Pirates Postgame Commentary: August 25 vs White Sox

By COMON Network Team

Final Score – Chicago White Sox (18-12) 4, Pittsburgh Pirates (7-18) 0

WP: Lucas Giolito (3-2)

LP: Steven Brault (0-1)

SV: N/A

Lucas Giolito was the highlight of the night as he pitched the Chicago White Sox to a series-opening victory. Giolito chucked baseball’s first no hitter of the 2020 year and first since September 1, 2019 when Justin Verlander accomplished the feat. Perhaps most impressive, Giolitto had just two balls deemed hit hard by exit velocity standards: Josh Bell’s lineout and the line drive by Gonzalez at the end. He also struck out 13.

The White Sox have now won eight of nine after having their seven-game win streak snapped by the Cubs Sunday. Giolito’s no hitter is the first for the White Sox since April 21, 2012 when Philip Humber no hit the Mariners, a game that also ended 4-0. That was a perfect game, as was the previous one in Chicago, in 2006 by Mark Buehrle.

Scoring wise, Adam Engel brought home the game’s first run with a groundout in a three-run second inning for the South Siders. Tim Anderson and Eloy Jimenez both had singled to plate a run in the frame as well. In the third, James McCann lifted a sac fly to plate Yoan Moncada and push the White Sox’ lead to 4-0.

The no-no is the 8th against the Pirates in the Modern Era (since 1900) and first since Max Scherzer’s in Washington about five years ago.

The two teams will complete their short two-game set tomorrow at 2:10 p.m. ET. Trevor Williams (1-4, 3.70 ERA), whose name has come up in trade rumors in the last few days in regards to the Toronto Blue Jays being interested in pitching, goes for the Bucs against Chicago’s Dallas Keuchel (4-2, 2.65 ERA).

COMON Network Team Commentary

KYLE DAWSON

  • Lucas Giolito’s changeup was nasty. That pitch made his night. It’s not that the rest of the repertoire wasn’t good, but man that pitch was impactful. You’ll read about his mound opponent not really peppering the zone, but Giolito was all over the zone. Overall, he threw 73% strikes and 71% of hitters saw first-pitch strikes (20 of 28). As Rock pointed out on the broadcast, he left some off-speed stuff high, but he got away with everything because he was so good everywhere else. He got some absolute swords from Pirates hitters. Good for him. It was fun to watch history. The change produced 23 swings (13 whiffs, 5 foul balls). Overall, 54% of swings were whiffs for the Bucs.
  • Steven Brault was shaky in his start. He wasn’t very aggressive in the strike zone and was missing arm side a lot in this one. He threw 71 pitches and 40 for strikes, which is 56% of his pitches going for strikes. That’s underwhelming at face value, especially for a starter, but if there’s a bright side, he wasn’t hit all that hard, outside of Edwin Encarnacion’s ball to the wall. Eloy Jimenez’s first-inning line out to right was the hardest hit ball against Brault, and one of just two (Encarnacion) over 100 mph. So I guess there is some bright side to the outing. It felt like he was working from behind a lot more than he did. He only fell behind with a first pitch ball to six batters of the 16 he faced. I don’t know. It felt worse than it really was, but the walks killed him and the hit by pitch call that was clearly foul allowed things to snowball a bit in the second.
  • Nick Tropeano was solid. He was hit hard more than a handful of times in his four shutout innings, but I liked his pitch mix, ability and willingness to change speeds and his aggressiveness in the zone. That was a good Bucco debut for him.

Player of the Game – Lucas Giolito (CWS)

JOE SMELTZER

  • The Pirates offense smelled tonight, and it got no-hit by one of the best pitchers in baseball. Only one of those points is going to be driven home by local sports talk tomorrow. This offense deserves to be ripped, but those who do so should acknowledge how good Lucas Giolito is. I’m not sure many people will do that. Now if Charlie Morton no-hit the Pirates… 
  • Tonight showed Steven Brault at his worst— a guy who doesn’t throw particularly hard and doesn’t throw a lot of strikes. To me, there aren’t a lot of things less attractive in a starting pitcher than walking the ballpark while only throwing in the lower 90s. Guys like Arizona’s Robbie Ray and even Giolito himself make up for wildness by striking a lot of guys out. Brault doesn’t to the latter, so if he struggles with the former, chances are the Pirates are in trouble.  
  • Another point on Giolito; When the hell will the Pirates have a pitcher like this that they don’t trade away or let walk for the big bucks? By the way, Tyler Glasnow struck out 13 tonight.  

Player of the Game – Lucas Giolito (CWS)

RYAN SIMPSON

  • Well, Lucas Giolito shoved tonight and my hat is off to him. Giolito had a 6.13 ERA and 1.477 WHIP in 2018 which he brought down to 3.41 and 1.064 last season respectively. The White Sox have their ace and they are looking great over their last 10.
  • The Pirates on the other hand, not so much. Yes, the bats did come around enough to sweep the Brewers. This season is a sprint, but this team needs some spark. Once again, Atlanta called up the third overall prospect in the MLB in Ian Anderson today. The Pirates have some young guns sitting in Altoona waiting for their shot. The MLB trade deadline is just under a week away, I expect some pieces to be moved out of town to make room for some fresh meat. This team needs a kick in the ass.

Player of the Game – Lucas Giolito (CWS)

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