Giolito shelled again as White Sox fall to Blue Jays, drop back under .500
After gutting out a 12-inning win over the Blue Jays Tuesday night and getting back to the .500 mark (33-33) for the first time since May 29, the White Sox had a nice little head of steam moving into Wednesday afternoon's game against Toronto at Guaranteed Rate Field.
"The way we got there (.500) was tortuous, but now it's getting above it," manager Tony La Russa said. "You can't be a winning club until you pass that threshold. So today's our chance to be a winning club.
"I just think when we look at it, we've got more pluses than problems. We have a chance to be a winning club and get closer to contention."
La Russa was hoping Lucas Giolito would regain his old form, be a plus and steer the Sox to a three-game sweep over the Blue Jays, but it turned out to be another dud for the right-hander in a 9-5 loss.
"I mean, I just got shelled," Giolito said. "They hit the ball hard, hammered mistakes, they hit some balls that were executed well. That's pretty much it."
In 5 innings, Giolito gave up 7 runs on 11 hits and 1 walk. Over his last five starts, he's gone 25⅔ innings and allowed a staggering 27 earned runs.
"It's pretty brutal," Giolito said. "Yeah, it (stinks)."
A top-end starter for the White Sox the past three seasons, Giolito has been pitching more like he did in 2018, when he was 10-13 with a 6.13 ERA during his first full year in the rotation.
The 27-year-old Californian says he's feeling fine. The biggest problems seem to be a fastball that's lost some zip and a slider that's no longer biting.
"I know that when I'm right, I am a good pitcher," Giolito said. "A good starting pitcher and can go deep, strike guys out. So I know that. It's just a matter of making it happen, making the adjustments that are necessary.
"It's been frustrating. I want to give the team a chance to win when I take the ball. I have not been doing that, so that's pretty much it. I've got to figure it out."
Trailing 7-0 after Giolito exited, the White Sox did make a big late push with a run in the sixth inning, a run in the seventh and 3 more in the eighth, but their rally fell short.
Not only did they lose the game, center fielder Luis Robert made an early exit with leg soreness, third baseman Danny Mendick hurt his right knee after colliding with left fielder Adam Haseley while making a catch in foul territory and outfielder Adam Engel was pulled after aggravating an old hamstring injury.
The never-ending string of injuries is starting to wear on Sox players not already in the trainer's room.
"It's been a very frustrating season when it comes to the injuries," said Giolito, who has missed time with an abdominal injury and COVID-19 this year. "Multiple in this game, it's like a punch in the gut every time. We don't want to lose anybody. That's part of the game, but it's happening a lot."