White Sox 4 A’s 1
The Chicago White Sox were powered by three home runs and the brilliant pitching of Lucas Giolito to win game one 4-1 on the road against the Oakland Athletics. The White Sox can close out this best of three series on Wednesday in Oakland.
White Sox Bats Boom Early
The White Sox led the American League in home runs this season and that power was on full display. Adam Engel hit a second-inning solo home run on a 0-2 count to open up the scoring. Jose Abreu hit a two-run homer in the top of the third inning to give the White Sox a 3-0 lead. With the way Gilioto was pitching that was all the White Sox needed. Yasmani Grandal’s solo homer in the eighth inning closed out the scoring for Chicago. Abreu, who is a front runner for the MVP, went 2-4 on the day. Tim Anderson had three hits and a run scored. Adam Engel also had two hits on the day.
Lucas Giolito Dominant
The story of the game was the performance of White Sox pitcher Lucas Giolito. Pitching in his first postseason game Giolito was masterful. The 26-year-old right-hander cruised through the first six innings of this game retiring every batter to face him. Giolito kept getting stronger as the game went on. The A’s finally got their first hit in the seventh inning when Tommy La Stella singled leading off the inning. Giolito responded by striking out the next two batters. In fact, five of his last six outs were by strikeout. Giolito’s final line was seven innings pitched with two hits and one walk and one earned run. He also had eight strikeouts.
Giolito had everyone thinking perfect game with how easily he handled the A’s in the first six innings. It brought up memories of Roy Halladay in 2010. Halladay who pitched a perfect game during the 2010 regular season, pitched a no-hitter in his first playoff game as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. Giolito pitched a no-hitter on August 25th against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Halladay still remains the only pitcher to have a no-hitter in the regular season and postseason in the same year.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Giolito walked Mark Canha. After a meeting on the mound with White Sox manager Rick Renteria, Giolito was allowed to stay in the game. Jake Lamb singled on the next pitch sending Canha to third. Renteria then removed Giolito and brought in Evan Marshall. Ramon Laureano grounded into a fielder’s choice scoring Canha. After a pop out, Sean Murphy singled and suddenly the A’s had the tying run at the plate in La Stella. Aaron Bummer was brought in to get the final out. Alex Colome pitched a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game.
A’s Went Quietly
Athletics starting pitcher Jesus Luzardo just did not have it today. Luzardo was pulled with one out in the fourth inning after allowing three runs on six hits which included two home runs. A’s manager Bob Melvin understandably had a quick hook with Luzardo in this short series. J.B. Wendelken and Yusmeiro Petit pitched three and two-thirds scoreless innings in relief keeping the game close but the A’s could never get anything started offensively.
The only scoring threat for the A’s came in the bottom of the eighth inning where they plated one run and stranded two runners. The A’s chased Giolito after getting the first two runners on base. Aside from that inning, the A’s never mounted a serious challenge. Oakland’s success is built on scoring first and leaning on their pitching especially their bullpen. But the A’s have had good success coming back late in games and today’s game proved that. The A’s did have the tying run at the plate but failed to score.
Post Game Commentary
Starting shortstop Tim Anderson spoke glowingly of the White Sox ace. “Unreal to watch. Unreal to be behind him. He put the work in. When you set yourself apart to put the work in and want to be a superstar, you want to be that dominant. The work is showing. Happy for him and hopefully he can keep it up and continue to grow as a player and as a person. He’s our guy. I expect nothing but that from him.” ”Pretty cool,” manager Rick Renteria said. ”It was neat to see.”
”We have no choice tomorrow. That’s the way we’ve been here for a while now. We wanted a series. We lost the first game of it. Now it’s time for us to respond tomorrow,” manager Bob Melvin said. ”We’re going to have to do more offensively. We can’t score one run and think that we’re going to win tomorrow and put that much pressure on the starter.”
The Athletics will be facing elimination in Game 2. Chris Bassitt gets the ball for Oakland. Bassitt had a 5-2 record with a 2.29 ERA in 63 innings pitched this year. This will be Bassitt’s first postseason appearance. The White Sox are countering with veteran pitcher Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel’s 2020 season was his best since his Cy Young year in 2015 albeit in a shortened season. He had a 6-2 record with a 1.99 ERA in 63 innings pitched. Keuchel also has 11 career postseason starts and has a 4-2 record with a 3,47 ERA in 59 innings.
Eloy Jimenez did not play in Game 1 as he recovers from a sprained right foot. Jimenez also did not play in the final three regular-season games and had an extensive workout on Monday. White Sox manager Rick Renteria does not know if Jimenez will be ready to play in Game 2. Game time is scheduled for 12 noon PST.
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