The White Sox don’t care if you believe in them, they believe in one another.
“Whenever he is on the mound we gonna win, he’s had tremendous games, tremendous starts. We feel really comfortable.”
Eloy Jimenez confidently spoke of the young hurler, Lucas Giolito, after the Pale Hose beat the Bronx Bombers 10-2 on June 14th as they moved to an even Walter Payton-Micheal Kopech on the season. For those not from the Southside of Chicago, that’s an even 34-34 record for the young up and coming team.
With another lights out performance, Lucas Giolito, the White Sox and young slugger Eloy Jimenez jumped all over C.C. Sabathia and the A.L. East leading New York Yankees. Giolito gave up a 1st inning home run to the hulking, pin-striped Luke Voit, but was lights out after, only allowing three hits through the next six shutout innings. Eloy Jiminez and the upstart White Sox offense backed him up, with the young slugger going 3 for 5, with two towering, 3-run home runs.
Impressively, the reigning AL Pitcher of the month has pitched 100+ pitches in seven of his last eight starts as he moved to an MLB leading 10-1 on the season. He’s followed up dominant start after dominant start as he’s making a case for his second monthly honor in a row and receiving much deserved early Cy Young consideration. Giolito ranks near the top of not only AL pitching statistics, but in all of baseball.
“What a story of perseverance and transformation!” Jason Benetti reminded us, as Lucas Giolito trotted off the rain-soaked field to a standing ovation in the 7th inning of Friday evenings contest.
Last year, Lucas Giolito was abysmal. Up to this point last year he had accumulated an appalling 7.09 ERA through his first 66 innings pitched. He’d show flashes of his great stuff, but the big, imploding inning was always seemingly one inning or one pitch away.
His new battery mate, James McCann, as a member of the division rival Detroit Tigers, noticed last season how they’d be able to attack the inexperienced pitcher. He said that they’d see it plastered all over his face. With his confidence more often than not waning, they called him “The two Lucas Giolitos”.
McCann took Giolito under his wing early in spring training. He looked to bring out only one of the two Giolitos, “We can’t have that. We have to have the same body language, the same presence, everything, day in and day out. I don’t care if you give up 10 runs or throw a perfect game, you can’t be a different guy.”
The message seemingly has been heard loud and clear. Lucas Giolito looks like a different guy. He looks like a Cy young candidate and the Ace the White Sox hoped for when they traded for him.
Giolito hasn’t been doing it on his own. The assistance of the new, all-star worthy catcher, a re-tooled delivery and a heavy focus on, well, focus has potentially turned his career around!
Giolito heard of other athletes trying something called Neurotherapy to help understand and attain what successful athletes have commonly referred to as, “the zone”. With an inability to enter a productive “zone” last season, Giolito figured it was worth a try.
“For me it was about focusing on breathing, being confident at all times, just things like that where I kind of put it all together on the mental side,’’ Giolito said. His intentions were to “always feel good on the mound.”
“Competing and kind of let everything else take over.”
He’s doing more than just competing. He’s taking over. The rest of Major League Baseball has been put on notice. Prospective all-star shortstop Tim Anderson said early in Spring Training, “Ride with us or get run over.”
Lucas Giolito looks like he’s not just along for the ride, he’s driving the bus and running over everything in his path.
First place Yankees?