White Sox Manager Rick Renteria Had a Touching Reaction to Lucas Giolito’s No-Hitter

In Wednesday’s Hot Clicks: Lucas Giolito’s manager reacts to his dominant no-hitter, Jamal Murray goes off to keep the Nuggets alive and more.
Author:
Publish date:

Quite the turnaround for Giolito

Watching Lucas Giolito pitch on Tuesday night, you’d have a hard time remembering that he was probably the worst starter in all of baseball just two years ago. 

Giolito threw 2020’s first no-hitter, mowing down the Pirates with just 101 pitches. He struck out 13 and induced 30 swings-and-misses, the most in a no-hitter since Nolan Ryan’s 31 in 1990 and the most in any game since James Paxton had 31 in 2018. A leadoff walk issued to Erik González in the fourth was the only thing keeping Giolito from perfection. 

For White Sox manager Rick Renteria, seeing Giolito dominate like that was a little overwhelming. 

He’s one of the guys that’s done so much in terms of turning himself around,” Renteria said. “Wow, it’s just, I can’t—I don’t have any words. I just want to cry. I’m really, really happy for him.”

Giolito was a can’t-miss prospect coming out of Harvard-Westlake High School in Los Angeles. He was already 6' 6" and throwing in the upper 90s when the Nationals took him in the first round of the 2012 draft. He was a consensus top-five prospect in all of baseball before he made his MLB debut for Washington in 2016 but was underwhelming in six appearances. He was the centerpiece of the Nats’ trade for Adam Eaton that winter and began the 2017 season at Triple A before being called up to make seven starts late in the year for Chicago. 

His initial foray with the White Sox was promising (a 2.38 ERA and 0.949 WHIP in 45 1/3 innings) but Giolito completely fell apart in 2018. He had a 6.13 ERA in 32 starts, allowing an MLB-high 118 earned runs. His 90 walks were worst in the American League. 

Renteria, hired by the White Sox in 2017, never lost hope, though. As Stephanie Apstein writes, the manager ran into Giolito in an elevator early in 2018 when Giolito’s ERA sat at a grisly 7.53 and told him, “I know you’re going to be an All-Star one day.”

Sure enough, Giolito turned things around in 2019 and made the All-Star team, even earning a few Cy Young votes. Nothing he did last year was as impressive as what he did Tuesday night, though. That was Giolito looking like the ace the Nationals envisioned when they took him in the first round and the White Sox when they traded their star centerfielder for him. For Renteria, who saw the absolute low point of Giolito’s career, it’s obvious why that performance left him speechless. 

Who wants free stuff?

Sunday_Par3_Bags_Blue_2155_C

August is National Golf Month (who knew?!) and to wrap it up we’re giving away a cool product that will help you enjoy a nice casual round. 

The new Loma bag from Sunday Golf is a lightweight golf bag designed for those situations where you only need a handful of clubs, like a par-3 course or a trip to the range. It weighs just two pounds, making it really easy to throw over your shoulder on a short course. 

We’ve got two of them to give away today. Here’s how to win:

  • Go back to Tuesday’s Hot Clicks and find the name of the Washington receiver who celebrated a touchdown in practice by punting the ball
  • Send me an email (dan.gartland@si.com) with the subject line golf bag giveaway and the correct answer in the body
  • The 50th and 100th persons to follow those instructions will win

The best of SI

NBA players are speaking out—and contemplating a boycott—after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. ... 76 college football programs still intend to play this fall. Here are the top 16. ... Russell Wilson is on the cover of the most recent issue of the magazine, explaining some of his most impressive plays. ... Paul George has struggled in the playoffs (well, before Game 5) but this is exactly the moment he asked for when he went to the Clippers. ... Team-by-team previews of every squad in the NFL

Around the sports world

Lionel Messi has officially informed Barcelona that he intends to terminate his contract. ... The Lions canceled their scheduled practice on Tuesday to call attention to the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin. ... Texas Tech’s football team had 21 positive coronavirus tests but will continue to practice. ... Eli Manning’s New Jersey mansion, which includes amenities like a 750-bottle wine cellar, is on the market for $5.25 million.

Giolito benefited from some stellar defense

Jamal Murray followed up his 50 in Game 4 with 42 in Game 5

Gotta love an acrobatic slide

He always makes this look so easy

Shaq completely lost it

Japanese announcers are unrivaled on home runs

They won’t be the last team to have this happen

People give Daniel Jones a lot of crap but one thing he does insanely well is place a throw over a defender an in a receiver’s hands in the corner of the end zone

I never would have expected this guy, of all people, to become a coach

Not sports

A 442-carat diamond unearthed by a miner in Africa could sell for as much as $18 million. ... Boston brewery Harpoon is coming out with a whole line of Dunkin’ Donuts-branded beers. ... McDonald’s is launching a spicy version of its chicken nuggets, the first new variety of McNuggets since they were introduced in 1983. ... The trailer for the new Batman movie contains a coded message from The Riddler that was solved almost instantly by internet sleuths. ... Nintendo is reportedly planning an upgraded Switch for 2021. ... The 2,000-year-old redwood trees at California’s oldest state park survived a massive wildfire that swept through there. ... A rare houseplant set a record by selling at auction for over $5,000.

A lot of those rocks are man-made!

When your anchor desk is outside, the whole newscast is a weather report

A good song

Email dan.gartland@si.com with any feedback or follow me on Twitter for approximately one half-decent baseball joke per week. Bookmark this page to see previous editions of Hot Clicks and find the newest edition every day. By popular request I’ve made a Spotify playlist of the music featured here. Visit our Extra Mustard page throughout each day for more offbeat sports stories.