand ’em all.

The White Sox offense had more luck capitalizing. Tim Anderson somehow wasn’t involved in the early onrush. Spencer Turnbull retired him with a groundout on the second pitch of the game.

But Turnbull needed 35 pitches to get through the rest of the inning. He walked three batters, including Edwin Encarnación with the bases loaded to score the first Chicago run. Nomar Mazara stayed alive long enough in a 10-pitch battle to hit a bouncer to the left side too slow for two, and James McCann drove a trademark single to the right-center gap for the third run, and the first by hit.

The Sox added on to the lead over the course of the afternoon. In the third, McCann blasted a single through the shift on the left side with two outs, then motored home from first on Danny Mendick’s double to left. Anderson got involved with the scoring in the fourth by hitting a solo shot to left.

They finally made a mockery of it in the eighth. Anderson left one more insult with a one-out infield single, Moncada drew his third walk of the game, and both scored on José Abreu’s double. Capping it off, Eloy Jiménez belted a two-run shot to left center to chase Joe Jimenez from a game after just one out.

Jimmy Cordero had no such issues. He came out on the attack to get the game over with, and he upheld the shutout over the final two innings by throwing 23 of 30 pitches for strikes.

Bullet points:

*Abreu erased Giolito’s only walk with a 3-5-3 double play. Here’s a link to that post about his throwing.

*Anderson, Moncada, Abreu and Jiménez all reached base at least three times. Jiménez went 3-for-4 with a walk.

*Mazara was the only hitless White Sox, going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.

Record: 15-11 | Box score | Statcast

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Josh Nelson

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Abreu doesn’t look so replacement level to me!


Let’s hope McCann can catch the rest of Giolito’s starts this year.