On Wednesday, Chicago White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito pitched his best game of the year throwing a complete-game shutout against the Minnesota Twins. Giolito struck out 12 in a 4-0 White Sox victory. It is his second complete-game shutout of the season putting him in contention for some postseason awards.
Giolito lowered his ERA of 3.30 following the win against the Twins as he has completely turned it around from last season. At this point last season, his ERA was nearly double as he led the league in walks in 2018. This season he leads all White Sox pitchers in strikeouts and ERA.
He has been the much needed constant in a White Sox starting rotation that has been in flux all season. From the start of the season up until the promotion of Dylan Cease in early July, Giolito was the only consistent starting pitcher the team has had. Now that Cease, Reylando Lopez, and Ivan Nova have been pitching better over their last few starts, Giolito has still performed at a higher rate.
In his last three starts, he has recorded double-digit strikeouts while allowing just four earned runs over 21 innings pitched. It is even more impressive given that it came against the Oakland Athletics, Los Angeles Angels, and Minnesota Twins, all three have potent lineups. Giolito’s shutouts this season have come against arguably the two best offensive teams in the American League in the Houston Astros and the Twins.
With his great consistent pitching, Giolito has positioned himself to be a strong candidate to win Comeback Player of the Year and should receive some votes for the Cy Young. Following a few bad starts in July, he has rallied to pick up quality starts in seven of his last eight games.
Giolitio has been the White Sox’s MVP in 2019 given what he has meant to the staff. The White Sox bullpen has logged a lot of innings in August as the team has had just one off-day in the month and have had two double-headers. Wednesday’s complete game gave the bullpen a much needed day as Giolito has been able to consistently go six or more innings relieving the bullpen of more innings.
If he continues to pitch consistently well for the remainder of the season, Giolito could win 20 games.
No White Sox pitcher has achieved that feat since Estaban Loaiza in 2003 with 21 victories. With a strong end to the season, Giolito will assist his chances of possibly winning the Cy Young but has already established himself as an ace of the White Sox staff.