White Sox starting pitchers have been, in a word, bad to start the 2020 season, aside from Dallas Keuchel. But Lucas Giolito got back on track Wednesday, as the Sox and Indians traded bagels on the scoreboard in Cleveland into the 9th before the Sox plated four in the 9th off Cleveland reliever Brad Hand to get their 2nd win of the year.
Lucas Giolito. The Sox ace got back to his 2019 form Wednesday, going 6 IP, allowing no runs, and scattering 4 hits while striking out 6 and only walking 2. That effort dropped his ERA down to 6.52. He didn’t figure in the decision, however, as Cleveland starter Zach Plesac was outstanding, which we’ll cover below. That should calm down many of the Sox fans heading for the ledge early on this season, and Giolito should build confidence from this outing.
Tim Anderson. Last year’s AL batting champion got the 9th inning rally started with a lead-off double to left center and came around to score the game’s first run on Yasmani Grandal’s sac fly. He finished the day 2-for-4.
Luis Robert. The Sox prized outfielder gave the Sox a bit of insurance with a 2-out 2-run base hit up the middle to make it 4-0 in the 9th. He then followed it up with his first stolen base, which is another element he brings to the table for the Sox offense. That he took that ball up the middle is a good sign, as he wasn’t trying to do too much with the pitch.
Aaron Bummer. He looked borderline unhittable Wednesday in his one inning of work. He threw only 12 pitches in the 8th inning, and nine of them were strikes as he punched out a pair. Having that potent of a weapon in your bullpen allows Ricky Renteria to shorten games ahead of closer Alex Colome. And, should Colome go down with injury or become ineffective, Bummer has the stuff to get the final three outs.
Offensive offense. Sox hitters struck out 11 times against Plesac, a career high for him, and they only had three base hits off him. The offense finally got going off reliever Brad Hand in the 9th, but they couldn’t take advantage of a lead-off double in the 6th, or a couple hits in the 3rd off Plesac.
Alex Colome. He got the job done, albeit not in a save situation, and it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. He allowed a couple hits and then walked the bases loaded while throwing ball 1 to start the at bat to four of the six Cleveland hitters. He needed 31 pitches to get his three outs, whereas Bummer and Evan Marshall combined to throw 27 in their two innings of relief. Alls well that ends well, as the he kept Cleveland off the scoreboard and the Sox got the win.
The Sox will take Thursday off to head to Kansas City before starting a 3-game set against the Royals for their first home games of the year. After six tough games to start against Minnesota and Cleveland, time for the Sox to take advantage of the underbelly of the AL Central.
Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er, Sox…