White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito won his fifth consecutive game on Tuesday as the White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 4-3, continuing his hot streak in the month of May.
Giolito has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for the month of May and his current production has been immeasurable for the White Sox. As the month comes to an end, his numbers warrant him being named A.L. Pitcher of the Month and possibly being named an All-Star.
Since returning from the Injured List back on May 2nd, the White Sox have won each game Giolito has started in May. His worst start was his first game back in which allowed seven hits, two walks, and two runs over five innings. Since the start against Boston, Giolito has pitched seven innings or more in all but one start in which he was credited with a complete game as the game was called after five innings. He has also averaged eight strikeouts per game in that span.
Giolito’s previous two previous starts demonstrate his maturation as a pitcher.
Against Houston last week, he threw a complete game shutout only allowing four hits. On Tuesday night, he allowed a single, walk, and an Alex Gordon three-run home run in the first inning. Following the home run, Giolito retired 20 of the next 21 batters allowing just two hits the rest of the game. It was impressive because he has struggled to keep his composure when the opposing team gets to him.
The current run of dominance has been much needed for a White Sox team that has lacked both productivity and consistency from their starting rotation. His current ERA is under three while the rest of the starting staff has an ERA above six.
Giolito has also saved the bullpen from being overused the last few weeks as the team has been without an off day. In his last three starts, the bullpen has only pitched in one of the 23 innings of the three games. That is huge for a bullpen that pitched eleven and one-third innings against Minnesota last weekend and had a bullpen day the previous week in Houston.
With June just a few days away, Giolito has positioned himself for strong consideration for A.L. Pitcher of the Month. If he continues to perform at a high level, he could be named to the All-Star Game as he will have five to seven starts from now to early-July. Giolito would also be the first player from the rebuild to be named to an All-Star game which would be massive for the franchise.
The turnaround of Giolito from last year to this year could be one of baseball’s best stories this season. Given his massive struggles allowing runs and walks in 2018, his success in 2019 is that much more significant. Although the White Sox have been under .500 all season long, they have flirted with a winning record this month because of what Giolito has done, and that deserves recognition.