Sox's Giolito adds extra motivation for 2022 season
Lucas Giolito didn't like anything about the American League division series.
"My playoff start didn't go well," the White Sox's right-hander said on a Zoom call Thursday afternoon. "That series for us didn't go well."
True and true.
Pitching in Game 2 against the Astros, Giolito lasted only 4⅓ innings and gave up 4 earned runs on 3 hits and 5 walks in a 9-4 loss.
The Sox dropped the first two games of the best-of-five series at Houston, roared back for a 12-6 win at Guaranteed Rate Field but headed for home after being blown out in Game 4.
"Regular season, great," Giolito said. "We got our key guys back and we were in a really good spot. Postseason, I think that we got some valuable experience there. We definitely did not perform how we wanted to, so that was a letdown, but that's just more motivation.
"I think that every single guy that was part of that postseason run for us learned something, and it's something that's going to continue to drive us and make us hungrier for more."
Giolito's appetite increased earlier this week when he returned to Minute Maid Park in Houston for Game 6 of the World Series Tuesday night.
Accompanied by Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty -- a high school teammate -- Giolito watched Braves starter Max Fried, another prep teammate at Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, shut down the Astros as Atlanta won the championship in 6 games.
"Mostly just the feeling of like, 'I really want to be here at this stage,'" Giolito said. "There are a lot of takeaways from it and I think that we as a team will use that as more fuel for next year. We'll definitely come out a lot more prepared for playoff baseball. But really, being there, I wasn't too concerned about like, 'Oh, I'm going back after what happened.'
"It was more being there to support Max. Just extremely motivating, seeing him do his thing out there. Just kind of being there in that environment, it really gives me more and more drive to get to that highest of levels."
The White Sox have locked up young talent like Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada in recent years.
Under contractual control for two more seasons, Giolito said there are no current extension talks with the Sox.
The 27-year-old pitcher hopes that changes in the days and months ahead.
"I mean, I'm open to it," Giolito said. "For me, I'm always interested in a long-term contract, something where, essentially make me a White Sox player for life. But the business of baseball is the business of baseball. A lot of that's out of my hands so for the time being I'm just going to focus on what I focus on, which is getting better, especially in the offseason right now.
"Getting my body strong, honing in and refining some of my pitching stuff and going out there and giving it my all for my team. That's all I can control. The other stuff, it is what it is."
Giolito tried to get to Houston and see Fried start Game 2 of the World Series last week, but he and his wife Ariana were recovering from COVID-19.
"Fully vaccinated and the symptoms were very minimal, so my wife and I were quarantining at home," Giolito said. "I was bummed out but it ended up going to Game 6. I was so worried the Braves were playing so well that they would close it out at home and I wouldn't be able to see Max do his thing.
"We put it together through CAA, my agency, and MLB. It came together very fast. Got our flights and we were out there. Totally fine. Ari and I are totally fine. The vaccine helps a lot, I highly recommend it."