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?
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.
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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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
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A lot of those rocks are man-made!
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A good song
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